Tourettes Syndrome – explained

If I said to someone “what’s Tourette’s?” six times out of ten they would generally reply with “Isn’t it were you swear all the time?”  The thing is… there is no where near enough awareness of Tourette’s Syndrome in the world.  So in this post I’m going to go through the different facts and explain what Tourette’s is all about.

As a basic explanation, Tourette’s is a neurological condition in the brain, it causes you to have motor and vocal tics, which can vary from simple noises and twitches, to full blown shouting and even losing control of limbs.

My tics vary from shouting, throwing things (including myself occasionally) and of course twitching and squeaking.

As a more complicated explanation of Tourette’s, it doesn’t just come on its own, for example someone with it could also have OCD, ADD, depression and even autistic tendencies.  There is a thing called supressing tics, but that can only be done for around an hour before the tics literally burst out (depending on how much practice you have with it supressing).

Personally I don’t like suppression as it gives me a headache and aches in general, my ideal world is one where people like me don’t have to be scared of shouting something they don’t want to.

Which then suppression would not be needed…

Tourettes

The vocal tics are generally something someone doesn’t want to say, so if I didn’t want to shout “bang!”  I’d feel more anxious about it, which in turn would make me want to say it more and more until I eventually shouted it.

With Tourette’s its not just involuntary swearing, its so much more.  The diagram above shows some of the things that can occasionally be joint with Tourette’s.  As for me I have ADHD and anxiety, generally I get a seize-fire on tics when I’m cooking (I call it a miracle cure), but it only lasts for half an hour or so after cooking.

People can find different things to help tics, whether its singing, drumming, skating or cooking.  If its something you enjoy and enable you to concentrate you might be onto something.

Me, Tourette’s and Food

So… I think I need to introduce myself a bit…

My name is Samuel David, to put it simple I’m a chef, I LOVE food and creating it.
I have Tourette’s Syndrome which is a neurological condition that affects my brain, causing motor and vocal tics.

This has proven difficult in a few jobs, including one where I was actually fired because of it, however I’m still here…  The best bit is that it’s now become a drive.

Vanilla panacotta

You see I’ve developed this stubborn trait where I don’t let things beat me, I always pick myself back up, even if it seams so hard.  I tell myself don’t give up…

Okay… here’s the reason for this blog and an explanation of what m going to do:

The goal is understanding…  Not being put first or treated differently, and especially not getting fired.  Just complete understanding that we are like everyone else, not just people with Tourette’s but other things like aspergers and different varieties of autism.

We may find some things more difficult than other people, like taking a test or just speaking to someone in the street.  But we can excel in other scenario’s
Look at Tim Burton, his wife (at the time) Helena Bonham Carter said that she ‘Diagnosed’ him with aspergers after watching a documentary with him.

My goal is to educate people on different mental conditions, while also expressing my passion for food.

I hope that you will join me on a journey and learn these things (as i do) over the next… Well, lets see how far we go?

 

Now, cake… Everyone loves it, obviously… (well if you’re vegan it’ll be hard, but i’m sure we can get around that in a future post).
Confectionery & Patisserie has always been my main skill, so you can expect a lot of it over the next… Again I can’t see the future.  I guess I’ll apologize to those who are dieting…

Pistachio Cake.jpg

About

Lemon Tart, TIK!

Lemon Tart…  (one of my personal favorites), it can be enjoyed on its own with a little dusting of icing sugar or even with some blow torched Italian Meringue!  Which is way more fun…

Lemon Tart 1

Starting with the base, you’ll want a crisp sweet pastry…  Getting a soggy bottom isn’t really amusing, so I find that ceramic baking beans work really well as they distribute heat evenly.  It helps the base crisp up as much as the sides.
But they retain their heat much longer than other options, (and burn you a lot easier…. Found that out the hard way).

Baking Beans

Ooh!  A quick tip after blind baking the case, brush the inside with egg yolk after cooking (then bake for a further minute).  That will keep it a little more water proof and avoids the dreaded S.B…

The tart mix is quite simple, egg, sugar, cream and lemon…  The hard part is baking, you do not want ANY colour on it, otherwise it will form large ugly cracks.  But if you do colour it slightly, just score the tart around edges… you’ll thank me.

Right!  So for the case you’ll need:

225g Plain Flour
110g Cold Butter
80g Caster Sugar
1 Whole Egg

There are a few ways you can do this, you can put it all into a food processor and buzz it until its comes together into a nice dough.  Or if you don’t have a food processor, rub the sugar, butter and flour together into breadcrumbs, then add the egg (mix until the same outcome).  Which is a soft pastry witch one solid colour.

 

Flatten it out and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

During this time you might as well throw the lemon mix together!
Just whisk the following ingredients…

 

5 whole eggs
125ml cream
200g caster sugar
2 lemons, juiced and zested

Lemon Tart 2

Remember the the tips I gave you for blind-baking? No? well scroll back up…

 

Ok so now you know, make sure your oven is at 180 Degrees C (or gas mark 4).  Get that pastry rolled in some flour (about half a centimeter) and carefully placed in a tart tin.
If you don’t have one of those then I’m terribly sorry, you’ve messed up….

Try using another bit of pastry to push it into the edges, it’s more delicate and doesn’t break as easily.  Bake it for about 15 minutes, make sure to turn it around after 7 so it cooks more evenly.

When you’ve got your tart pour that kick-ass lemon mix into the case (carefully), bake at 170 degrees C …ONE SEVENTY… It won’t colour as quickly or easily.  After 25 to 30 minutes you’ll have a tart mix that’s still a little wobbly, but that’s OK.  The wobbly center will set and be cooked perfectly.