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Write It 2017: 11-14s: Winner: The Perfect Food Partnership

Write It 2017: 11-14s: Winner: The Perfect Food Partnership Anna Hardie (19/06/2017)

Although sometimes I can make a bit of a mess, I love helping my Mum and Dad in the kitchen. My cultural heritage is half Mauritian from my Mum and half Scottish from my Dad. My parents are complete opposites, my Dad is calm and cool like a mountain stream, whereas Mum can be a little more… hummm let’s say hot under the collar!

My dad loves traditional British puddings, the stodgy kind he can gobble down without chewing and sit back while the warm custard trickles down his throat and warms his tummy. Mum loves spicy Mauritian food like rich tomato rougaille sauces, which remind her of her childhood. She loves adding spices to everything! Like shepherd’s pie with a hint of cumin. Our family’s favourite pudding is cardamom and Scottish oat apple crumble served with Mauritian vanilla custard.

The whole family joins in to make this wonderful dish. My brother loves crumbling together the butter and oaty flour with his fingers: he says it reminds him of playing in the golden sands of Mauritius. My mum makes the creamy vanilla custard. As the yellow custard cooks in the pan; the steam rises and warms her face, reminding her of sun rays beaming down and warming her skin. My brother and I watch fascinated as my mum scrapes the vanilla pods into the custard. We love how the seeds disperse into the steaming liquid. My task is to peel and slice the crispy apples. I always have a sneaky bite when my mum isn’t looking, I just love the crunchy juicy taste; it’s so different to the soft, sweet taste once they’re cooked. I wish I could have my cheeky Dad’s job though; it’s to taste the food. He is the official family food critic, and always ensures he’s the first to try the final offerings, if I can’t beat him to it!

My favourite part of any meal is finally getting to eat it! All my family from young to old gather round the table as we serve up the hot cardamom Scottish oat apple crumble. Then we all wait eagerly for the finishing touch: the piping-hot vanilla custard. As mum dribbles the custard carefully onto our dishes we can’t help dribbling ourselves! Finally when everything is done we stop and just smell the food, it gives me a tingling feeling inside and I can’t wait to dig in. When we are done smelling we get straight down to eating. As soon as the first mouthful goes down, it’s like I’m walking into a dream filled with memories of family meals and the feeling of belonging.

Seeing as summer is fast approaching, so that we don’t have to give up our precious pudding we simply swap the warm vanilla custard for icy-cold vanilla pod ice cream. Or if we’re feeling really cheeky we add a generous helping of clotted cream. I love making this dish with my family. 


Author: Anna Hardie Email:

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