Saturday 14 February 2009

In which: old man - weak bladder - heart tart

Rouen has a large island in the middle of the Seine, and the island has a magnificent swimming centre. It has a 25m pool indoors and a heated, floodlight, olympic-sized pool outside. Given the general lack of temperature at the moment, the outdoor pool steams and you cannot see the other end through the mist. I went the other day when it was snowing and visibility was about 3m. This was quite gripping given the lack of lanes.

Now, I've always had a slight issue with chlorine messing up the oculars. Too cool to wear goggles, I used to suffer it out at prep school for the weekly swim. The problem was, in the Winter, we used to have swimming on a Wednesday which was also the day of my piano lesson. I would go straight from the pool to Mrs Burton in Cheam and find myself unable to read my music and as a consequence played all the wrong notes. This she took as an indicator of insufficient practice and proved a regular source of tears.

Today, leaving the pool, I was trotting back to the bus stop when I saw an old man, right in the middle of the pavement next to the Animal Shelter, pissing quite openly against a tree. I know the French are rather matter-of-fact about these things but I was a tad surprised. As I drew closer, I noticed through my chlorine cataracts that he was, in fact, not taking the world's most public piss but tying his wee dog to the aforementioned tree and rather struggling to fasten the clip.

But as I got really quite adjacent to him, focus shifted once again and it turned out my first spot had been correct. The dog was simply waiting patiently while his master whipped out his shlanger and hosed down the silver birch.

I also made a strawberry and lemon heart tart for ye olde family inspired by the date and the fact I had the remnants of some puff pastry I made the other day. I usually say my photos are bad but this one takes the biscuit. I should at least have turned on the main light in the kitchen. It was very easy to make: puff pastry base cut out in a heartish shape with a puff pastry border, blind baked after a good pricking to prevent it rising too much, lined with a simple lemon curd and dressed with thinly sliced strawberries. A very quick job given the pastry was already made.

I rolled the puff pastry out in sugar rather than flour and flipped it before cooking so that it was slightly caramelized. Didn't have anything to use as a glaze and I prob should have egged the case once blind-baked to keep the juices in. I fear it will be very soggy by the time we come to eat it in the morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment