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!

 

 

 

Mexican bean salad

Summer days are almost here. The season of colours has already arrived after a long, slow  spring. It’s humid though. A strange ill wind blows, haar has come in from the east coast on some days. Cool buildings are enticing, as is the grocery in the village. I took a walk over and came back with a medley of veg and fruit. As supermarkets start to bag everything in plastic for fear of people stealing from self-serve checkouts, the small shop has its appeal when all you need is one or two of everything, or prefer brown paper bags! So when you have all your fresh fruit and veg in your basket,  it’s time to quickly turn it into delicious summer salads.

One of my favourite salads is Mexican bean. There are variations on this recipe, this is my interpretation.

You will need:

A medium-sized clay bowl, preferably round and deep, ideally Mexican in style! Look at these! Talavera from http://www.lafuente.com/Mexican-Decor/Talavera-Pottery/

Serves 2 generously:

Red kidney beans – a large tin of

Half a red onion  – chopped

One corn on the cob – its kernels

1 large tomato – diced

Half a red pepper – diced

Fresh coriander leaves – chopped

Half a courgette – grated

Half a large carrot – grated

Hot chilli sauce – make some!

A glug of olive oil, some ground black pepper, splash of cider vinegar, juice from half a lime.

Put all the ingredients in the bowl and fold gently with a large spoon. Eat immediately. It does save well in the fridge for a couple of days. I had some today with falafel, brown pitta bread, green lettuce leaves, a little yoghurt.

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.