I took a long walk with a dear friend this morning and he commented that of all the words to crystallize the meaning of friendship, solidarity is perhaps the best. So this week’s post is an Ode to Solidarity. As Laurence J. Peter said so wisely, ‘you can always tell a real friend: when you’ve made a fool of yourself he doesn’t feel you’ve done a permanent job.’
I love the substantial, comforting heft of the word solidarity. The mere sound of it would protect against the coldest of winter winds and the bleakest of times, just like the best of friends.
So here is my Solidarity Pudding — a warming apple and almond confection — to be served to your closest allies and greatest defenders.
Serves 6 Friends
6 eating apples — Royal Gala are good for this
40g soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
120g caster sugar
120g ground almonds
2 tablespoons self-raising flour
Handful of flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Peel, core and slice the apples and mix with the soft brown sugar, the five spice powder and 20g of the butter, which you’ve melted. Place the fruit in a baking dish around 18 cm in diameter or similar.
Cream the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add them gradually to the butter mixture, mixing thoroughly as you go. Stir the almonds and flour together and fold gently into the butter, sugar and eggs. Pour the mixture over the fruit, scatter the flaked almonds on top and bake in the oven for around 50 minutes or until golden brown. The pudding should still be a little gooey in the middle and served with cream.
Light the candles and eat your substantial, nourishing Solidarity Pudding while you laugh like drains about old times.
Don’t walk in front of me
I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me
I may not lead
Walk beside me
And just be my friend