Saturday, April 11, 2009
Crunch, scuff, flip, crunch, flip, huff.
I watch the scattered hues of crimson, straw and rust crackle beneath my black Puma sole. The sunlight blinks code through the fishing net canopy, causing me to squint and return my gaze to the littered pavement, my dog's padded paws happily rustling through, my husband's thongs flipping remnants of leaves onto his naked toes.
The breeze is pleasantly cool as it licks my neck and playfully tousles my hair, moving on to cause mischief in the tidily raked piles, like a 2 year old child experiencing Autumn for the first time. Too soon we arrive home, the jingle of keys and the sound of squeaking rubber and short nails clicking up the stone stairs brings our dalliance with the Autumn's afternoon to an end.
Easter is always spent with family; cousins, uncles, grandmothers, brothers, in-laws, we all gather at someone's house with super sized amounts of food piled on bags of Easter chocolates stacked in our arms like the leaning tower of Pisa. There are more smiles than cameras and hugs are passed around like Chinese whispers. Easter is one of my favourite times of the year; for the families it brings together, and that is falls in Fall.
Despite the wisdom in making something you have tried and loved before, I always seem to attempt something elaborate and new for family gatherings. This either results in a triumph, or a string of apologies from my lips regarding my poor choice of recipe or my lack of skill (I love to cook but I will be the first to admit it is not something I excel at). With my theme of trying new things for this year, I thought I would attempt my first trifle. As the children tend to stick to their bounty of chocolates I thought something a little more adult would be the perfect treat. As soon as I decided on a trifle there was only one recipe that came to mind, one of the first I ever bookmarked from epicurious.com - and I have waited a long time to try it.
ease: 3/5. Very time consuming and many components, but not technically difficult.
prep time: 45mins to make pears and mousse and 3hours chilling time.
cooking time: 15mins to assemble trifle and make whipped cream topping.
taste: 4/5. Others liked this more than I did - they loved the subtly spiced pears the most. The flavours were subtle with an overall sweetness, the pears helped to break it up with their juiciness. I doubled the amount of liquid to soak the lady fingers and they were still dry. This was a little bit of a disaster for me. I could only manage two layers and even then the mousse was on the scant side, as well as the pears (I think my dish may have been too large). The biggest mistake I made was not paying attention when I bought a piping set, it turned out that the piping bag was plastic! I couldn't twist the top and as a result I had cream pouring out from the top, it was a HUGE mess. IF I ever made this again I would poach more pears, use my liquid and double the mousse.
would I make it again: No - too long to make and I wasn't over the moon, nice, but not mind-blowingly awesome.