WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DID SOMETHING
FOR THE FIRST TIME?
A couple of years ago, I was sitting on the breakwater at East Coast Park, alongside Jinhua, one of my best friends in the world, as we listened to the waves crashing on the shore. I remember turning to her, the wind messing up my hair, and then asking,
“When was the last time you did something for the first time?”
A lifetime of adventure or an eternity of predictability?
Isn’t it amazing that in our busy world of meeting deadlines and finishing projects, we could just easily go on about our daily routines, doing the same things over and over again without realizing how monotonous our lives have become?
We could spend months and years pulling our 9-to-5 office stints, going to the movies in the weekends, eating at the same restaurant every month, even choosing the exact same dish. I know, it sounds boring, like a broken-record, but so many of us fall prey to a monovariable life, one which could otherwise be much more colorful and fulfiling.
And if we aren’t intentionally willing ourselves to try a new activity, listen to a different playlist, discovering new nooks and crannies in the town we’ve lived in all our lives, or travelling to a different country, breathing fresh air, our lives will become precisely that – safe, predictable, boring, monotonous.
Unless of course, that is the kind of life that satisfies you, where repeat habits and a predictable lifestyle are more appealing than a fun, interesting, constantly evolving life filled with adventures, different insights and new things.
I’m still young, at 27 years old, but I want to start living for real, beginning today.
I ache to visit new continents and countries, walk along distinctly unfamiliar roads, and be momentarily lost in a city I have never been to before. I desire to try my hand at new hobbies, like photography, paint a different type of scenery (not those structured paintings I’m so used to creating), and take up a new sport. I yearn to smell new scents and aromas, run my fingers over all kinds of textures, rough or smooth, and taste new and exotic flavors.
And I’d like to invite you to this challenge: Let’s do something new.
It could be anything, a new way to dress, ordering a different type of cocktail, or saying hi to your neighbour. But let it be something different, novel, an activity or event which will spice up your life.
This week, I did something which I’ve always wanted to do but have never dared to try – making a tart-shell from scratch, and then baking the lovely french tart – quiche lorraine.
Yes, and might I tell you that I was feeling very sexily French just pronouncing the words quiche lorraine. (Notice the apron I’m using Jin??)
I learnt the recipe during my cooking class last thursday.
Yes, I know! I’ve finally started classes again with Pelusa Molina (who by the way happens to be the inspiration behind this blog). And I also learnt that a quiche is basically a kind of pie with a savory custard filling.
So with the recipe in my hand and a lightness in my heart, I set about making a tart-shell, and baking.
QUICHE LORRAINE (Serves 4)
Adapted from my professor Pelusa Molina‘s recipe
For the tart-shell:
1) 150g of all-purpose flour
2) 75g of cold butter, cut into cubes
3) Salt & ground black pepper
4) 1 egg
For the filling:
1) 150g of pan-fried bacon or ham, sliced thinly (I used ham)
2) 125g of milk cream
3) 4 eggs
4) A dash of ground nutmeg
1) Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, add salt and pepper, and distribute the cubes of butter in the middle of flour
2) Using two knives, cut the pieces of butter with the flour until you get a sand-like texture
3) Add the egg and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough is formed
4) Roll dough into a ball on a flat, cool surface (without kneading it) and place in a bowl, covering it with plastic
5) Let dough rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
6) Pre-heat your oven to 180 deg cel
7) After the dough has rested, remove from fridge
8) Sprinkle flour over a cool, flat surface, and flatten dough with a rolling pin until it forms a circle large enough for your tart mould (which should be 18-20cm in diameter)
9) Grease your tart mould
10) Place flattened dough circle over tart mould, pressing it so it takes the shape of the mould, and use a fork to poke holes in the shell
11) Bake in tart shell in the oven for 5-10 minutes, then removing once it is slightly baked
12) Place strips of ham evenly over tart shell
13) Mix eggs, cream and ground nutmeg together, then pour over ham in tart shell
14) Bake in oven until the egg mixture is cooked (coagulated)
*Suggestion: you can pair the quiche lorraine with fresh salad
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, add salt and pepper, and distribute the cubes of butter in the middle of flour:
Using two knives, cut the pieces of butter with the flour:
Until you get a sand-like texture:
Add the egg:
Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough is formed:
Roll dough into a ball on a flat, cool surface (without kneading it):
Place dough in a bowl, covering it with plastic:
Sprinkle flour over a cool, flat surface, and flatten rested dough with a rolling pin:
Until it forms a circle large enough for your tart mould:
Place flattened dough circle over tart mould, pressing it so it takes the shape of the mould, and use a fork to poke holes in the tart shell:
Bake empty tart shell in the oven for 5-10 minutes, then remove once it is slightly baked:
Place strips of ham evenly over tart shell:
Mix eggs, cream and ground nutmeg together:
Pour egg-mixture over ham in tart shell:
Bake in oven until the egg mixture is cooked (coagulated):
Quiche Lorraine anyone?