They say that when it rains, it floods. October has been a month with lots of celebrations and hallmarks and for every joy, there has been a celebration cake. Chef Lij had a birthday, as well as my brother, late Aunt, cousin, loads of friends and my paternal grandmother and twin granny. We even got married in October. In fact, tomorrow is our second wedding anniversary. Yes, October is a very special month for us indeed.
This October, I pulled off a surprise party for Chef Lij and managed to get friends together from as far as Abu Dhabi and Sharjah to celebrate with him the first time he would be home, and not on the pass. I decided to start a tradition, that no special occasion must go unnoticed. Life is too short to wait for next year.
This week I also discovered that my grandmother’s cancer, which went for a hike after having been cut out with surgery, zapped with radiation and poisoned with chemotherapy, has returned. It has also spread to both her lungs. She is in good spirits and I chatted her up for two hours on a long distance call to Connecticut. I will worry about that bill later. I decided to live in the moment. That moment was a birthday after an unpredictable, long, and rough year. We know not what the future brings, but we have today. It was easy to sink into despair and to be mad, but I chose to sugar coat my way to the liver lining. I decided to bake my final cake for my Wilton course in her honour.
It seems as if the two-week intensive course by Dima Sharif has opened a new creative expression for me.Clearly, the Dubai doyenne of baking & cookery has made a huge an impression on me. There is something about baking. It just gets under your skin. As an artist, it is a most welcomed joy to find new ways of expressing what cannot be articulated in words. Sometimes, no matter how crafty we get with them, they simply do not suffice. So much so, that on the heels of completing the baking course, I jumped into the Wilton Cake Decorating Basics at Tavola, which offers Wilton courses in all GCC countries.
As my grandmother, the former art and craft teacher made me dresses, taught me how to get the nose right in my portraits, and allowed me to took into her kitchen first, I am baking her a cake. She likes blue and earthy colours and I tried to find a way to bring those two together on a cake. I had already made a blue cake for Chef Lij’s birthday so I decided on purple, which is made of blue. I used a beige colour for the icing but mixed it with a little gold to give it some life. I mixed colours the way my granny mixed paint for her paintings. She also told me she had also learnt cake decoration and had even baked and iced a wedding cake once. I guess no matter how the lady doth protest, the chip never falls too far from the block.
So, Grandma Olga, Sis Lyn, and Twin Granny Aunty Madge, Happy Birthday. I will always remember this day and this cake because you gave me yet another reason to find it meaningful.
Who gives gifts on a day we should be receiving? We do! We have been very blessed as a couple and we want to share the love we have for each other with you. Cooking has brought us together. Food is our passion and our common ground. Our love for the kitchen seasons our marriage and friendship because we do it together. We also want you to season your life with love. Of all the spices, herbs, sauces and seasonings, nothing is more important to bring out flavour than salt. Salt is the essence of the earth. Love is the essence of the earth. May your love, life and food always be full of flavour. So… we are giving away the cutest and most functional ever kitchen item- An Emile Henry of France Salt Cellar (known as a ‘Salt Pig’). In Scottish and Northern English Scottish dialects, “pig” refers to earthenware jar, or pot or holding vessel. This is also where the term “Piggy Bank” comes from.
Why A Salt Cellar?
- It allows you to cook without having to search for salt and to pinch as little or grab as much as you need in one go.
- Un-glazed ceramic interior keeps salt from clumping in steamy kitchens or humid climates and humidity is a huge issue in the Middle Eastern Gulf Countries
- The Steward thinks they are cute.
How to enter:
- Follow Chef and Steward on on Facebook and come back and leave a comment that you did
- Follow @ChefandSteward on Twitter and come back and leave a comment that you did
- Subscribe to Chef and Steward by email (via the “Subsribe To Us” link on the upper right column and come back and leave a comment stating you did so)
- Tweet the following and come back and leave the following comment : I entered to win an Emile Henry of France Salt Cellar via@chefandsteward http://wp.me/p1hpg2-nT #Giveaway
- Leave a comment on this post on our Facebook and get your friends to like it.