A veggie rice pita

Filo is easy to work with and not that hard to make! But if you want to buy some, go for Greek of Turkish if you can. Failing that, there are standard varieties available. You may have noticed there’s more than one type. Experiment with them all and you will find what suits you best and for which type of filling. Also whether you roll or stack.

For this pita, because the filling is heavy, I have gone with a packet of eight large sheets, using two sheets per roll of filling, bending each roll in a circular fashion around the tevsija.

You will need:

A large oven dish, ideally round and enamel

Packet of 8 large filo sheets

For the filling:

Cooked brown rice

Half an onion, 1 courgette, half a squash, half a red pepper, half a carrot, 1 celery stick – all chopped. You could add feta if you like.

Olive oil, 1 tsp of good no-salt veggie stock, ground black pepper, fennel seeds, thyme

Put the filling ingredients on a pan on the stove top with  a lid on, low heat, until the veg have softened.

Let the filling cool a little then spoon along two sheets on top of each other then roll over, repeat until all sheets are used.

Put olive oil in the oven dish and lay the rolls on top.

Place parchment paper on top and bake slowly for 45 mins to 1 hour. Serve with Mexican bean salad!

 

 

 

Past, present, future – writing and making for here and now.

Knitting and stitching projects, story-writing and rediscovering poetry are working towards being in the here and now and creating a new tomorrow.

I think it can take quite some time to make a shift, through the generations, out of tradition and into modernity. I am reading a mix of novels at the moment, including Lacuna by Kingsolver, Bosnian Chronicle, by Andric, The Ministry of.. by Roy. All of them evolve around cultures and the shifting of humanity across time. I have also learnt to accept that it’s fine to be between times, one foot here and another over there.

Progress is often slow, with a lot of stalling. It can be frustrating when a vision seems to take forever to transpire. But knitting and writing demand pacing, giving time and trusting the imagination. Trusting that if something wants to happen it will, when it’s ready. The vision of my work in progress is constantly there and I allow it to lead me to tell the story of others.

It’s Easter this weekend, and that draws me to painting eggs, baking with filo. The tradition would have been to pick food colouring from shelves, make a gibanica loaded with cheeses. Now it’s more about the natural (modern) way. Eggs are dyed with turmeric and coffee, as I used to with yarn years ago. Gibanica has a heavy dose of spinach and eggs, with sparing use of sheets.

 

Shifting is possible, keeping some traditions is too, if they are a part of you, ingrained. But a new way of being is also essential, for all of us. We travel constantly. Be sure to document your journey, and of others too. There’s a common theme for all of us.

I enjoyed a year of reading Italy, fiction and history, language and cuisine. I haven’t done yet. The dream is to go back again, soon, if possible.

 

 

 

 

After the beast

Migration, playing an instrument, imagination. That’s where it’s all at after the arrival of a Siberian weather front labelled beast from the east – which in my mind, is all about propaganda as we suspect a build-up to a second cold war. The primary problem lies with the west, but we fail to see the errors of our ways as per usual.

Experimental writing is not a challenge but requires an altered state, good soup, and cake. So I have made a healthy leek, broccoli and cauliflower soup, and an apple and oat cake is baking in the oven – wholemeal replaced with porridge oats and oat flour. Smells delicious!

Fuel your imagination, be true to yourself, learn to play a musical instrument, and all will be right. But remember to be a little revolutionary in your thinking and storytelling.