Perhaps in some moments I really need someone to talk to, someone who can understand the twisted reasoning of my mind, demolish my fears and insecurities and give me stronger legs to walk with. In those moments, when I’m in a dead-end alley where the only alternative is to start screaming out loud, I turn to the most effective psychologists: neither Jungian nor Freudian. They are my whip and my mum’s bowl.
I do not need a psychologist, I have my whisk and my bowl.
It usually happens this way. I get home from work, walk into the kitchen, grab the eggs and put them on the table, then I sit down and look at them. I look at them, appreciating their smooth lines, the perfect shell, the soft colour.
Then the inspiration comes out of the blue, I grab my whip and the bowl and I begin to wash away bad thoughts, anxieties, sorrows and people who take away the good feelings from life just with their bad influence. And I get through the bad moment, with a subtle charm. Just like Vianne, casting her spells in the rear of her shop, intertwining her fate with the spirals drown into the hot chocolate pot.
You stir and change direction to the events. It happens. It works.
Last week I was stuck into one of those dead-end alleys, I needed badly to feel like Vianne for an afternoon, to believe that a whip could change the direction of events. As I was staring at the eggs, a phrase whispered with a distinctly French accent on my doorstep in a winter night came to mind: I tell you a secret. Make the crêpes batter, add some more sugar and pour it onto a bake tin with some cherries. You will get a French dessert, the clafoutis.
I grabbed the whip and I changed the course of events.
The cherry clafoutis
I am amazed by how easy to make clafoutis is, how reassuring and comfortable it is to eat it warm with a spoon directly from the ramekin. Just a little dessert, nutritious and simple, a child’s favourite.
- 3 eggs
- 130 g (1.04 cups) flour
- 100 g (0.5 cups) sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 cups milk
- 500 g (1.1 lb) cherries
- butter, to grease the moulds
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Break the eggs into a bowl and add flour, sugar and a pinch of salt. Whisk well.
- Pour in the milk in a thin stream and whisk until the batter is smooth ans silky.
- Grease an oval gratin mould, as big as to comfortably hold all the cherries.
- Pour the batter over the cherries to cover them completely.
- Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the clafoutis is set and lightly golden browned on top.
- Serve warm or cold.
The beautiful cherries you see in this picture come from a fruit and vegetable stall I have just discovered a few kilometres from my house: they sell only seasonal products, only local ones: I feel very lucky! These wonders of nature, naturally coloured with these hues, are called tardiole, they resemble sour cherries, deliciously tart and refreshing.