Monthly Archives: March 2012

Learning Leslie #scintilla

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Day one of the Scintilla Project!

Who are you?

This is a question that is tough to answer, of course. I don’t want to sound like every other person. You’re smart, so you know that I, like everyone else, am a snowflake. Unique, complicated and delicate.

What you only know from reading my previous posts is that I’m going through a renewal. I’m learning a new me. I’ve dated some men that are great for me in some ways, not so great in others. I’m learning about how to behave in healthier relationship structures. I do not define myself by who I am romantically attached to.

I’m the daughter of a codependant and an alcoholic. I love both my parents for everything they taught me, the good and the bad. I am a codependant trying to quit. I love people, though. That’s my addiction. I’m learning to be by myself. To pay my bills, to save my money, to plan for me.

For the first time in my life, I’m not stress eating. I’m not making excuses for someone’s behavior. I’m not trying to fix people around me. I am genuinely trying to focus my love and attention on myself. I show real concern for friends, but not excessive. It no longer causes me emotional harm if a friend is not well. I worry, but I don’t allow it to cause me trauma.

This all seems strange to read, I’m sure. I’m saying a lot about what I’m not instead of who I am.

All of that tells you who I was. I’m not entirely sure who I am. I know what characteristics I have. I am silly, passionate, creative, fun, smiley, dorky, stubborn, determined, nervous, and just a little scared. Life is taking me for a damned fun ride right now and I’m finding out that I’m capable of letting myself be treated well, of letting myself succeed in career and love.

I’m dating someone who is kind to me and considers my needs. This is strange because I expect it to be a trap. I’m going to let my guard down and BAM! out comes his crazy. This is my own hangup. I get it. I’m damaged, but I’m fixing it. Part of fixing it is learning how to let someone be nice to me. I learned that from my best friend, and now I’m learning it from this man.

I’m happy. Part of me is scared of that, because I’ve learned that happiness doesn’t last. The other part of me accepts that and is reveling in the joy I am wading in at this very moment. People can see the joy in me and I’ve had strangers comment on it. These past few months I’ve gotten more “Wow, you’re beautiful!” or “You have a great smile!” comments than I ever have. It’s lovely, because my smile made them smile. I like that. Plus, who doesn’t love being told they’re beautiful?

My main point is that I am joyful in finding out who THIS woman is. This woman that I’m growing up into is different than any other Leslie and I’m enjoying meeting her.

 

 

ETA: I suppose this also counts as a First for me. “Life is a series of firsts. Talk about one of your most important firsts. What did you learn? Was it something you incorporated into your life as a result?” This is the first time I’ve actively tried to be a better, healthy me and have succeeded.

Pork Pasty Part 2: FOR REALS YO!

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Okay, so you waited alllll of February. Patient you. I’m terrible, I know.

But today, you are rewarded for your patience.

PORK PASTY PART DEUCE!!

So, we have made the pork, cooked it, loved it, pulled it apart, chilled it. It’s gorgeous and tasty. YEEEEESSSSSS.

Now, to make the dough. It’s a really simple dough.

3 cups Flour

1 1/2 cups Butter, cold and cut into itty bitty chunks. (I like to keep it in the freezer till I need it.)

1 1/2 tsp salt

6 TBS water (you may not need all of it)

Mix the dry ingredients with a fork, then start smooshing it around with your hand before you even think about the water. The butter will soften and start to incorporate and be all like “Hey lets DOUGH this!”

See what I did there??

Yeah, anyway, add your water a tablespoon at a time. Mix it into the dough thoroughly before adding any more. You want a smooth, non sticky dough.

That’s a dough ball to be proud of. Put it in the fridge for a half hour at the least.

Once it’s chilled the fuck out for fuck’s sake, flour your counter top and roll it out. You can cut it into circles if you have a large round biscuit or cookie cutter, or you can cut it into squares. I like squares ’cause there is less waste.

Oooooh. Squares of dough. FANCY.

Once you’ve cut them, stack them on a small plate, or off to the side. The flour on the bottom of each will keep them from sticking to each other. They don’t have to be perfect, unless you’re all OCD about that. But if you are, chances are that you’re not taking the time to read my obnoxious recipe rambling.

Now, all your squares are cut, lets get to the sexy pasty party!

One square gets a tablespoon or so of filling. You want it to have some of the juices. They are important. You don’t want to have a dry pasty. NO ONE likes a dry pasty.

Now that’s lookin’ pretty tempting isn’t it? Fold into a triangle.

Pinch the edges starting at the middle point and moving to the ends. Sometimes you will get a little leak, just pinch it closed. Now crimp it with fork tines. Crimp it like an ’80’s fashion throwback.

Brush it with an eggwash (one egg, a splash of cream and whisk!) and put it on a greased pan.

Repeat.

And Repeat. AAAAAAnd Repeat a bunch more times till you have this!

Some are lumpy and a little cracked, but that’s okay. One of them has rounded, folded edges because I wanted to show you another way of doing it.  I’m not perfect and neither are they.

But daaaaamn they’re tasty.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until they are golden brown.

Leave them on the pans to cool. Let them cool entirely before GENTLY (seriously, like holding a newborn baby when you’ve had the dropsies all day gentle) prying them from the sheets. I usually do a push pull method of breaking them loose from the pan. Spatulas tend to be too rough.

Then, EAT! Eat and eat and eat!

You can freeze these and heat them individually or serve them warm out of the oven.

TADA! We made pork pasties together! YUM.