This post was going to be entitled simply 'lately', but it kept reminding me of the song by David Gray. The chorus goes:
"Honey, lately I've been way down,
A load on my mind."
So the title is only partially apt. "A load on my mind"... yeah, you can say that again.
But I haven't been way down, not at all. The past few months have been chaotic, but I've been undoubtedly happy. Even though I haven't had much time to cook I wanted to write a bit of an update on the little foodie things that have been going on. I expected this post to be rather mundane, but in the process of choosing all the photos so many memories and moments have come back, and I actually think this post, despite a major lack of cooking, will be one of my favourites.
My mum and I had a quiet weekend lunch at Suzette - an adorable crêperie nearby. I had plenty of work, but we had to wait until a particular time and that made us slow down. Each savoured bite was interspersed by deep, engaging conversation and the place was quiet except for cute background music. We actually sat for a bit, just chatting, before we decided to go for it and order the blueberry panna cotta that had been tempting us. It was creamy, perfectly sweet, and it has set my panna cotta - and lunchtime - standards high.
I've read a lot about shashukha (a North African dish of eggs poached in a rich, flavourful tomato sauce) and it's high on the list of things I want to make. I didn't have enough time to make the real thing, but one day before an unusually early start at school I tried whipping up a simpler version. It certainly doesn't look as appetising as a traditional shashukha, but it was aromatic (my mum and sister were rather intrigued), warm and it was definitely what I needed that morning.
I'm still a coffee person (I never, ever thought I would be... late-night art sessions drove me to start drinking it, and now I'm one of those 'morning cuppa' people) but I do like certain teas. The Indian masala tea is divine, I'm very intrigued by floral teas, and from what I've tried of green tea it's alright... I've sort of made myself like it because it's good for you. But there are lots of fruity options out there waiting to be experimented with. My dad brought back some Sri Lankan tea and I particularly liked some of the honey-coloured, light ones and the gentle green teas. What topped it for me were the little labels, the rough string and the triangular cloth pouches <3
I can't rave enough about the fruit we get here... one weekend we just had so many, and I was feeling nostalgic about our trip to Cambodia and my daily fruit platter breakfasts. It wasn't the same, but nonetheless refreshing... and loads of fun to eat.
My mum packs a healthy, filling lunch for me every day (I dare my teachers to try and get me to absorb even one word if I haven't had a proper lunch), and she adds such lovely little touches. She'll put strawberries with kiwi because to me they're like chocolate and vanilla, or she'll put in a tub of mishti doi (a creamy bengali sweet yoghurt that's irresistible... Danone has ingeniously started packaging it like regular fruit yoghurts. The only downside is that I eat it way more often than I normally would... but I can't pass it up). One of my favourites is her speculaas parfait creation: a crumbled speculaas cookie, topped with plain yoghurt and a dollop of peach jam. It all infuses and it's the absolute best pick-me-up.
I asked Tarini what she wanted me to cook her for her birthday, and I was prepared to make anything. I had done croissants for my mum, a cake for my dad and frantic poffertjes for myself. But Tarini is a simple eater and, if you know what she likes, easy to please. She asked me for hash browns to go with easy scrambled eggs, canned baked beans and a carton of juice. Frying the hash browns was a tad messy... I gave 'hash' a new meaning... but she seemed satisfied :) Her simple pleasures rub off on us, because we all spent the morning bonding over building a giant Lego set together and sipping my dad's cappuccinos.
So many amazing restaurants keep popping up around Bombay. A lot of it is shifting to areas like Bandra, and people say my area will essentially become the quaint, historic 'old town'. I'm not complaining. I truly love my part of town, and we still get a huge number of new places each year - with the added advantage of more space and relatively more tranquility. The Sassy Spoon is minutes from my house and is unbelievably charming. The decor is gorgeous and quirky, the food is creative and fresh, and the last time we went they had a Christmas bazaar going on in their gardens with all the latest from Bombay's flourishing fashion design world. The photo above shows nothing of the ambience or the fun drinks, but the colours happened to catch my eye :P
Aside from 'real' cooking, I keep up my usual experimentation. I throw random ingredients into my oatmeal, cereal or yoghurt, try different toppings on my toast, mix up a new drink, or make something with bits and bobs, like the dessert above with bits of cake, yoghurt and jam.
One day my sister and my dad were busy, but my mum and I attended a bread making workshop. We figured it would help, considering our bad luck so far. We didn't actually get to make much - the dough was prepared, and they baked it. We essentially watched a presentation, kneaded the dough around a bit, and snacked on crackers, hummus and cappuccinos. I can't say we left as enlightened bread makers, but we did enjoy mingling and unwinding. The bread (cherry-apricot, raisin-hazelnut, and olive) was delicious and I ate it in every possible way:
... a box of stale (probably re-gifted) Belgian chocolates melted perfectly for us to dip the bread in...
... dollops of real jam...
... with strawberries, peanut butter and nutella...
... and I made the last two chunks into french toast :)
Near Christmas I made a banoffee pie - the recipe was really easy, and everything went perfectly. I was holding the fridge open, rearranging to make space, and holding the pie in my other hand, and I heard a splat as a part of the top layer spilled because I wasn't paying attention to it tilting and tilting. It worked out, though - we ate it while watching The Santa Clause, and it tasted incredible. The photos were taken in the evening, so they didn't do the pie justice, but condensed milk pouring onto a buttery walnut-biscuit base is pretty yum too.
These are kind of cheating, because they're from a box of pumpkin spice doughnut mix sent over via my dad by my aunt in Boston. It was like a little package of their pretty autumn. It wasn't your usual box mix because it was whole wheat and all natural, so I didn't mind ;) I turned them into muffins in the absence of a doughnut pan, and I was thrilled... the dripping maple glaze on top was, quite literally, the icing on the cake. I rolled my eyes at my dad adding more icing to his muffin, but yeah. He was right. These need a generous heap of icing, and I didn't regret it.
Being at my grandparents' house at any time of year means lots of homemade food and sweets and cookies and whatnot. This was further compounded by us being there at Christmas and New Year's, and the fact that my grandmother is an avid Dutch baker. I tried my first mince pies (above), had fresh oliebollen and appelflappen (Dutch New Year's traditions), gevulde speculaas, cookies, namkeen and cake... just to name a few. Bad for your waistline, great for your happiness.
Contrasting all that butter and sugar is my grandmother's herb and vegetable garden from which we collected fresh cherry tomatoes, parsley, basil and oregano. Among several other things growing were pumpkins, which I'm excited to see. I love this photo for so many reasons. Tarini's hand - on the left - is almost as big as mine, reminding me how she's not so literally my little sister anymore. The colours are vibrant, I can just smell the herbs and remember plucking them. It's always so interesting to go and see a plant - it connects you to your food in a different way and brings out your often stifled curiosity. And the little nose and ear peeking out on the right - the golden eyes are unfortunately hidden - belong to their dog Leela. I love her feistiness and energy, and she perfectly juxtaposes Naveen with his sweet, wimpy nature and melting chocolate eyes.
I had my first taste of chana jor: a street food special of roasted raw chickpeas (with the skin on) mixed with fresh onion, tomato, coriander, spices, a few sweet crunchy things, all culminating in one of the most delightful snacks I've tasted. The man preparing it could give the masterchef contestants a run for their money in onion chopping, and the whole process of putting it together is so fascinating. Little things in my tastes are changing... spicy street food, turmeric in my popcorn, and the newly realised ability to eat green kurkure without burning my tongue. I'm evolving with Bombay :)
I was lured back to get chana jor again, and I discovered 'ragi khakhara' at the supermarket both on the same day. Ragi is rye, and khakhara is traditionally a gujarati snack made of crispy paratha and comes in every possible flavour (even chinese schezwan, dosa and pizza). My family likes it, but I've never been hooked. But ragi khakhara? Oh yes. I love it. For all its fried food, Bombay is rather health-conscious, and increasingly so. Bombay is evolving along with me, too :)
From a recent trip to Copenhagen my dad brought rokkebrood (I only know the Dutch name), a dark, dense, slightly bitter bread laden with whole grains and seeds. No one in my family likes it, so more for me ;) I've had it every day for breakfast along with the pungent cheeses he brought, the artisan pineapple-mango jam (brilliant combination) I brought from our school trip to Pondicherry, nutella, butter, peanut butter, honey... you name it. It didn't even last a week. But I'm not disappointed, it's just given me something interesting to try and cook.
There was a massive food festival this weekend at the Nehru Centre, with each floor filled with stalls of food galore. We relished in all the different tidbits, and we especially enjoyed the organic farmer's market and stalls. It really showcased Bombay, from new French bakeries to masala burgers, perfect papad and Belgian fries, spectacular ice cream and organic flax seeds...
Today I'm feeling especially blessed. Well, call it what you will, as someone constantly debating faith I'm never sure quite what name to give it. Regardless of what it's called, it's an extraordinary feeling. Very, very few people are surrounded by such beautiful individuals, hear such warming words, are given such exciting opportunities and are made to feel, each and every day, that they love life.
Grießkoch, griesmeelpap, mannagrynsgröt, blåbärsgröt, klappgrö, mannavaht, basbosa, semolina pudding, suji halwa, helva, basbousa, pizza dough, pasta...
All the words above are the names of various different dishes from around the world that use semolina- and there are dozens more.
I read about this porridge on What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today- a gorgeous and upcoming blog- and it seemed like the perfect warm, quick and healthy breakfast. What's more, it said that the porridge tastes great topped with fresh jam, and my mum had just made a pot of cherry compote.
When I told my dad about the dish he instantly knew what I was talking about: "Oh yeah, that's griesmeel." he said nonchalantly. He proceeded to describe the way in which it's cooked, how it looks, how he enjoyed it, and the ways in which it sells in Dutch supermarkets today.
Apparently he, too, has grown up having semolina porridge, and he told me about a lovely Dutch version: the semolina s cooked with sweetened milk and chilled in a cup. When you tip it out, it emerges like a dome of jelly, and it's topped with hot jam, stewed fruit or hot syrup. It sounded so tempting, but for the time being I've tried the reverse- hot pudding with a cold topping- as it seemed more fitting for damp, chilly mornings. However I'll be sure to post about the other version once I try it.
I'm so intrigued by semolina now- until a couple of days ago it was just the coarse stuff that we used in pizza and pasta dough, but now I'm dying to try out all the different dishes out there. I never realised one could make halwa (an outstanding, fluffy Indian sweet dish) from semolina, and considering it's loved by my family it's definitely on my list of things to make this summer.
One last banana bread...
Looking over my blog the other day I realised 2 things:
Firstly, that I have barely cooked anything savoury in ages. I mean, I know I have a total sweet tooth and bias towards baking, but part of my aim in starting this blog was learning a wide range of cooking skills.
Secondly, there is a total excess of posts on banana breads, muffins, banana muffins and the like. My family is particularly fond of banana bread and muffins, and it's an insanely fast way to use up mushy bananas (which, thanks to the balmy Mumbai weather, we have all too frequently).
I promise not to write about bananas for a long time. So in keeping with my promise, the banana bread will form just a part of this post. I asked my dad if we could 'speculaasify' the banana bread, since my last attempt failed. I've already proclaimed my love for speculaas, so I don't need to gush about that either.
My dad says (and I maybe agree) that it turned out pretty 'gingery', but I put exactly how much the recipe called for, gingerbread is a known thing, and if it was really so bad, my dad wouldn't be eating it so often.
As for the shahi paneer, it's a really simple and healthy cottage cheese dish and I fell in love with it when I first tried it a few years ago. I get really excited when my mum makes it and I wanted to try it myself. The ingredients are simple, and the Indian spices used don't tend to go off too quickly, so you can keep them for your next dish if you don't cook Indian too often. If you're in an Indian household, you'll obviously have everything at hand.
Methi (fenugreek) is a slightly bitter leaf, so it's not necessarily to everyone's taste. But don't let that deter you from buying some and trying it- even if you don't like it, you can use the leftover leaves for some methi parathas (something i have yet to try making, but it's not hard and there are dozens of recipes online).
On a BBC Food Programme the other day, one man from Bristol talked abut his '60s awakening to vegetarianism and Indian food being his connection, as vegetarian English food is practically nonexistent. He made a simple masoor daal, a dish that forms the basis of most of Indian cuisine and that sustains the majority of the population. (I'll write more about the programme in another post)
The beauty of Indian cuisine is the way it can be transformed into a myriad variations, and how inherently nutritious and balanced it is. Protein from lentils, pulses, yoghurt or cottage cheese, carbohydrates from rice or bread (chapatis, rotis, parathas, naans), there's always at least one vegetable dish and it's all homemade and natural.
I'm noticing now that this post covers the two sides of my blood: Dutch and Indian, and I'm equally passionate about the two cuisines.
Whichever country (or countries) you're from, wherever you live, take some time to explore a new kind of food. Take an old favourite (like banana bread, or baby potatoes) and give it a new and international twist.
One of the great things about living in Bombay is the way anything (and I mean anything) can make its way to your doorstep with just a phonecall.
The downside (and amusement) comes in when you open the door and see that something is not quite what you ordered: Nutella instead of Nutrela; ladyfinger instead of beans; soap instead of flour, or the likes.
A while ago we received a kilo of oatmeal. So we tried to make some stuff to use it up: I made muesli one evening, but it barely used a fraction of the jar, I tried (and failed) and some flapjacks, and then my mum and I made the cupcakes.
On a side note, I haven't posted in ages because I've been in the middle of my 10th grade IGCSEs, and much to my dismay, studying obviously takes priority (but now I'm almost done!).
One afternoon I just had my maths exam the next day and I felt like being in the kitchen, so I decided to finally give muesli a go. There are infinite granola and muesli recipes out there, but I just based this on some I've tried at my grandma's and at a few hotels. I think I'm the only person in my class who goes 'yummm' at the sight of über-healthy, seed and nut loaded, oaty muesli and cringes at the thought of fruit loops and lucky charms.
After my friend fell in love with speculaas (slather some bread with butter, add a couple of cookies and let it soften overnight... heaven), I tried using an oat flapjack recipe and then speculassifying them by adding the necessary spices. The problem was, I looked at two recipes and couldn't decide, so I kind of winged it, leaving me with a pan of flaky, burnt, barely spicy oats.
Yeah.Plus I had forgotten that speculaas cookies need ginger, so they went without. I like to think that burning them was a sign that they just weren't meant to be ;)
On the bright side, I discovered how delicious melted butter and honey taste together and I had that on a some toast with cinnamon the next morning.
Lastly my mum and I made some honey-oat cupcakes. They're more like muffins, because we really reduced the sweetness by using less honey. They're very oaty and solid, but light and fun to have warmed and topped with butter, jam, honey, or cheese. Essentially, they taste like honey oatmeal- just cuter.
And after all this? We've still got about half a kilo of oats left.
Got any oatmeal recipes, anyone?
This weekend I was almost going to let my cooking be, and plan to do double cooking the next week to make up for it.
But I didn't want to fall into a bad habit, so I tried to think of something super quick.
I was about to make some pie dough, when my mum reminded me that I had a disc still in the freezer from the last tart (a surprise special post that's coming).
The filling is foolproof... it really doesn't take a genius to put these three things together. I had had them in a grilled sandwich before (melty, gooey, warm heaven), so why not in a tart?
The delight of this tart is its tiny size. A smidge of dough, a couple of speculaas biscuits, the remainder of my little jar of almond butter, and some chocolate shavings in the fridge left over from my sister's oreo parfaits.
And what tops it off, is how it's gone in a few minutes. Divided into four it gives each person a cute teatime snack to enjoy... no gargantuan dessert calling out from the fridge every. single. day. for a week.
I also whipped up a nutella mug cake on Saturday for breakfast.
I was so bored of normal eggs, but I knew that I'd need something filling, since I was going out all day. (How I wish muffins and cereal and chocolate toasts filled me up...)
So nutella with an egg snuck in? Yes please.
It was fluffy, light and satisfying. I figured our microwave is pretty strong, so that's why most of my mug cakes have come out so chewy before. I put this in for 30 seconds less than advised, and it was exactly how it should have been. Imagine if I did it for even less: gooey nutella :)
Enjoy your week (and some chocolate.)
I put cooking in inverted commas, because everything was already made. But nonetheless satisfying.
Mumbaikars and Delhi-ites don't usually mix-- each city thinks of the other as stuck up in its own way, Bombay appears to be too chaotic and Bollywood-ised and Delhi is seen as dull and old-fashioned. In the wake of that horrid incident with a young college girl in Delhi, the city has gotten a bad rap, and understandably so.
But it's in fact a huge hub for fashion, design, food and art, andI have the most fantastic memories of the city, especially since I've been there every year to visit my grandparents.
However my tastes have matured, and although I am still in love with the old fried snacks, 'paneer tikkas' and punjabi meals, I have recently discovered all the city has to offer as it becomes more and more cosmopolitan and I become more adventurous.
In my previous post, I mentioned some of the restaurants I went to in Delhi, and this post is meant to give you more of an idea of what's beneath Delhi's sandy surface:
The Café Turtle
This cafe is just gorgeous, what with its mellow yet colourful interior, its huge range of food, the breezy balcony and to top it off, a bookstore downstairs.
The Café Turtle provides a myriad beautiful baked goods-- we had a lemon cheesecake and some carrot-walnut cake-- as well as salads, soups, sandwiches, smoothies, plenty of coffee and more. It's rarely empty, but never loud; the ambience seems to inspire a sense of hush and relaxation to appreciate the good food, the decor and the moment.
Their bookstore, Full Circle, isn't huge but it's well-stocked with loads of cookery books, design, music, art, history, fiction, old, new, children's, bestsellers, you name it. A cute touch is the little handwritten notes they tag on bookshelves with a recommendation- usually a less-known book. But go there with some time-- it's easy to spend hours there...
Click here for more information.
South Extension Chaat Shop
I don't really know what this place is called, but it's famous; just ask anyone in South Extension and they'll point you in the right direction (why not do some shopping while you're navigating the area?). They're always packed, but they have a huge turnover, so it won't take you long to get a table. For Mumbaikars, this place is kind of like Swati, except that in addition, they make insane 'mithai' (Indian sweets). I had a delicious chaat with 'dahi vada' in the poori and potato dish, which was something new and intriguing. I already wrote about the waiter who decided to adopt my sister and appoint himself the role of enlightening her on the wonders of chaat, and all the staff are super efficient and nice. If you want an even quicker stop, there's an outdoor counter with paani poori, kheer, sweets and more snacks. I'm sure you can spare half an hour... it's totally worth it.
The Bagels Café
This relatively new cafe has been all the news in Delhi, in Vogue and in Holland too-- a Dutch lady started this cafe, and broke even in just 6 months. Now there are more branches all over the city and it's insanely popular. She initially wanted to keep it authentic and refused to add any Indianised bagels, but she soon succumbed and now alongside the burger bagels, dutch 'stroopwafels' (delightful syrupy, waffly cookies), coffee and cookies there are cottage cheese and masala bagels. The cafe also serves things like pasta, salads with bagel chips, some baked goods and dutch pancakes.
It's cute, but it doesn't have the same ambience as the Café Turtle-- it's more fast-foody. We sat and had some coffee (and I treated myself to a Christmas cake pop :) ) and packed some bagel sandwiches along for a picnic in the stunning, sprawling and ancient Lodi Gardens.
The Bagels Cafe website
Hauz Khas Village
This area is a recent discovery for me, as I hadn't been there since I was really little... but I just loved it. It's chock-full of boutiques, cafes, restaurants and antique stores. We saw beautiful leather trunks at Nappa Dori, a shop selling ancient decor and furniture that I wanted to buy there and then and store away to put in my cafe, a shop that made amazing upcycled things, and so, so much more. We paused at a tiny place- not more than a large cupboard with a counter and some chairs and tables outside- for a bite to eat. A young east-asian girl ran it, and had to make quite a maneuver to turn round, reach into the display case and access the microwave. She sold very tempting baked treats like cookies and cake (I had a cherry, chocolate and walnut cake), crackers, dips, bread and things like Kerstollen (a Dutch Christmas cake-- although my dad calls it a bread when he wants to feel better about himself having it). On the way out, I was drawn into the siren-call of a small Italian gelato trolley, which said that the gelato is made by Italians fresh each morning. I tried an almond gelato and a swiss chocolate one, and contrary to my usual tastes, I went with the almond one; it was creamy, subtle and much to my nostalgic delight, tasted just like the almond cookies we had in France. The whole place just had me dying to finally start my own cafe, or design and make stunning things. It was perfect weather, full of culture and a lovely way to spend your day.
The Delhi Gymkhana
Last but not least, a childhood favourite of myself and my sister, our mum, and our granddad, who first swam there when he was 14. India's gymkhanas are huge, gorgeous colonial clubs with vast fields, old courts and pools and yummy food. The Delhi Gymkhana is much more uppity than the Bombay one, and children aren't allowed in most places (although I manage to sneak through ;). But I can forgive them for that, because they have brought years of happiness of fresh lime soda, paneer tikka, ice cream, freshly baked bread, pasta and more. This time we didn't actually get the chance to go and hang out there, but we had massive party for the 50th wedding anniversary of my grandparents. All the family and friends were there- some known to me, most not- and there was a long array of food to try: fish tikkas, mustard leaf cream, minestrone, clay-baked parathas and rotis, kulfi and cake (lots and lots of it... my cousin and my sister and I had fun secretly eating the chocolate on top). I'm not going to try and explain all these dishes to those of you who are not familiar with Indian food- I won't do them justice. If you're intrigued, which I hope you are, please do google them, contact me or go straight to an Indian restaurant or friend's house and dig in :)
I've been meaning to do a New Year's post, and I figured I should just sit down an write it, otherwise before you know it, *POOF* it's 2014...
It feels like that's what happened in 2012, and 2011, and 2010, and every year before that, except that as each year goes by they get faster and faster.
Forgive me for questioning the laws of nature, but doesn't that seem kind of stupid, since as we get older we are less and less obsessed with being a year older and more conscious of the fact that moments are precious and that they won't last forever.
I wish I could say that I made something absolutely incredible for our New Year's dinner, but my dish was essentially a bunch of stir-fried vegetables and some homemade fries. It was alright, but nothing recipe-worthy.
The stars of the meal were my mum's mushroom and spinach pie, the pea and spaghetti soup and the 'oliebollen'.
Oliebollen (Dutch for 'Oil balls') are a traditional Dutch New Year's dessert-- kind of like warm doughnut holes with powdered sugar on top and wintery things like raisins and apples inside.
My mum and dad made them, and they were scrumptious... pillowy and warm and sweet and so delicate...
I had, as expected, delicious food during my week in Delhi, including a picnic with bagel burgers from the popular Bagels Café, and chaat (read about chaat here) at a place where the super sweet but incredulous waiter did everything he possibly could to try and get my sister to add SOMETHING to her dry chaat, so that she can experience at least some of its taste-tingling possibilities.
Of course I came back more than a few kilos heavier, but my only reassurance is that I'm not alone: people all over the world have spent the past couple of weeks enjoying Christmas feasts and indulging in their favourite holidays treats. My grandpa told us this rhyme: (translated; and BTW Halwa is a sweet, fluffy dessert and Pooris are deep-fried, cripy breads)
You'll go to Nani's house,
Eat Halwa and Pooris,
And come back fat
Couldn't have said it better myself.
My grandparents' helper makes so. much. food. And the worst part? It's lovely: puddings and cakes and 'parathas' fried to a crisp in ghee and oil...
I've kind of given up on New Year's resolutions, because I rarely follow any of them.
But this year's resolutions were actually significant, because if it wasn't for them Chocolate Tulip wouldn't exist: for 2012 I made a resolution to cook one new thing each week, and it's the only resolution I stuck with. One new thing a week led to something new each day in the summer, and the starting of Chocolate Tulip.
So eat up, enjoy, and don't doubt your resolutions just yet...
P.S. I learnt some new recipes, including curries and sweets, so those will be coming soon.
Yum, yum, triple yum...
Having spent most of my childhood in Amsterdam, I've grown up eating speculaas and pepernoten all the time.
But let me take a step back and explain:
You may know speculaas as 'windmill cookies', or maybe you've never heard of them. They're delicious spiced cookies, traditionally made around Christmas, but now people have them all year round. They come with almonds, in gooey cake form (gevulde speculaas) and in little bite-sized cookies (pepernoten).
I stumbled upon the blog from which I got the recipe while I was looking at Lottie & Doof's list of blogs they follow. I was immediately intrigued by the name: "Everybody likes Sandwiches", because sandwiches are one of my favourites.
I almost gasped when I saw a recipe for speculaas muffins-- what could be a better combination?
I miss speculaas cookies and something about putting their flavour into muffins seemed so fun and beautiful.
These muffins came out warm, crumbly and speculaas-y...
The cookies are obviously different, but I'm planning to make them one of these days anyway. They have such a unique flavour-- different to the same old muffins and so pleasing.
Everyone in my family enjoyed one: I grabbed one fresh out of the oven at lunch, my mum nibbled hers with her tea, my dad sunk his teeth into one after a horrendously long day- before dashing off again, and my sister munched hers for dessert.