There was a time when I aspired to run a marathon in Boston. It was around the time I had just begun to gain confidence in my ability to go the distance in my running. Despite all the splinters and the post-run sores, running gave me such a wonderful release. I would be on an adrenaline high hours after the run. The feeling of running down an open road is unparalleled: the sky above you, a seemingly endless expanse of land before you, the wind on your face… It’s a little piece of freedom we very rarely get to enjoy leading such busy lives. And then there’s crossing the finish-line, which always feels like an accomplishment no matter what distance one runs. I don’t think anyone would contradict this, until today. I have no words to describe the shock, sadness, and finally, the anger that I feel about what happened in Boston.
It’s so difficult to reconcile the glory of finishing a marathon– what would have been a moment of personal triumph; where months, or even years, of training and hard work is supposed to pay off– to the bloody images that are circulating in the media. The whole sentiment of ‘crossing the finish-line’ has been completely blasphemed. So many people were hurt. And the worst part is, there will never be any acceptable reason or explanation as to why someone does a thing like this.
Continue reading for the recipe >>
I made these éclairs, and much like everything else that I make, with the intention of sharing it with my family so that they may enjoy it. Even though I make things for them all the time, there was a special occasion to be celebrated for one of the most important people in my life. In the end I decided it called for a slightly more special treat. Unfortunately, these didn’t turn out the way that I would have wanted. Bluntly put, I burnt my éclairs to a tragic crisp. But thank goodness the mocha pastry cream was there to salvage it. (Boy, that pastry cream is the bomb!) Because I actually didn’t feel bad about “failing” for once when I had a taste of this.
As per my usual practice, I put an éclair on a nice plate and brought it to my Papa. Before I handed it to him, I warned him and apologized about the outcome of the éclairs. Crunchy éclairs, I called it. And as per his usual practice, he eats the thing without a word of complaint. “It’s still good,” he says as he finishes off the last bite. (Guess he’s used to this sort of thing already, since being a regular taste-tester to my “creations” is an occupational hazard that comes with being my Dad. Heehee.)
I guess he wasn’t lying, because the éclairs didn’t stick around for even an hour over here. Everybody in the house grabbed a piece (some of my brothers had a couple), and suddenly they were all gone. Choux pastry seems to be my Achilles’ Heel. Remember the
pain time and trials it took me before I could actually make cream puffs? Those are my Dad’s favourites so I stubbornly pursued them, but thankfully relentlessness can be fruitful more often than not. This time I wanted to make éclairs for a change.
Continue reading for the recipe
Oh boy. Okay, so I’ve been wanting to learn how to make pate a choux for a while, not because they are my favourites (although of course they are yummy too!) but I find the process of making them interesting. Everyone keeps saying making choux pastry is easy, and now that I have figured out how to make them successfully, this is the conclusion I’ve arrived at as well. However, based on the photo below, it looks like it took me so many tries before I attained success doesn’t it? As true as that may seem, I’m glad all those failed attempts did not discourage me from keeping on. I had it in my mind that I just had to learn this foundation for a great many number of filled goodies.
I write this post not to scare, but to share my experiences; to share what I found out through all my failures that helped me succeed. I hope that anyone who has not yet made choux pastry and wants to try will skip all the stages of failures and go straight to triumph. Perhaps choux pastry is to me just one of those things I need to keep doing to learn properly, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the same case for everyone. What’s important is to at least try right?
Continue reading for the recipe