Some years ago my mom had a friend who suffered a terrible and unexpected stroke, and although she survived the stroke, my mom and I used to talk about how she thought her friend probably didn’t have much more time here with us.
A few years later, one dark Friday night I received a long distance call. The voice at the other end said very clearly that mom had passed away that night. No illness, no warning signs and no goodbyes, nothing. It was just time for mom to go, but we didn’t know it.
(Please read on. I promise this will not be a sad post.)
My mom’s friend is still alive, and even though back then, we were convinced she was not going to make it, she did. Instead, my mom left us too soon.
So much unfinished businesses: the trip to France we never took, the book that was never published, and all of the plans that never came to be.
The point that I’m trying to make is that we don’t know how long we are going to be here. And while we are here, we must do what makes us happy.
Take that trip you’ve been planning for years. Call that old friend you stopped talking to for no reason. Quit that horrible job you hate so much. Whatever it is that you need to do to improve your live and be happy, just do it.
You see, I do realize that all those things are not possible for everyone, but little steps toward those dreams may just be the key to a new beginning.
My sister once said that “the biggest sin is to live and not be happy.” So I my advice to anyone who’s reading this post is that we should all try to be happy. That should be our mantra.
And since this is a food blog, here’s something that will make anyone happy:
Sticky buns with Dry Sherry Caramel
- 3/4 cup raisins or currants
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 cup sweet sherry or sweet port
- 1 teaspoon active dried yeast
- 2/3 cup milk, warmed
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 1/2 cup bread flour or high grade flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg
In a bowl put the raisins, garam masala, cinnamon and dry sherry. Set aside for at least 1 hour, or overnight, if possible.
Drain, reserving the sherry for the caramel sauce. Mix the yeast, warmed milk and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a mixer bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, salt and egg then, using a dough hook, knead for 10 minutes.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Place dough on a lightly floured board roll out dough and form a rectangular shape.
Sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar and the soaked fruit. Starting at one of the long sides, roll up tightly then with a large knife cut into 15 equal pieces.
Put the slices, cut side up, in a buttered round or square ovenproof dish which is just large enough to hold
the dough with some room for expansion. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it until almost double in size. Preheat the
oven to 400°F. prepare the caramel sauce, while the dough is rising.
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup cream
- Sherry from soaking the fruit
In a heavy saucepan heat the butter, sugar and cream until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is bubbling.
Cook for 3 minutes then remove from the heat and stir in the sherry.
Use 1⁄2 cup of the caramel sauce to spoon over the buns then bake for 25-30 minutes or until the buns are golden
(if you notice that they are if they are browning too quickly, cover the pan with a piece of baking paper).
Remove from the oven and pour the remaining sauce over the buns. Leave for 5 minutes to allow the sauce to soak in then remove from the tin.
Adapted from Cuisine Magazine issue #153, July 2012