It’s exciting to do new things in life, to keep the excitement factor up and running. I am someone who gets bored very easily. Actually, I can be obsessively engrossed in something if I want to, but the monotony of life gets to me every now and then.
Boredom is like this parasite. It creeps in slowly and sometimes you see it coming, in the most unusual albeit familiar circumstances; like this route you take to go to work every single day – you catch the same bus and you wait the usual 8 stops to get to your destination, you jump out of the bus, stand amidst the same buildings, walk through the same lanes and shops to get to work and the next thing you know, you are bored of your work itself.
So new things are much needed to combat boredom; it doesn’t have to be attempting paragliding tomorrow (well, it could be if that’s what gets you going) but it could be in the littlest of ways, like buying flowers for your vase or shifting your couch from the wall side to the window side.
Or you could try something that’s completely out of your comfort zone. If you don’t like cooking, perhaps you should make a meal for your family at some point. If you’ve never been into sports, you should probably get out there and learn how to play a sport, some sport, any sport.
Okay you might wonder, why all of a sudden, I am being this “harbinger” of change and trying out new things; I ran my first 10 K race this weekend and got a silver medal. I’ve never been the sporty type, I go to the gym because I have to not because I want to, treadmills bore me and I get tired looking at weights.
Once in every 10 minutes of running that 10 K, I thought why I’m putting myself through the torture and pain, because it wasn’t easy at all. But here’s the thing about doing things out of your comfort zone – they only make you a stronger person.
I don’t want to become this ultra marathoner and I don’t even want to go as far as doing a full marathon. I am just happy to run and get my endorphins pumping. Just like sweet things, endorphins are good for you; say what you want but they do make you happy. On that note, here’s a new recipe for you to try – peach tarts.
For sweet shortcrust pastry
- 130 g (1 cup) plain flour
- 60 g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed into 1 inch bits and chilled
- 22 g (1 ½ tbsp) vegetable shortening, cubed into 1 inch bits and chilled
- 3 tbsp cold water
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 4-5 fresh peaches
- Boiling water
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 heaped tbsp apricot jam
Makes one 8” tart or six 4” tarts
- For the pastry, combine flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times until combined. Add the chilled butter and vegetable shortening. Blend till you get a sand-like texture. Add cold water, a tbsp at a time until the pastry becomes a ball of dough. Bring the dough together on a work surface and wrap it in cling film. Refrigerate for half an hour. Preheat the oven to 200 C.
- Add the peaches to the boiling water for 15 seconds. Strain them and take off the skins. Half the peaches and remove the seeds. Set aside.
- Take the dough out and roll into a circle of ½ inch thickness. If you are using a single tart mould, gently place the rolled out pastry on the tart mould, press the sides and cut off the excess. If you are using individual tart molds, cut out individual portions using a 4 inch cookie cutter and place the cut out portion on each, individual tart mould.
- Prick the bottom of the tarts with fork. Place a square of buttered parchment paper over every tart or a big buttered parchment piece (if you are using 1 big tart pan). Pour dried beans over every tart shell. Place the tart shells over a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. This is known as blind baking. After 10 minutes, remove the beans and continue to bake the shells for 3 more minutes. Remove the shells and set aside.
- Sprinkle caster sugar over each tart shell. Pack the peaches tightly, some side up, in every tart shell. Stick pea sized butter over the peaches (of every tart shell). Sprinkle remaining sugar on top.
- Bake the shells for another 30-35 minutes at 200 C, until the peaches caramelize and the tarts turn golden brown.
- Once baked, remove the tarts and cool them. Melt the apricot jam in a saucepan and strain it into a bowl. Using a pastry brush, glaze the peaches with strained jam. Serve warm or cold.