Monday, 24 October 2011

Nan and the egg flan

I wouldn't describe Nan as a gifted or even enthusiastic cook; but her cooking reflected her personality - generous, colourful and just slightly strange.
My continuing love of the tinned tomato stems from Nan's trademark Sunday breakfast - scrambled eggs served with at least two slices of white bloomer and submerged with tinned tomatoes and juice.  The eggs were beaten using a miniature plunger in a pyrex glass.  The glass was decorated with the heads of the Fab Four - a little creepy when their eyes went yellow, but it did produce a satisfying froth.

One of her culinary specialities was egg flan; economical as it was made with as much pastry as filling.  The pastry could only be eaten if soaked liberally (and for sometime) with gravy - after applying gravy it was necessary to eat all the filling, the mashed potatoes and green beans before attempting the pastry.
The flan was always cooked in an oval heatproof glass dish that was reputed to be unbreakable.   One day, when getting the flan out of the oven, Nan burnt her hand on the oven shelf and dropped the dish.  What might have been a lunchtime calamity turned into a mealtime miracle when the dish shattered into many pieces, but the flan - encased in its concrete pastry jacket remained in one piece.