Sunday, February 21, 2010
Endings & Beginnings - Nectarine Slice
As I write this, I am feeling shattered. No, nothing personal has happened. Rather, I have just watched the last episode of Dr Who featuring David Tennant as the Doctor. David was the tenth Doctor, and has been my favourite Doctor.
I was watching in the beginning of the tenth Doctor's reign, when Christopher Eccleston's angry Doctor morphed into David Tennant's Doctor. I was there when he was choosing his wardrobe - I loved the chocolate pinstripe suit, the long brown trench coat, Converse trainers and spiky hairdo. And I particularly enjoyed the episodes featuring the Doctor with the feisty Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) as his companion.
So tonight, for me, it was gut-wrenching to see the Doctor save the world again, only to "die", not directly at the hands of The Master (John Simm), but to save Wilf from a high radiation device created by The Master in which Wilf had become trapped. Before regenerating, the Doctor dropped in on his old pals on Earth, so we had some final glimpses of Martha, Rose and Donna, the tenth Doctor's companions. The end of the episode showed the Doctor regenerating into his new incarnation (Matt Smith). Sorry Matt, my heart stays with the tenth Doctor.
The years of the tenth Doctor have seen a lot of change for me in my life, so I felt a little like I was reviewing those years as the end of the tenth Doctor's reign played out on screen. It caused me to reflect on the good, the bad and the ugly over that period, and wonder if I had done x instead of y, how my life might be different. Would it be better? Would it be worse? I will never know. I try not to think too hard about it, because these are questions with no answers, and I have to deal with the reality of where I am here and now, and not waste time on regrets or "what ifs".
To mark the occasion, I wanted to post a recipe somehow relating to the tenth Doctor, but unfortunately I could not unearth any particular food preferences of this Doctor. Tom Baker's Doctor was rather fond of jelly babies, as were a couple of other Doctors after him, and even The Master was featured guzzling jelly babies in a deft tip of his hat to previous Doctors. However, the tenth Doctor's preferences in food shall forever remain a mystery to me.
Instead, I am going to post the recipe for the slice I made today for no other reason than I had the ingredients on hand. It's a bit like life itself really - for most of us, there are no big bang beginnings or endings, just a continuum of everyday events, some good, some bad, some neither.
This recipe is for Nectarine Slice, out of a recent edition of Woman's Day magazine. I'm not sure of the exact date, because I copied the recipe from one of my mother's magazines during a recent visit, knowing that I had a tray of 7 juicy nectarines in my fridge, waiting to be used.
For the weight conscious, this recipe is low fat, and together with the fruit, is positively healthy - well, almost. It smells devine while baking because of the brown sugar in the batter - a lovely, caramel smell.
To make your own Nectarine Slice, you will need:
125g low fat spread (I used Devondale Light)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups self-raising flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup light evaporated milk
6 nectarines, seeded and sliced (I only needed 3!)
icing sugar for dusting
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and grease and line with baking paper an 18cm x 28cm slice tin. Leave the baking paper overhang by around 5cm on each long side so that you can use it to lift the slice out of the pan once baked.
Sift the flour and cinnamon together into a bowl and set aside.
Using a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Add the flour and evaporated milk to the batter alternately, using a rubber spatula to fold them in.
Spread the batter evenly into the slice tin. Press nectarine slices decoratively into the top of the batter, then bake the slice in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until cooked through. (I think that granulated sugar sprinkled on the nectarines just before baking would be lovely.)
Remove the cooked slice from the oven, and allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before lifting it out, using the overhanging baking paper, and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.
Dust the cooled slice with icing sugar, and cut into ~ 16 squares.