with anise-cinnamon honey poached pears (and ice cream)
Today's a day for the sun to shine, and to shine most vehemently indeed. Since the morning, copious amounts of perspiration trickle down my nape and soak into the collar of my shirt, filling up the gaps of the thread. Dark patches are visible on the area where the shoulder blades meet, and on the table behind me rest a small mound of tissues.
It's hot - hot beyond measure, bringing back memories of two months past, where the land was scoured by streaks of bare soil, exposed, denuded, stripped. There weren't clouds in sight (where did they go?) and any chance of rain was nil. Even water, for that matter, was evanescent. Every drop which falls down parched throats leaves one wanting more.
But that's not it. The cruel weather sneaks into minds, numbing it and coaxing people into lackadaisical states. I'm no exception, lured to become most slothful indeed. Time seems to have decelerated as well, the second-hand inching it's way down. Everything appears to be slowed momentarily, the relentless, overbearing heat fusing our muscles together, making us languid.
It's raining now, as the sun decides to venture into the mysterious cover of clouds, and chase the raindrops out. It's not much, but I'm thankful that there's something. This rain is a sort of breeze-less rain, the plump, rounded droplets falling vertically, rather than at a 40-degree angle. It's a light rain too, the outside surroundings still visible and not blurred into mere silhouettes, hopefully, yet.
And there the rain goes, it's drawn to a close. The only evidence that it was ever here were the puddles of water on the ground, which no doubt will vanish soon. Oh, sun, why do you have to be so unyielding, so unforgiving?
But, maybe, the sun is not the troublemaker who is wreaking havoc on us poor souls. Is it possibly the atmosphere?
Yes, I think so, I think that it's the air that we inhale. I think it's the air which is clogging up our noses, skin pores, and fogging up our brains. There isn't a breeze in sight, light gust of wind to push the curtains and make them billow. No, today's air is a dank, humid creature. It's a dead thing, hanging limply about, its dejected mood rubbing off on us all.
So ON! come the fans, air-conditions and any other machinery which propel wind in some form or another. Click them on, revel in pressing the switch and feel that beautiful gush of fresh air swoop through your hair! Press those buttons, I know your hand is itching towards them, and savour that wake-up call - of pure, beautiful air.
And when the air is slightly worked up in the morning, more fresh, free from those pollutants and haze which simply clog up our poor noses, switch on the stove and dance a little round the kitchen, to celebrate yet another Sunday. Make good use of the slightly chillier air to cook, to revel in the clicking of, not the fan, but stove as a little flame springs forth. Harvest your spices from the cabinets; draw out a wand of cinnamon (and be sure to wave it around first), before depositing it in the pot, along with honey and aniseed - sweet and spicy. Pour water into the pot, hear that magical tinkle of aqua hit the metal base in peals of delight, and don't forget the pear, a sweet, bell-bottomed thing speckled with pale crimson dots.
While that's cooking, get ready for pancake-making. Take a deep breath (and enjoy the gorgeous scent of heady spice if it's hanging about), envision those beautiful cat-tail coloured dollops, before whipping out the blender. Watch the scene transform before your very eyes - of how half a cup of oat grains, raw and unfinished, becomes a true beauty - a beautiful shade of tangerine dabbled with that magical spice of turmeric found in those pungent curries.
But that's not it. Stack the pancakes, with a good scoop of yogurt in between, to sooth and to bind the scattered flavours, and top. DO NOT ever forget this crucial step, this reason for why pancakes are art. On this day, scoop ice cream to soothe the tongue, not seeking to ravish, but to comfort the taste buds and ensnare the senses. Remember the pear, and add it on, sweet toppings for a curry-inspired breakfast.
Pumpkin Turmeric Pancakes with aniseed-cinnamon honey poached pears
1/2 c oats, ground into a flour (or you could use 1/2 c of any other flour except coconut and almond)
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tbsp. honey / maple syrup / other sweetener (to personal preference)
1/4 c pumpkin puree
2 egg whites (or an egg)
2 tbsp. milk
1. Combine flour, baking powder and turmeric powder. Also add sweetener if granulated. Sift well.
2. Combine milk, pumpkin puree, egg whites and sweetener (if liquid). Blend together. (see below for notes)
3. On a greased pan, form 4 circles, 3-4 inches in diameter and start fire. Cook over medium-low heat for 2-3 mins per side, after bubbles form and the pancake can be jiggled around.
4. Layer with greek yogurt (if you wish) and top with a scoop of ice cream, poached pear (see below), and any other desired toppings. Serve and enjoy.
Note: If you don't possess a blender, whisking together well will do the trick.
Aniseed-Cinnamon Honey Poached Pears
1 small pear
2 tbsp. honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 c water
1. Combine water, honey, aniseed and cinnamon in a pot.
2. Skin pear and place in pot. Add more water if not covering pear.
3. Bring water to a boil over medium heat. Cover and cook pancakes.
4. Remove when pears are soft. I left mine for 40 mins.
5. Slice (be careful! it's hot) and serve atop pancakes. Enjoy.