The Year to Come

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

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…”

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