“Depth”

One picture in particular sprang to mind when I came across The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Depth.”

Just over a year ago I was exploring the Calabrian coast of southern Italy with two friends. It was a weekday in November and there were no tourists around, the silence being broken only by the sea lapping onto the pristine beaches. We pulled up to a viewpoint nestled by the side of a winding road at the top of a tall cliff, rising from the sand. The winding, craggy coast stretched wide on either side and I looked out at the horizon, contemplating the vast expanse of Mediterranean that separated us from Northern Africa.

But then, upon looking straight down to the shore, I saw a man, completely naked, lying in the ebbing tide, his face in the sand. The water lapped gently over his back, swimming around the shore before gliding back into the body of the sea to be replaced by another low wave. As we watched on in curiosity, light rain began to fall, puncturing the water. The man got up, jogged over to his pile of things, moved them to give shelter from the rain and then settled back down to resume his position in the sand. I’m not sure how long we stood and watched this almost unmoving scene for; it was mesmerising, the picture of freedom and peace, the depth of the connection between man and nature.

When I had this photo developed, I was overwhelmed by the vibrancy of the blue. The rain and grey clouds are forgotten, the harmony of the moment captured.

The Naked Bather ©Helen Leech

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Gooey apple upside down cake

My family had already been into this by the time I got round to taking a photo!

One of my favourite French desserts is tarte tatin – caramelised apples baked underneath a layer of puff or shortcrust pastry and turned out make an upside down tart.

But, being an ardent advocate of cake (and not having enough patience with pastry) I thought I’d put a spongey spin on things. So I give you, by its slightly more fancy name, the tarte tatin cake.

Necessaries:

  • 90g self-raising flourIngredients
  • 20g ground almonds
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 110g margarine
  • 1 beaten egg
  • knob of butter
  • 50g light brown soft sugar (caster will do)
  • splash of vanilla essence
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 apples – ones with big flavour like bramley or granny smith

Method:

  1. Put the kitchen fire on. Nobody likes to be chilly while they’re bakingFire
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C fan/gas mark 4/350°F
  3. Cream together margarine and sugar with a big spoon in a big bowl
  4. Beat in eggs and vanilla
  5. Sift in and gradually mix the flour and almonds, then put to one side and grab your apples
  6. Peel and chop them into wedges about 1cm thick and sprinkle with lemon juice
  7. Slowly melt butter in a pan and add soft brown sugar until it begins   to melt and slightly bubble
  8. Lay apple slices in the pan and let them gently start to cook in the butter and sugar, turning once. Let them begin to go soft and caramelly but still keep their shape
  9. Either arrange apple evenly across the bottom of the pan, or transfer to cake tin (loose bottomed ones are best for this) and do the same, then pour cake mixture on top and level off
  10. Pop in the oven for 20-25 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean and the top is pleasantly golden
  11. Turn out of the pan/tin before cool and eat when cooled or still warm, maybe with a dollop of crème fraîche, cream or custard, and before your family or housemates beat you to it. Et voila! Slice