Here we go, Joan, piped up from the party we have some Greek sour Cherrie preserve. Well, this is really a surprise it isn’t often that you find pantries other than those in Greek homes with sour cherries but we are definitely going to make use of these little bits of deliciousness in the best way possible. Looking at Laelia he said, and hopefully sate those desires of yours.
Her eyes whipped up to his and she saw the laughter there, he was using a play on words to poke fun at her, and she had fallen for it hook line and sinker, Joan was laughing boisterously having also caught the innuendo.
Shaking her head she strolled to the cupboards and started taking out a glass oven dish, a sieve and some measuring spoons and a few other utensils she was still chuckling as she bent to retrieve a mixing bowl.
Laelia looked slightly hot under the florescent lights in the kitchen so Andreas grabbed mineral water from the double door fridge and held it out to her, as she gratefully took it she earnestly tried to avoid his fingers touching hers as she knew the jolt of electricity wouldn’t be far off if their hands met.
Andreas, you go fetch the ingredients I tell you to. Joan Sounded like a drill sergeant all of a sudden
Yes, Mam. He piped up
Sugar, 2 eggs, Apricot jam, Flour, Baking soda and Salt
Laelia you grab the butter, vinegar and milk from the fridge. Yes, Auntie, Laelia said while she did just that.
Sweetie turn the oven on and preheat for me please at 180c and then you come over here and grease this glass dish for me while we get the right amounts measured out.
Andreas the bottom cupboard on the left of the oven has a food processor attach the paddle and then you break in the 2 eggs and a 3/4 cup of sugar, you can put it on high and let it mix for the next few minutes.
Laelia take a saucepan and melt a generous tablespoon of butter, don’t boil it sweetheart just melt it and for god’s sake don’t burn sweetheart I know how clumsy you can be. She gave Andreas a pointed look and he burst out laughing.
Yes, Auntie. Laelia mumbled with a small smile on her lips doing what she was told to.
Now Andreas when Laelia’s butter has melted you have to add a teaspoon of vinegar and 1/3 cup of milk to her saucepan, got that? Yes, mam Andreas answered quickly and got the ingredients measured out and ready to add. He stood close to Laelia, maybe just a little too close as he could feel the heat radiating from her right onto his chest, he swallowed and found it hard not to breathe more deeply so he could take in more of her enticing aroma.
Uhm Andreas the butter has melted, Andreas hey add your ingredients. She saw he was transfixed, she didn’t know why, but he smelt like heaven even now.
OH! Yes of course he seemed to snap out of wherever his thoughts were and added the vinegar and milk quickly while she carried on stirring till it was all well combined then taking it off the heat and putting the saucepan down on the table on a wooden board.
Laelia you hold the sieve while he measures out the ¾ cup of flour a teaspoon of baking soda and half a spoon of salt, then you just sieve it and mix it together with a spoon love.
As Andreas poured the flour into the sieve he just couldn’t contain the impulse he stuck his finger into the flour and bopped Laelia right on the nose with the floury finger. She retaliated instantly by grabbing some flour from the tin and throwing it at him laughing loudly, he did the same she tried to duck but he caught her and swung her from behind, quickly putting her down and moving back instantly aroused and not sure what to do about it he excused himself quickly saying he just wanted to change his now flour covered shirt and jogged to his room.
Laelia stood where he had put her down staring after him with a bemused look on her face.
My sweet girl one day you are going to have to let someone in, and he seems to be a perfect choice wouldn’t you say, he is sweet and seems to be very spontaneous and fun and he is a doctor Laelia so he is responsible on top of being absurdly good-looking.
Not now Auntie Joan, not now. Yes he is not turning out to be the pompous ass I thought him to be, that was an honest mistake as far as I can see.
Yes, love and that was actually my fault he never read your file.
I know Auntie I gathered as much after I had already left, yes he is sweet he is definitely too hot to handle but I’m too broken to love, even if I wanted to give it a try who says he is the one, I only just met the man yesterday and already you are planning our wedding, and what about Paul and.. What about Paul’s baby I’m carrying Auntie Joan what about the little person growing inside of me, I know I already love him or her but could I really ask a man to love another man’s baby? Laelia asked softly.
Joan sighed and rubbed her forehead, okay sweetheart, I really do think you are overthinking everything, he seems like a decent young man although I have seen some very dark clouds of sadness cross his face, I don’t know why he came to Johannesburg and left his homeland so far behind but I’m pretty sure he deserves a chance if he wants one.
If he wanted one Auntie, he’d have to earn it.
Joan just sighed and patted Laelia’s hand.
Jogging back into the kitchen now semi flourless Andreas smiled at Joan, what’s next mam?
Finish sieving the flour you two naughty children messed everywhere then Andreas, add this flour mixture and milk mixture to the egg mix in the processor and let it mix for 2 minutes, Then Laelia, grab the dish and let Andreas pour the batter into the dish, then put it in the oven and set the timer for 45 minutes.
Now that’s done we going to make the sauce, Andreas grab another saucepan and add these ingredients in Joan was like a well-versed dictator she knew exactly who had to do what and didn’t miss a beat.
200ml fresh cream.
100g of butter
A cup of sugar
100ml water and a splash of vanilla
Now just boil it together for 5 minutes and set it aside, now we wait for the pudding to bake when it comes out we immediately pour over the sauce and then we have a dessert.
Andreas grinned from ear to ear at Joan and he looked like a little kid who just got everything he wanted for Christmas.
Joan just shook her head and smiled. Laelia dear why don’t you make us all a nice cup of that delicious Brazilian beans you brought with you last time you came to visit?
NO! Andreas said a little too forcefully.
As your doctor, I strongly advise against caffeine especially fresh ground espresso beans it is dangerous during pregnancy and can cause blood vessels in the uterus and placenta to constrict, which could reduce the blood supply to the foetus and inhibit growth. As well as causes serious side effects to the expectant mother as caffeine is a stimulant, it increases your blood pressure and heart rate. Andreas said sternly.
Joan and Laelia stared at Andreas; Joan was the first to speak.
I must apologise I should have thought before I spoke I have been working for Dr Miles for 30 years so I should know this but I honestly forgot Laelia was pregnant for a few minutes there. Looking towards Laelia she smiled sorry my child but coffee should definitely be out.
Laelia was still staring at Andreas, she saw the pain in his eyes and he held himself rigid like he was bracing for her to fight with him, but he had a stubborn set to his jaw that told her she wouldn’t win the fight no matter what, he might just lock her in the bathroom and force feed her healthy food. Ha! Why did I find him holding me captive appealing?
I wasn’t going to have coffee myself if that helps, I don’t even like coffee, I’m more of a tea person. I bought the coffee on a little flea market tour when I was in Cape Town last month for a convention and when I saw it I thought of my godmother and how she loves ground coffee, especially the Brazilian blends. I just had to buy it.
Andreas just nodded and turned away. She watched as his shoulders sagged and Joan also caught the motion, they looked at each other and both shook their heads a basic agreement that neither knew what just happened.
I will make the coffee and tea if you will direct me to where everything is. Andreas said finally.
What a lovely idea. Joan smiled at him.
The grinder is in the top cabinet above the cutlery drawers and the beans are in the pantry on the third rack from the top just next to the cookie tins.
Andreas set out to gather the items for the coffee he made brisk work of it and seemed to be extremely proficient with the espresso machine and steam frothing. He saw the interest; I was a barista while I studied for my doctorate so I know my way around basically any coffee machine. He smiled widely at Joan and then snuck a quick sideways glance at the quiet Laelia.
Putting the perfectly frothed and poured cuppa in front of Joan he said, you café madam, she giggled like a schoolgirl. He turned and put a gorgeously made rooibos latte in front of Laelia, she looked at the drink and then at him and beamed, Andreas thought for the 3rd time today that his heart had just stopped working properly and that he would just keel over and die right then and there.
She took a sip closed her eyes and hummed in the back of her throat, pure heaven she said.
He sat down to enjoy his coffee.
Hmmm he heard Laelia say, as he looked at her she sat upright and focused on his face, the heat in her gaze made him fumble with the spoon and he dropped it. Bending to pick it up he hit his head on the edge of the table and swore softly. Laelia came around the table to check his head and see that he hadn’t opened his scalp.
As her fingers touched his neck to pull him down so she could see it felt like lightning sizzled all over his body and where she was touching him was so intense he felt like his heart would explode if he didn’t touch her back. Slowly he reached his hand up to cover her hand on his neck, she smiled softly then slowly pulled her hand away and took a step back, your fine Doctor no need to rush to the hospital she looked right at him and then turned toward Joan.
I need to go take a shower and change my clothing I feel and look like a snow puff with all this flour all over me, she smiled at Joan and gave a little wave towards Andreas, I’ll be back in a jiffy she shouted as she jogged up the stairs.
I think it’s time we take the Malva from the oven and pour the sauce over it; this is always my favourite part the sizzle of the sauce rapidly boiling into the hot pudding.
Andreas grabbed the oven mitts took out the dish of pudding and placed it on the wooden board on the table. Joan slowly poured the sauce all over the pudding it disappeared into the pudding very quickly.
Wow, that smells amazing Andreas sniffed the air, hmm this makes me drool. Ha ha, he laughed at Joan’s bemused expression. Yes, I love sweet stuff he told her solemnly but I refrain mostly as I believe in healthy living and looking after my body. After all, I want to look as good as you went I reach 50.
She swatted him with a dishcloth, flatterer you know I’m more than ten years older than that; you’re just looking for extra helpings of dessert with your blatant sweet talking.
Andreas winked. Maybe...