Week 60. Norway. Eplepai.

In six weeks I will be father to a second child. There is a horrible possibility that this child will enter the world, not in a hospital, but in my house. We went to the hospital today to be told that the trend is to have the most-part of the labour at home and then to move, later, to hospital. However, if the lady doesn’t like the idea of horrific contractions in the car then they push on and deliver at home.  I know my wife would rather be ripped open with a butter knife and have me pull the baby out than get in the car when contracting and therefore I am probably going to be faced with the carnage of a baby entering life in our house. I can’t think of anything worse.

“Oh, but it’s so natural Joe” I keep getting told. “What’s more normal than being at home and bringing a child into the world” is another comment I heard a lot of today. What are they bloody thinking?! It’s completely abnormal for a child to be born in my lounge or on my bed or in the bathroom. I can safely say that this didn’t happen once last week, last month or for as long as I have known this house……so how exactly is that normal? Everyone has lost the plot.

This is what gets said in hospitals post birth:

“Joe and Des, congratulations, you two just spend some time with your new born; we will take care of the mess. Enjoy this wonderful time”.

This is what gets said at home

“Joe you are going to have to nip off to Tesco, we are all out of Kitchen Towel and there is a hell of a mess over here on the floor and the walls which you need to sort out”.

Let me add another reason for me to think this idea is lunacy. We live on a small terraced street in which people have their bedrooms at the front of the house. On a Monday morning between 2 and 3am there is a Milk Float which delivers to number 2. It’s one of those quiet electric floats, but it wakes the entire street up. When foxes make noise on the street there are usually a few of us in the street chasing them off. We are going to have to contemplate the thought of having a baby in the middle of the night in our quiet road and it’s going to cause mayhem. My guess is there are 5 police vans outside our house with armed police in them in minutes as everyone will think I am murdering my wife, slowly carving her to pieces whilst she whimpers, occasionally screaming as I remove her fingers.

I’ll let you know how that one pans out.

Dish wise I wanted to do a dessert this week and when looking online the cake which came up most was a Norwegian Wedding cake, so I looked to the second most popular and this dish is related to one of the funniest moments in my life.

In 2009 most of my family came to New Zealand with Des and I (she is a Kiwi) to do some travelling and catch up with the in-laws. We were in Wanaka, which is a beautiful lake town in the South Island. Des went into a shop and they said to her how we had to go to a hotel called the Cardrona as it sells the best Duck Jackal Pie in the world. We were intrigued. What was Duck Jackal Pie? It sounded magical. Was it sweet, was it savoury? So we trekked off to The Cardrona and upon arriving asked the waitress if we could have some the pie. She looked at us completely confused and then suddenly a smile ripped across her face and she burst into laughter

“Oh, oh this is so funny” she said. “You don’t mean Duck Jackal Pie, you want DUTCH APPLE PIE!!”

We laughed until we were sick and then wolfed down the wonderful pie.

I’ve made many apple pies before, but I’ve not used large quantities of almond in it before and I’ve not baked it like a cake. This is very much between a cake and a pie. It rises (slightly) like a cake, it has no pastry like a cake, but it resembles a pie. It’s freaking delicious. It is relatively simple to make and I’d recommend it as a dessert with ice cream after a heavy meal – as it is sweet and light.

Recipe:

  • 5 Apples (3 for the topping and 2 for the innards)
  • 3 Tbsp Milk
  • 1 Cup Castor Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 TBSP Vanilla Essence
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/s Tsp Cinnamon
  • 3/4 Cup Plain Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Almonds
  • 2 TBSP Butter
  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade
  2. Core and skin all apples and chop 3 delicately in paper slices for the topping
  3. Mix all the ingredients apart from the apples for the topping and pour into a greased 7 inch cake dish
  4. Add the topping apples, spreading them from the outside in
  5. Bake for 30 mins
  6. Brush the butter (melted) onto the top
  7. Bake for a further 30 mins.

Done. Here is the Cardrona hotel

 

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