We just celebrated the boy’s fourth birthday in school this week. He’s been looking forward to his birthday ever since the beginning of March (yes!), looking forward to changing the calendar in his room from the month of March to the month of April, and looking forward to having a cake and company for this celebration. And he got all that he wanted – a double celebration with his friend who shares the same birthday as him in class. We were there to share the joy with him. We saw how happy he was to be able to distribute the cake and goodie bags to his friends. He was jumping all around and up-and-down non-stop. It was pure and simple joy that we saw from a four-year-old.
The sweet little boy made his mum really happy on his birthday as well. While his friend got a very tall, four-tier chocolate birthday cake with whipped cream frosting and a printed birthday decoration on top, he got a home-baked mango mousse tart that his mum baked especially for him the day before, topped with loads of fruits and love and efforts. When he asked for a second serving of cake, he pointed out specifically that he would like to have the mango mousse tart instead of the chocolate cake which all his other friends were asking for. I was mildy surprised and touched.
Truth be told, I have been worrying all week about whether he would feel inferior about his cake, the fact that it was just a simple home-baked affair, compared to a commercially baked one that had a colourful and printed decoration. It turned out that he was not at all impressed by the other cake (although his friends obviously were). Seeing how much he liked the home-baked tart and the fruits on top of them, it made me feel that all the efforts were worth the while. I’m sure all the parents out there would be able to understand how I feel right now.
And this is what keeps me cooking and baking at home, both for the two guys at home and for those around me whenever I have additional pockets of time. There were hits and misses, failures and successes. Of all those successful attempts, it makes it even more endearing to see the happy and satisfied faces of those who tried and liked it, and to hear actual compliments or comments about how much they enjoyed a dish I made.
So much for the birthday celebrations. Now let’s come back to this blog post about chickpeas if I may. Truth be told, I am never a fan of chickpeas, especially those that are boiled and served with salads or as side dishes. Chickpeas have to either be very hard (roasted and crisp) or soft (mashed) for me to want to eat them. Given that this is the first time I’m cooking chickpeas, I decided to go with what I prefer more, which is to roast them into crispy snacks and keep them stored in the snack cupboard for my future hunger pangs.
- Chickpeas: 2 cans, drained, pat dry on paper towel, outerskins removed
- Salt: 1/2 tsp
- Olive oil: 2 tbsp
- Masterfoods All Purpose Seasoning or Shichimi Togarashi: 1 tbsp
- Mix chickpeas with salt and olive oil.
- Spread chickpeas out on baking tray.
- Grill 30min until golden brown.
- Leave to cool for 15min. Sprinkle with seasoning to serve or before storage.
The original recipe called for the chickpeas to be baked at 200 degrees Celsius for 45min. I tried that the first time and the chickpeas were not as crunchy as I’ve wanted. My second attempt using the grill worked perfectly to give me the perfectly grilled and crispy chickpeas that I was looking much forward to.
I removed the outer skins of the chickpeas so that I do not have to worry about them getting stuck in my teeth when I snack on them! It’s more a personal preference than anything else!
3 – 5 pax as snacks