Apple Thingos.

apple tartWhen it comes to life lessons, my Mum is a rich vein. I know for instance, that it’s important to shave your legs before a trip to hospital, just in case there’s nice doctor on duty. And, when I was younger, I often amazed my classmates and teachers alike with off-pat responses to hypothetical questions that might just crop up in the Miss Universe finals – (the key? Don’t be too specific, judges really like ‘open-ended thinking’).

But by far her most important contribution to my life* was the ability to make excellent pastry (goodbye, swimwear section).

Good pastry involves maximising the carrying capacity of flour with butter. According to Mum, it requires ‘cold hands and a warm heart’.

A devastatingly cold kitchen bearing straight into the teeth of the prevailing southerly doesn’t hurt either. Basically you want to rub as much butter into flour as you possibly can and then let the resulting dough sit in a cryogenic freezer for an half an hour, or on Mum’s bench until a penguin licks it.

Then roll out and fill it with your hopes and dreams (as long as they’re not a smaller pair of pants). Bake until golden. Then make a cup of tea and put your feet up (thanks, penguins!) and devour.

*This is not true, her contributions were many, varied and ongoing. Thanks Mum!

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