Some people integrate into your life very easily. Starts with a laid back dinner and a silly movie. Gradually you get to know each other, touching some topics lightly to learn your way around them. Then you go to the concerts, have picnics together, you don’t even notice that they have become as close as your own family. A family away from your family. Their family would grow with the kids and you accept those kids like your own, because they would start calling you “Aunt Eelke” and “Unca Jay” with the sweetest smile and open arms.
Once you get comfortable and take everything for granted, they would drop the bomb on you and tell you that they are moving a world away from you, across the oceans and seas. Not only they would be moving, but of course they would be taking these two little fellas with them as well, giving you some stupid reason..like they are their kids or something. Whatever!
Then you feel like a fish out of water, feeling suffocated, regretting all the time you wasted in the past instead of spending time with them. This is how I have been feeling since our close friends told us that they are moving away, oh by the way they are pregnant with a baby girl. I was crying and laughing at the same time. I immediately thought that I need to install Skype to keep up with all the kids – which is something my mom has been begging me to do for the past years and I brush it off, saying “we talk on the phone, why do you need to see me?”
Boy, karma has a way of throwing it back at ya!
So we threw a very pink baby shower for this brave, loving and adventurous mommy and wife this past weekend! She deserves the very pink after dealing with the three boys in the house.
I wanted to make everything perfect at the party because our little pink hurricane, as her husband called the baby shower, could be the last time we spent plenty of time together. But also I realized I had started my grocery shopping very late. Crunched for time to cook for an afternoon party, and also in need of dinners for several nights ahead, I decided to go with an easy choice. I knew I wanted to make some sort of borek, with dough and filling. I had puff pastry in the freezer. I had lamb, peas, carrots, dill (lots of it), potatoes, green onions and sweet onions (not sure why they call them sweet, still made me cry like I was watching Dead Poets’ Society for the eighth time).
This borek was easy to assemble and bake once I made the filling. And also I could make the filling in large amounts, and use the leftover to make dinner with the addition of several more ingredients. I chopped the lamb, or more like, diced it. I cooked some of it for the filling on its own and combined rest of the uncooked meat with the same vegetables plus diced potatoes and tomatoes, wrapped in parchment paper and baked it for an hour maybe.This dish is called Paper Kabab in our household.
I had a lot to cook on Friday night and all Saturday morning. So I had a lot of time to think, especially about my priorities. Sometimes I lose the perspective of what is important. I am thinking we over-dramatize the life time to time, make it more complicated than it should be and are really sweating the small stuff. I am hoping I can make a change, relax a bit, and spend more time off-line. And hug&squeeze my friends and family more. Then they would not move away, maybe.
Lamb Pockets (Talaş Bӧreği)
- 1.5 lbs of leg of lamb (diced in very small pieces)
- 1 cup of diced onion
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 cans of peas and carrot mix (15 oz cans)
- 1 bunch of dill
- Salt, and pepper to taste
- 1 egg, yolk and white separated (yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon milk)
- Nigella seeds (or sesame seeds)
- 2 packages of puff pastry sheets (thaw according to the instructions on the box)
1. Heat the olive oil in the pan at meidum-high. Add the diced meat. Stir frequently for 10-15 minutes. Add the onion, cover and turn the heat to medium. Stir it often so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.Cook until the meat is done (30 min or so, depends how small the cut is)
2. Combine the contents of the cans, dill and meat mixture. Add salt and pepper.
3. Dust the counter and roll out one puff pastry to be about one inch longer on both ends to make it a bigger square (for example if the original measures to be 10 by 10, the rolled out pastry should be 11 by 11)
4. Cut the pastry sheet into four equal squares.
5. Divide the filling into 16. Put 1/16th of the filling in the middle of one square. Brush the edges with egg white. Close it like an envelope, opposite sides overlapping a little.
6. Rest it on a baking sheet lined with silpat (or greased with butter), envelope side down.
7. Once you complete all of the squares (16 of them), brush the egg yolk on all, sprinkle nigella seeds or sesame seeds.
8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until all puffed up and golden brown.