Wednesday, March 5, 2008
For the Love of a Cosmic Travelling Dog + Berry Rustic Pear Cake
This post is dedicated to our lovely, lovable and loving dog-ward of five weeks, Tigi. Her 'mum' and I met through the English Forum of Switzerland. She said she needed a dog-sitter for a few weeks and I offered a trial weekend with the dog.
Tigi giving the Argus look (above right).
She knows better than to pee on art (right).
All went well, and Tigi came to stay with us for five weeks. During the twice or thrice daily walks, we got to know some neighbourhood dogs, the most notable of which are a giant-sized Malamute, a black and white Great Dane (whom we dubbed 'Horse Dog'), and a neighbour's cocker spaniel, whose 'hairstyle' was messed up by Tigi's wagging tail.
The funniest thing is that I was quite convinced Tigi is a reincarnation of my late beloved dog, Argus. (See the very first post of this blog named after her.) Tigi's face and front paws look so much like Argus'. The expression on her mug is exactly the same, not so much her colouring and waviness of fur.
One day, I looked deeply into her warm brown eyes and said, "Argus? Is that really you in there somewhere, Argus?" Tigi merely gave me a look that almost said, "Are you mad? For gnawing's sake, whom are you talking to?"
So much for clairvoyance and astral travelling. Sigh.
Whatever the case, at least Tigi appreciated my boiling her meaty bones with rice, which supplemented her premium dry dogfood diet every evening.
The mute swans like to hiss loudly at her -- in case she wants to get too close.
And so it came to be that I buried my sorrows in a spate of cake baking. And eating, of course. Here's another recipe I adapted from Rohani Jelani's (she's a chef and cooking teacher in Kuala Lumpur):
Rustic Pear & Berry Cake
5 or 6 tbs raw sugar (depending on how sweet your tooth is)
50ml buttermilk or yoghurt
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
one big ripe pear, sliced about 1.5x1cm and 3mm thick
1/2 cup thawed raspberries, blackberries, etc
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Cream butter with sugar till fluffy. Add egg, mixing well before the next one. Add buttermilk or yoghurt and stir.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and soda and salt. Mix this gently into the butter mixture. Add the fruit. Do not overmix.
Line a deep longish loaf pan with baking paper. Scoop in the cake batter. Smooth down the surface. Bake for around 35 minutes (till a small clean and dry knife inserted into the middle comes out 'clean'). Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before placing cake on wire rack.
Eating it while it's still warm is heavenly. The next day, cut a slice and heat on low in the microwave for 13 seconds.