Relaxing therapy

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I found out that cooking is more relaxing than eating. I eat because I’m anxious/stressed/happy/hungry/bored but it doesn’t always make me feel better. When I cook I drift off, I relax, I don’t think about the problems. Some people think that cooking when you are stressed is not good, because all the stress passed on to the food. If it’s true or not, the fact is that I am way more relaxed after the food is ready that everybody around me is more relaxed as well. If they will get sick eating the stressed food is another thing.

As with any manual work, I’m useless. I struggle to make things look pretty, my hands aren’t firm and precise. But I don’t let this put me off cooking, because it’s all about “the inner beauty”. If the dish is yummy, it doesn’t matter if it’s not looking great.

*****

On Friday mum and I defrost the freezer to clean it as the door was barely closing due to the amount of ice that accumulated on the drawers. I had a couple of things for a long time in there and I decided to get baking.

I bought this Jus Rol ready made pastry to try at home. I got two options: one savoury and one sweet. I started with the savoury as I was also preparing lunch. The sheet didn’t fit on any of my baking trays so I cut them in two. I prepared a very simple recipe to start with – tomato sauce, cheese (I only had leerdammer cheese, my favourite at the moment), ham and oregano. I cut the squares before baking them, just to make it easier to separate them, but the package doesn’t say anything about that.

The conclusion: the pastry is great, I can’t believe I didn’t try this before! It’s quite messy to eat though. I used sliced cheese, so the cheese melted and disappeared; next time I will use bigger chunks and I will also choose a cheese with stronger taste. I will also experiment with different flavours; when I was a kid I was a big fan of puffy pastries with pineapple and bacon. Yummmm. I accept suggestions of toppings!

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The savoury option

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The result

I decided to try to make berry tarts with the sweet pastry, but I didn’t have the ingredients for the recipes I found online, so I had to improvise. The inspiration came from lime pie: 1 can of condensed milk + the juice of one lime + one teaspoon of vanilla paste + the juice of the berries I had (it was quite thick), all blended together to a cream. It is simple and it doesn’t require cooking. I had frozen berries in the freezer but they weren’t sweet, so I added some sugar since the cream wasn’t too sweet.

The conclusion: this thing is a time saver and I can focus on coming up with new toppings – I want to try pineapple, lemon, ginger and nuts. Learning for next time: I need bigger and deeper circles so it can hold the cream properly. They taste quite good, especially when chilled!

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Tah-dah!

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Preparing it

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They look right, but they are too small and I only noticed it after they were ready

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The first one looks good

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The rest looks a bit messy

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I’m in love with this

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