17 april 2015
A bad Hair Day
I had an embarrassing incident today. I got up late, remembered that I had a meeting, got dressed at lighting speed (I was ready within ten minutes) and I left to catch the train. Luckily, I arrived just in time, and I was happy when I saw the train arrive at the station. As I stood there, happily waiting, just before the doors opened, I was “awarded” the opportunity of seeing my reflection. Boy, did I get a fright. I knew that I hadn’t done my hair, but I wasn’t concerned since I’d blow dried it yesterday, and what could possibly go wrong during the night? But after seeing my reflection, I realized that my hair was in a terrible state. I couldn’t work out how it had happened, but, a large portion of my hair was standing, simply standing on edge as if it had a life of its own.
Now, imagine me on the train, trying to rearrange my hair without anybody noticing…I tried to flatten my hair with almost anything possible. I leaned on the pole for a few minutes – it didn’t help. I pulled and stretched it hard without anybody noticing…that too, didn’t help. In short…I arrived at the office and waited for the client…Naturally no one remained indifferent and asked me if I’d driven in with the window open…in a nutshell, today was a bad hair day.
I went into the bathroom, wet my hair, and my blow dry was ruined. I went home like a wet dog on a raining day.
I felt bad, so I tried to think of something that would comfort me, something that always comforts me. Food! Of course. But there is something that always did the trick; that always lifts my mood. Caramel toffee. Whenever anything embarrassing or sad happened to me, my consolation was to go down to the local store across the road from our home. I’d get myself a packet of toffees and eat them until I was senseless. I was happy and my dentist was even happier .
Thinking of the unpleasant experience I had, I remembered that a packet of toffee always improved my mood.
The Alcohol of Children…
A wonderful holiday that I loved as a child was the annual fancy dress day. One year, my parents decided to dress me up as a…tiger.
What the heck were they thinking?
Every year I liked my costume, and all of a sudden….a tiger…
Parents: Children DO NOT like dressing up as tigers! THEY DO NOT LIKE IT.
Every year I had a great costume; a queen, a princess, the moon, a queen…a tiger??!!
Mom, what were you thinking? Dressing me in a costume that must have been past down from one sweaty cousin to another?
Back then, children were simply not asked questions, and they got whatever was available. I had no problem with dressing up year after year as the same princess. The princess costume was already torn in a few places, but I didn’t care. I so loved dressing up as a princess, but dressing up as a tiger was a great disappointment, not to mention traumatic for an unfortunate girl like me.
The day before the holiday, I saw the costume. Horrified, I begged my parents to change costumes, to try to squeeze myself into the princess costume from kindergarten, even though it was torn. It didn’t help. My parents were sure that the tiger costume was perfect for me. I would have dressed up as anything, a box of eggs, a trashcan, a dollar bill…anything…just not that. Nothing helped. So I tried Plan B: to get up early in the morning with a bad cough, to say I was seeing double and that my throat was dry, and that I must have the “hopping cough.” Again, nothing. They stuck my body into the wandering, passed-down costume, and flew me off to school.
Oh, what a hard day that was, I was so embarrassed. I felt really bad, I was hot, I was cold; I didn’t feel good. I remember waiting for the day to be over. On the way home, my father decided to stop at our local store. I told myself, “This was a bad day, but hey, two packets of toffees, and everything’s fine.” Very carefully, I entered the store, checking there were no customers in the candy section. The coast was clear. I jumped straight onto two packets of toffee, happiness, that’s what I told myself after such a difficult day. “That’s it, all I need to do now is to be careful on the way home,” and before I could say a word, my father said “Say cheese,” and took a picture of me in that oh-so-strange costume. I’ve included a photograph here. It’s funny that in the photo too, I look so alarmed.
On the train home, I remembered all that, and I started to smile, not only because I was thinking of the toffee I’d soon be making, but because that incident that once seemed so traumatic, I now find funny.
Salty Caramel Toffee
A song to cook to: Annie’s Song – John Denver
200 g sugar
60 ml whipping cream
60 g butter, cut into cubes
1½ tsp vanilla essence
Place the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan and heat over a low-medium heat until it turns a deep golden caramel color (if you have a sugar thermometer – it should show 170-180⁰C).
Remove the caramel from the heat and carefully add the cream, whipping until the mixture is smooth.
Return the caramel to a very low heat, add the cubes of butter, vanilla and salt and continue to cook until the mixture is completely uniform. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
Pour the mixture into a 20x25 cm baking pan, lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with coarse salt and allow to completely cool.
Cut the caramel into squared using scissors.