I've been trying to find a new rhythm.
About four weeks ago, I started a new job. After so many years of working from home, I now find myself sitting in an office with a bunch of other people, 11 km away from home. It's good, of course. I get to accomplish things... finish them, even. I get to ride my bike to work. I get to meet new friends. In some ways, it's perfect... But it also feels like time is slipping away from me. I used to be in control of my time. I could pop into the store when I needed to and I could go to the gym when it was least busy. I didn't have to think twice about scheduling a doctor's appointments or a lunch date. Best of all, I could whip up some cake batter in the morning and start my work while it was baking...
Today, I'm away from home for most of the day. There's no popping into the store, no afternoon baking, no impromptu reading sessions in the park. I'm starting to realize exactly how much of a luxury working from home really was. Is this what it feels like for all of you working regular hours, or do I simply want too much?
Of course, I want it all. I want the job, I want the exercise, I want the parties and the concerts and the quality time with Thomas. I also want the lazy Sundays, the creative outlets, the baking and the writing. Ever since our first Bakabar adventure, though, which happened right after my first week on the new job, all I seem to be doing, is trying to catch up. Constantly. I'm tackling the urgent matters, but can't find the time to do all of the other things. My efforts to keep the house clean and organized have reduced to the bare minimum and if it weren't for Thomas, I wouldn't have eaten a warm meal in weeks. I can't even find a moment to go out and buy the essentials for the bike trip that we're planning. (Well, not planning.)
I'm trying to tell myself that it's just a temporary thing. That there's simply a lot going on at the moment. That things will eventually calm down and that I will settle into a new routine. But honestly... I don't know if they will. At least, not until I let go of a few things.
I'm not good at letting go.
One of the things I've been wanting to do these past few weeks, is to stock my freezer with puff pastry. I have a bunch of this special layering butter (something like this) leftover from the Bakabar event and I really don't want it to go to waste. I don't know how long it will keep, though, so my plan was to make a few batches of puff pastry and freeze them for later use. Also, it wouldn't hurt to write a proper blog post about it, right? (I feel my last post on puff pastry wasn't really clear enough to convince you of how simple and satisfying homemade puff pastry really is.)
I'm sorry to say that I haven't stocked my freezer with puff pastry, yet. I really hope to get to it soon. I did manage to make one batch, though. Let's hope this cherry galette can tide you over until things calm down.
cherry puff pastry galette
makes 1 large galette
250 puff pastry (if you want to make your own: about 1/5 of this recipe will suffice)
500 gr cherries, pitted and halved
75 gr granulated sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 egg, loosely beaten with a pinch of salt
raw cane sugar toasted
almond slivers for finishing (optional)
1. Combine cherries with granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt and lemon juice. Set aside. Roll out your pastry to about 2 mm thick. Try to make it more or less round, but don't worry if it's oddly shaped. The whole purpose of a galette is that it looks rustic, right? Put pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a fork to punch holes through the pastry. Stay clear from the edges.
2. Mound the cherries in the center of the pastry. Leave a border of about 4-5 cm around the edges. Fold over the edges and crimp. Brush the edges with egg wash and sprinkle them with raw cane sugar. Leave to rest for 30-40 minutes, at room temperature or in the fridge. This will reduce shrinkage. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200˚C.
3. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the pastry is golden. Try to also check the bottom of the pastry to see if it's fully cooked.
4. Leave to cool for a few minutes. If you feel like it, sprinkle with toasted almond slivers.
This galette is best when it's still warm and accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Leftovers, if there are any, can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days. For a crispy edge, reheat at 200˚C for a couple of minutes.