The Year to Come
1. Take a large, round, shallow pastry tin (around 30 cms diameter), and rub some butter over the inside.
2. Sprinkle flour on and shake until it is settled all over.
3. Wash and dry the oranges. With a fine grater, carefully grate the rind and set aside. Halve and squeeze them. Set the juice aside.
4. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks with 125 g of the sugar and the rind until creamy and yellowy. 5. Beat in the ground almonds slowly. 6. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold gently into the mixture. Spoon out into the baking dish and put in the centre of the oven, heated to 220C.
7. After 15 minutes turn down oven to 170C and cook for about 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin.
8. Mix the remaining sugar with orange juice and liqueur or brandy and sprinkle over the flan. At my age, one simply hopes for “another year, please”. One still plans, though. In 2016 we intend to return to Cyprus for sunshine, food and wine – and our friends, of course. Encouraged by initial reactions to my bit of autobiography, I am tapping away at my laptop with part 2 – the years from 1950 to 1970. In that time, I was an unwilling member of His Majesty’s Royal Air Force for 18 months, then a cinema manager, a film publicity writer and then owner of my own public relations business. These years saw my first visits to Cyprus – in 1965 and 1968. It was a bit different then!
1. Start by making the tomato pilaf. Wash the rice by pouring cold water over it in a bowl, stir well and leave to soak for a few minutes, then strain and rinse under cold water.
2. Quarter the tomatoes, remove the hard white bits near the stem end, then liquefy in a food processor. Measure the resulting tomato juice and add enough water to make it up to 650ml.
3. Pour it into a pan, add the crumbled stock cube, the sugar and a little salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
4. Add the rice and stir well. Simmer, covered, over a low heat, for 18-20 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid absorbed. Do not stir during the cooking, but add a little extra water if it becomes too dry. 5. Fold in the butter, cut into small pieces. 6. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. 7. While the rice is cooking, cut the chicken into pieces of about 3.5cm. 8. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and sauté the chicken for 6-8 minutes until lightly browned, turning the pieces over once.
9. Sprinkle the chicken with parsley and serve with lemon quarters or with sumac to sprinkle over, accompanied by the rice.
From time to time I have featured in these pages what I would term “Notes from Limassol”, contributed by an old friend, whose pen name is Charalambous. His latest thoughts in an email to me are kind ones, on the subject of my recently published Ebook, “One Kid’s War”. A dear friend indeed… he actually paid good money for it!
“I enjoyed your book which I loaded on my kindle. It is quite an amazing saga, in parts very evocative to me (although my memories of those times are less exact than yours and limited by my comparative youth at the time). The detail is most impressive… It’s an extraordinary story and a different angle from all the other reminiscences of the war years that I’ve come across…”