with yogurt crème, caramelized bananas and passionfruit
Time passes, so fast, yet so slow. The line which divides the distinction is faint, blurred beyond recognition. It seems only yesterday that I was still at the concert in kindergarten (think Mr Ollivander, all you fellow potterheads out there!) , a little girl in a sea of other toddlers. I can still glimpse flashes of my first day in primary school, feeling intimidated and afraid, unsure of what to do or where to go. My heart still thuds and throbs when I think of the moment I stepped into the same hall, six years later, to receive my results slip which would determine my next school.
Fast forward to mere months later, I head for another major orientation, meant to orientate me amongst the overwhelming number of new faces and names. It's been a year and a half since then, and I've matured much through all the ups and downs, the bumps and ridges of life.
I feel like I've been tossed in turmoil, seasoned with experiences. I know that the bumps and ridges which I think I've roughed out are merely pebbles on the ground to others, but no matter what, they're accomplishments to me. The truth is, life isn't as sweet as the strawberries (dusted with icing sugar) which my father often offered to me as a young child. It's not all Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, who have their happy endings. It's not the sunny grassland on the other side of the plateau. Life is a dark thing, deep and working in mysterious ways. It's like the fluid goop which I used to toy with, never fixated in a particular shape or colour. (the goop was later splashed with water and went down the drain - another sad childhood memory of a ruined toy)
Some say that the mind is most absorbent when one is young. For me, the theory holds true. Those childhood days in kindergarten, despite the many tears obscuring my vision as I watched my mother's back recede into the distance, are some of the most memorable moments in my life, etched into the mind, in mandarin : 烙印在脑海里. I can still picture the science worksheet in K1: penguins are mammals. Imagine that, learning science at K1 (and only realising that penguins are in actual fact, birds, in primary 3). Of course, there were the various other aspects of those days; naptime (when the teachers did henna for me in the darkness, already a sign of insomnia), playtime and the art projects, crude and some still hang on the walls to date. Then, we were young, too young to discriminate. Oh, the precious innocence of youth.
Soon, the landscape's changed. It's evolved into the childcare times - slightly less sunshine-filled, but light and joyous nonetheless. We had excursions, had games, had naptimes too (where we played games rather than fall in slumber). We had our escapades too, with the insect-catching (ahem), and countless make-pretend games we played. Looking back, those were some of my happiest moments - inventing out-of-this-world dishes, which would make any chef faint, out of puzzle pieces (as rice) and a plastic egg on top with lego to garnish.
I now wonder, how is it that I ever dreaded going there? It was a new adventure every day, fresh faces to meet and to do. I now yearn for those days past, the times spent in merriment and (relatively) stress-free. But people come and go, and look at me, living in the past, in memories of the mind. I should let go, and embrace the present of the future. It's not easy; though I have to. I can't just sit there and fixate on the ceiling, staring into space and see only the images of the past, replayed over and over. I have to rough out the today, and set forth on this new voyage, for every day is a blank page waiting to be written.
The pen is lifted, and the first words inscribed. They begin with the preparation of these pancakes, these spice-infused chewy circles in a delightful shade of tangerine of the rising sun. They taste as their name suggests - bold and flavourful. Pumpkin, while having a sweet squash-y taste, is thicker than applesauce, so two tablespoons of milk may not suffice.
Meanwhile, the honey yogurt crème compliments the pancakes, soothing out the flavour. Toppings are kept simple today, baby banana slices - caramelized to accentuate the banana sweet flavour - not fake like the brightly-dyed-with-artificial-colouring-candies, and passion fruit, sweet as well, and crunchy.
Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes with yogurt crème, caramelized bananas and passionfruit
40 g oats, ground into a flour (or 40g of any other flour)
1 tbsp. psyllium husk (optional)
1/3 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Dash of : nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger, OR pumpkin pie spice
A few strands of saffron (optional)
2 tbsp. milk
2 egg whites (or 1 egg)
1/4c pumpkin puree
1-2 tbsp. honey / maple syrup / other sweetener, to personal preference
1. Sift together flour, psyllium husk, baking powder, salt, spices and saffron.
2. Combine milk, egg whites, pumpkin puree and honey until a smooth paste is formed. Pour flour mixture into it and mix well. If it's too dry, add a tablespoon or two of milk.
3. In a pan, form 5 2 tbsp. circles and start fire. They should be quite easy to form as the batter should be relatively thick.
4. Cook on each side for 2 mins or so over medium low heat, or flip when the pancake can move.
5. Layer with crème and top with caramelized bananas and passion fruit, or other desired toppings. (see below) Serve and enjoy.
Yogurt crème: Combine 3 tbsp. greek yogurt with 1.5 tbsp. milk and 1 tsp honey / sweetener.
Caramelized bananas: Slice banana thinly and cook over low heat until soft.