I often wander to myself if I am destined to repeat some mistakes over and over again. I have always loved that quote by Anne of Green Gables “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” Sometimes, that little saying is quite reassuring when you go to bed after a day that has been nothing short of a disaster. Eventually I will find myself remembering the saying as I do something that I have told myself on repeated occasions never to do again.
Take Super Glue. I have never successfully mastered the art of using the vile stuff. I completely forgot about that one fact though when I decided to repair one of my gum boots. I love my gum boots. They are big, sturdy and built for farm work or for a flood. They were in one of the first things I bought after purchasing my very own home. I don’t know why, but I wanted a pair of gum-boots. You see I was a home and land owner now and I thought if I got some chooks or there was really bad weather that they might come in handy. It might have made more sense if I had of worried about a mop or some toilet paper. But I felt the gum boots were a priority.
It was early November and I suspect we might have been in the middle of a drought. I could not find my gum boots in the hardware at first, they were hidden away on a shelf in the back corner of the shop. I proudly took them to the counter and I can vividly remember the staff member looking at me in an amused fashion. As she rang them up she asked me if I was expecting a lot of rain. When I got them home and realised how big and heavy they were I may well have acknowledged in my head that they did seem to be a strange purchase. But now I love my gum-boots, after a few months of morning walking and destroying a pair of sneakers with morning dew and of being warned about snakes, the three of us now all wear our gum boots. I am also happy to note that it has rained often since my purchase. Was I expecting a lot of rain indeed.
Recently one of my gum boots has developed a crack in it. I could always go and buy another pair but I don’t want to. These have a story and they are my gum boots. So I have tried taping the boot with some sort of stretchy tape and with masking tape but the tape always end up falling off. I found some super glue and thought I could tape some masking tape on top of the crack. Perfect! However, I had forgotten how useless I am with super glue. Within 30 seconds, my fingers were sticking to the masking tape, I licked my fingers and found my tongue then sticking to my teeth and another 30 seconds later I had that dried crusty super glue effect on my finger tips, on my tongue and my teeth. I threw out the tube in disgust and gave up. The next morning I was amazed to see that most of my crack in my boot had hardened over. I almost had, it without even trying. So I decided to give super glue another go. This time I was going to be prepared. I took the boot outside, sat it on top of the BBQ lid. I had a disposable metal skewer I could spread the glue with. I had a little patch of sturdy material to glue onto the crack. I would not let my hands touch the stuff and my mouth was closed for the duration of the exercise.
Amazingly it seemed to work. I put on the super glue. I spread it with the skewer. I put more on as everything was going swimmingly. The material patch was not going to work though as it kept on sliding off. However it seemed the crack was filled with super glue and I again had a waterproof boot. When I came out to check on the boot an hour or so later, it appeared I had overlooked one thing. The boot was now super glued to my BBQ. Good one Lara I thought. Destined to repeat mistakes over and over again.
I have been hankering after cherry pies ever since I watched Twin Peaks about 25 years ago. I am also on the search for Christmassy type recipes. This was lovely. The pastry was perfect and the filling was spot on. Initially I did not think the filling was sweet enough, but after a second and third taste I really liked the slightly tart filling and decided to leave the recipe as is. These little pies more than made up for the fact that later, I had to go and cut my boot off the BBQ lid.
Makes 8 Mini Pies
Olive Oil Pastry
The key to this pastry is keep everything cold. If once you start rolling it out and it gets warm and stretchy put it back in the fridge for 20 minutes. When cold it is really easy to work with. Even make it and put it in fridge overnight if you are organised enough.
About an hour before beginning the recipe, place the olive oil in a plastic container and place it in the freezer. Freeze until congealed.
I use a kitchen whizz when making the pastry. I find it is fast and easy and also keeps everthing coo.
2 ½ cups plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup olive oil – partially frozen, see above
4 – 8 tablespoons iced water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
In your kitchen whizz, place the flour and whizz in the olive oil until mixture resembles bread crumbs. In a cup mix together 4 tablespoons of the water with apple cider vinegar. Pour into whizz whilst it is whizzing and then add additional water until mixture forms a ball. Divide the dough into two, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
After 30 minutes, roll out the pastry and line 8 fluted loose bottom mini tart shells. I don’t use flour when rolling out the pastry as find it dries it out. Instead put pastry between two pieces of cling wrap. Once shells are lined prick the bottom with a fork and blind bake in 160 degrees fan forced oven for 15 minutes.
2 cups pitted cherries
½ cup maple syrup
Drop vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon Corn flour mixed in 2 tablespoon water
Add cherries, syrup and vanilla to saucepan and bring to boil.
Add cornflour mixture and again bring to boil. As soon as that point is reached, remove from heat.
Add mixture to the individual pre-cooked tart shells.
Remove other half of pastry from fridge and cut out tops for the tarts.
Lightly brush the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with demera sugar.
Return to oven and cook on 160 degrees fan forced for 20 minutes or until tops are golden.