half a worm, anyone??

“Whats’s worse than finding a worm in your apple?” 

“Finding half a worm in your apple!!!”

Ever had the experience?? Back in the 60s and 70s, in the days before pesticides ruined everything for worms, at least 10-15 percent of vegetables for home consumption would include worms of some shape or the other – necessitating careful picking over and cutting. If, god help you, your attention was distracted, you could end up with a mouthful of some doubtful-tasting bhindi (lady’s finger) or as mentioned earlier, half  a worm in your apple! My mom was never fazed with this – if we found a few ants in our food, well, you’ve just gotten lucky – ants are good for the eyesight!! And also for learning your maths. Really, the number of things that were good for maths – we should have been a nation of Einsteins! Added bonus if you got wormy bhindi with ants in it – you were sure to top your algebra test the next day!!

The Green Revolution changed all that and now we rarely see a worm in anything. Time, being cyclical, of course, we have come full circle to going “organic”, buying organic, wearing organic and generally being exhorted to be friendly to worms all over again!! Like a friend of mine told me, if a worm can’t survive off this cauliflower, how can we??  And, as an added bonus, you can rejoice if you find that half worm (can’t seem to get away from it, can we??!) – CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’VE EATEN AN ORGANIC WORM”!!! or half of one! (dang that half worm!) .

Don’t let all this talk of worms put you off your food – scientists are touting insects (adult worms!) as being the best source of protein ever and actively encouraging the consumption of these – apparently they learnt it from the Chinese – like almost everything else nowadays!

Let’s now carefully remove the leftover half worm (sigh….) and make something with the rest of the apple..

Flambeed Apple and Pear Crepes: 

Well, the flambeeing didn’t quite work out, but the crepes were awesome!

For the fruit filling:

  • Apples – 2
  • Pears -2
  • Cinnamon – a healthy sprinkle
  • Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Orange marmalade – 1 tbsp
  • Demerara sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Any sweet red wine – 3 tbsp

Peel, core and slice the fruit. Heat butter in a saucepan and add the fruit. Open cook for 4-5 minutes till slightly brown. Pour over the wine and the sugar and cook for a few minutes more till the fruit is softened and the liquid has evaporated. The fruit should still be slightly crunchy. Set aside.

For pancakes:

  • One cup flour
  • One cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt. 
  • Butter for the pan

Whisk together everything except the butter. Slide a scant 1/4 tsp butter into a hot pan and swirl around till coated. You’ll need a little more for the frst one. Pour in 2 tbsps of batter and swirl till it forms a thin crepe. Cover and cook for a minute till brown spots appear on the bottom – yes, you’ll have to peek underneath – unless you’ve got a see-through pan! Turn over and cook for another minute, uncovered. Remove and place on a plate. Spoon in some of the filling and fold over in half. Place in a flan dish. Repeat till batter/ filling are used up. If you have filling left over, lick it up. If you have batter left over, find another topping!

for courageous souls only! – To flambee

Heat the wine till about 130 degrees F in a saucpean with high sides. Pour over the crepes and light immediately.  The more wine you pour over the crepes, the less you’ll care about any unwary worms!!

Serve with fresh cream!