*sigh* I guess the more apt and pressing question is how to stop craving for puff pastry…
These cravings rarely plague me. But once they strike, it takes months before I recover. Some years ago, it was craving for pancakes that pushed me into hunting pancake dishes around town or making them. Another time, it was craving for kembang tahu, soft tofu pudding in palm sugar and ginger sauce. And now, it’s puff pastry.
This time, I decided to keep a visual record in the form of sketches.
I liked this Apple Puff. But I was more intrigued by the big plate on which it was served. I understand that such huge plate serves a purpose: the space encases the tiny Apple Puff as white spaces accentuate a painting. It frames the Apple Puff — plating is an art! Yet, “such a waste of space, don’t you think?” I’d say. I couldn’t help feeling sympathy for whoever doing the dishes.
The reaction was probably triggered by an email, asking if I would do recap on Kang’s Kitchen 2. I haven’t decided on doing recaps as there are other tasks demanding my time and energy at the moment. The email brought to mind the first season of the show which had cast quite a hellish light on doing the dishes — the show incited genuine laughter (and doing the recap was fun) while portraying that running a kitchen and, especially, washing dishes were no laughing matter.
This “puff pastry fever” will go away eventually. I’ll just have to wait until then. In the meantime, there are still some places promising puff pastry dishes where I need to go to. *packing sketchbook and what-not*
I love pâte feuilletée. Thus, it was an easy decision to pick the tuna puff pastry. Especially when it came with a cup of cappuccino in a combo package, which I thought was a good deal.
It was fluffy and puffy, of course. It smelled buttery and felt light. Puff pastry made a perfect dish for brunch. Fork and knife at the ready!
And yet, as I made a cut on one of the corners and brought it closer to the mouth, “poof!” Most of it crumbled. The crumbs flew all over the table, some landed on my chest. A bigger chunk dropped onto my lap and, as I failed to capture it, then rolled on the floor. I looked around, fearing anyone should see this. Luckily, no one had witnessed my incompetence of eating a mere puff pastry.
Since another cut just brought more crumbs and dusts on my person, I forwent the fork and knife. I used bare hands to grab and clasp the puff pastry, and brought my mouth to it while maintaining distance to avoid the crumbs. If anyone had indeed seen and questioned my dealing with this puff pastry — awkward, no doubt — I no longer cared.
Once the devil was gone, leaving these fingers oily, I recovered my poise. I sipped the cappuccino while watching others enjoying their food — I wondered if anyone had experienced similar battle with food.
My initial thought definitely needed correction: puff pastry might not be suitable for brunch after all. At least not when I was dressed to impress. Or, I might need to learn some techniques for eating it, not just for making and baking it.
When the news of Isao Takahata (高畑 勲) passing on 5 April came via an app notification, I paused from reading a book. For a moment, my chest tightened with a familiar pain. And the memories of watching Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓, Hotaru no Haka) decades ago and the grief and devastation that had followed for weeks afterwards came flooding back.
His other films I’ve seen, ‘Only Yesterday’ and ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’, are equally moving but ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ still haunts me. Once seen, it stays with you forever. Just a mention of the film brings heartaches. I can’t think of any other films, animation or live-action, that come close to reducing me to a blubbering mess for days like ‘Grave of the Fireflies’. The fact that, to this day, it still triggers such visceral response is a testament to its profoundly moving story and storytelling.
And to hear and read that atrocities and sufferings depicted in this film are still happening today… I can’t hold back tears… Insensitive news coverage and click-baiting clips may have numbed us on war and tragedy that I agree with the cries, in the wake of the director’s death, that it should be mandatory for everyone, especially those running for positions of power, to watch ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ at least once.
Thank you, Sir, for the masterpiece…
Of The Other Master of Studio Ghibli, Isao Takahata (1935-2018).