I know I keep disappearing. And like always, upon my return, I confess my admiration for blogging. I haven’t been teaching (Academic English to International Students) lately, as the semester was put on hold, and all I could think of is how much I want to write. You see, when I was teaching full-time, I would make these unkept-promises that “…the minute I get time off, I am going to write. Creative. Fiction. Non-fiction…” just write…write until the sudden realization of Ridiculous pours on.
I think writing is incredibly innate. I rarely see the opportunity rise in those who purse it as though it is a sport, or a hobby they practice on the side court. I truly believe that writers are born with incredible sensibility to words. It is obscure to sit with conjured thoughts on what to write, or writer’s block—whatever they call it. It’s silly. You either can write or not.
And from there, I go back to square one.
Cooking is also a heavy talent that I think, if my stars could align, I could deeply purse. I would cringe at the idea of my mother standing long hours in the kitchen to perfect the flowers that were to dress her cake, or sifting her effect of snow over her Buche de Noel. My mother was self-taught, as death naturally does to a girl of 18 when her mother passes away. She learned how to sew, cook, and paint –the lost art(s) of this and future generations (in my opinion). But here I am, years later, inquisitive when I never thought I would be. The other day I sparked a conversation with my mother over the heating degree of tempered chocolate! Tempered chocolate! (which by the way you’ll need your chocolate to go up to 115 degrees and then back down to 90 degrees for that store-bought cracking sound when you break your chocolate in half). I guess similar to writing, cooking is also innate. But, maybe with this I have a chance?
Flower Cheese Pie
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes (the creative part takes the longest)
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tbls sugar
- 1 tbls yeast
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbls dry milk powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbls oil
- 1.5 cups of luke warm water
- 1/2 cup of feta cheese (or more, depending on preference)
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
- grease butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar
- cream cheese filling
- cream cheese and feta
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients, except oil and water, in a stand mixer on medium speed.
- Slowly, pour in water and oil to the dry mix, alternating.
- Once combined, reduce speed to low speed for about 7 minutes until dough is a little sticky, but more on the firm side.
- Transfer dough into a lightly greased bowl and and let it rise for 1 hour.
- After your dough has risen, begin to fill and assemble your flower (see picture below).
- Bake until golden brown (12-15 min, or more, depending on your oven). I usually make an egg wash and brush over the dough before placing it in the oven: 1 egg mixed with a tiny bit of coffee …my mom’s fool-proof no burn egg-wash recipe)
Lessons Learned: I took my time with this because it requires incredible attention and focus. Brush your pie for a glossy golden look!