My mum and aunties stretch it with their fists. They coax it thinner and thinner stretch it until it covers the whole laminex kitchen table and I can see the check of the cloth through the membrane of pastry. Stretch out their pride in their children stretch out their cackles of laughter at the stupidity of their husbands stretch out their tears for the sister who died young. At 15 they let me have a go, I try to mimic their hand over hand and rip a big hole in it they laugh at my clumsiness and shoo me away. When I’m 20 they laugh at my university-learned hochdeutsch even though I can stretch the dough as good as them “ooo la di da” they screech taunts at my posh accent and it thins the pastry a little more. Taunts add tartness to the apples they scatter. They add the finely chopped bitter rind of long standing family feuds, a sprinkle of spicy sugar gossip and roll the whole thing up using the cloth, lifting it so that fold upon fold of pastry swaddles the apples and all the ancient history.
Monday, September 5, 2011
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