My paternal Grandmother is defying age – tennis-playing, surfing, socialising and galavanting around the world (while stocking up on MAC products for me!) She is all the good stereotypes about a Grandmother – loving, warm, generous and a superb baker.
Her recent 80th birthday had me reflecting on the importance of family, and spending time with these wise souls in my life. And so when she asked me what I would like for my recent birthday – “a lesson in apple pie baking” – was what I responded with.
Saturday afternoon I set off, armed with flowers as a thank you, to learn the tricks of baking the perfect pastry. I arrived to find her typed up recipe on the bench – a mere five lines long. “This will be easy!” I thought to myself.
Looking back, this humble page is covered front and back in my loopy scrawl. It seems there are one or two secrets to baking pastry! Lightly prick the pastry with a fork and it will not rise. Brush milk around the edge before securing the lid of the pastry so that it sticks. Cut a shape on top before draping the pastry lid on top to let the steam out. So many pearls of wisdom that I will treasure on this paper. I can see this getting this pulled out time and time again in the future, and am so pleased I will have the memories of the experience to look back on fondly each time.
The most important lesson of all? Spend time with your grandparents. Surprise them with a bunch of flowers or their favourite treat. Unplug from technology and ask them to teach you something. Listen, learn and love. It will cheer up the soul even more than a slice of freshly baked apple pie.