This year, days went by without being remembered.
When filling in documents, I had to check for what date it is today on the phone. Right, it’s already mid-month; right, it’s time to pay the utilities; right, it’s about his and her birthday. Perhaps my mind was away or it has just been a year of insecurity, unlike the past. Life looked calm amidst unrest, yet there were undercurrents beneath the seemingly calm sea.
The year is passing by soon.
In the past two or three years, out of an unsettling mind, I tried to hold on to something. Drifting in the sea, trembling along the wave, I felt like a rootless island floating around. Eyes opened, I saw only an endless blue, boundless horizon faraway, and the sun and the moon one could never reach; eyes closed, I could hear was the outcry of silence. Adrift in the sea, I hoped for a humble raft, a piece of decayed wood or a petal of duckweed even. Just something tangible to hold in my hands, anything.
Solitude did not matter, what tortured was the shore that could not be seen and the unsettled mind trembling deep in the heart.
Feeling helpless, I turned to excessive reading in search of the same voice, walked into the woods to listen to the echo of the sunset, and foraged into the mist and cloud to read the flow of life running in leaf veins. I looked for that anchor to settle my agitated mind, yet, all in vain. I returned to my small couch, sat down, breathed, looked into myself and gazed at life. Thoughts sunk through months of meditation and I was aware of their flow, where they came and where they went. And I was aware of my existence, every part of it. When my mind grew quiet and clear, I saw the anchor. It was not in the skies, in the woods not in between lines. It was there in every breath, all the time.
純雲呢拿香精 1 茶匙
塔塔粉 ¼ 茶匙
海鹽 1 小撮
Medium eggs 5pcs
Caster sugar 140g
Pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
Cream of tartar ¼ teaspoon
Sea salt A pinch
- Separate the egg white and yolks into two big bowls.
- Make the custard: Add 60g of caster sugar into the egg yolks, whisk up into a pale yellow mixture. Bring the milk to simmer and add the vanilla extract. Keep whisking, pour half of the milk into the egg yolk mixture. Pour the mixture back into the milk pot. Cook the mixture in low heat while keep stirring. When the custard is thick enough to coat the bottom of a spoon, it is ready. Cool it down and keep it in the fridge.
- Make the meringue: Beat the egg white until it becomes foamy, and then add the cream of tartar and sea salt. 20g each time, gradually add the caster sugar. Beat until the meringue is shiny with stiff peaks.
- Using a wide pan, bring water to simmer. Quenelle the meringue and push it into the water bath. Poach each side for 90 seconds, and then flip it over. Scoop the meringues out and leave them cool down on a baking tray.
- Ladle the cold custard in a bowl and add the meringue. Ready to serve.
It’s raining outside, crisp and bleak. Three chubby sparrows took shelter on my balcony and I gave them the baguette bits left on my breakfast plate but they flew away. I stayed in, played Damien Rice on vinyl and made apple crumble. Repeat.