When I was 7 I knew that I could play at my friend Angie’s house if her mother was in a good mood. I knew that if I hurt myself I had to go across the road to to get the cut cleaned. I knew that if I was out playing I had to be home before the street lights turned on, and I knew that any day I felt like it, I could climb over the wall and spend time at my neighbour’s house. I knew how to read, tie my shoe laces and get myself ready for school. When I was 7 I did not know how to play chess, I didn’t know that electricity could kill you and I did not know that flesh smells disgusting when burnt! But, I learnt all of that very quickly. One afternoon Kerry (my sister) and I were at the neighbour’s house. We were playing in the swimming pool with David and Peter, and we all went inside to listen to records. The record player had a transformer box, and the plug was loose. I tried to put the plug in, but it fell onto my wet hand and I was electrocuted. That day I learnt that something really bad had happened as my mom came home from work to take me to the Doctor – I was not told to go across the road to have Mrs. Matchin look at my hand. That was the day I became paralysed in my right arm. And the day I started learning a whole lot of new skills. I have never stopped learning new skills and in case you were wondering, I was lucky enough to get the use of my arm back after 8 months of therapy. One of the skills I have learnt is that working with fructose is not as complicated as I thought it was. I have made praline with fructose and learnt that if you use it straight away it will keep its crunch. If kept in an airtight container it will clump together! I made this praline for my Paris-Brest pastries that I made last year.
Have you learnt a new skill recently?
- 200 g sugar - I used fructose
- 200 g nuts of your choice
- Place the nuts into a non stick frying pan and heat over a low temperature
- Place the sugar into a stainless steel frying pan
- Hear the sugar over a medium temperature until a caramel forms
- Add the nuts and stir quickly
- Pour out onto a silpat immediately
- Leave to cool
- Blitz in a food processor until fine
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