There are certain major life events that I just can’t recall how I shared their news with my nearest and dearest. You know – first love, first break-up, first job, getting engaged – some of these events were before the mighty powers of social media intervened in how we interact and stay in touch, and although I’m sure I called some people surely I couldn’t have called everyone individually, right?
Then there are other events, so close to heart that their news has to be timed and calculated. Shared at first with your inner circle, those you trust most, those whom you know will guard your news until you are ready to share it a little further. It’s not about the pecking order of your family and friends; it’s about keeping certain things sacred and private because they mean so, so much to you.
So, with that, I decided to hold sort of an announcement party – an informal gathering where a group of friends were invited to an easy lunch of sausage pasta, salad, pastizzi and trashy (read: soft, store-bought) garlic bread.
And of course there had to be cake, a pastel-hued cake in keeping with the “crockery” colours which was gloriously covered in fresh cream. The pastel hue from bought matcha powder and raspberry powder made by drying out fruit pieces in a low oven and grinding them up with this new toy, also from Kitchenware Direct.
I’ve never owned nor had use for a mortar and pestle – it’s simply not part of my Cantonese cooking repertoire. I suspect the last time I used one was in a high school chemistry class! This Ecology one was chosen partly because I like white kitchenware, I like how it says “grind” on the side, it didn’t look too large nor heavy, and it has a pouring spout. As a small female, I envisaged it would be a difficult task trying to lift a super heavy mortar while simultaneously extricating its contents. And despite the raspberry stains I smeared all over the cavity, it was really easy to clean with just a gentle wipe from a scourer under hot water.
While I wasn’t entirely happy with the raspberry layers of the cake – not raspberry enough, not pink enough, plus the pips which didn’t ground down sank to the bottom – I will try making fruit powders again with a bit more research. Using fruit powders means you can add colour as well as flavour, without need for artificial colouring and without changing the wet/dry ratio of your baking mixture. Apparently citrus peel grounds down to powders really well so the possibilities are almost endless.