Monday Meal Review: Slovenia

how-to-make-pleteno-srce

“What you build easily will fall quickly”
– Slovenian Proverb

I rarely take the time to bake any more. Life keeps getting in the way. Meetings, obligations – the stuff of adulthood. This week, thanks to Slovenia, I had the opportunity to use my hands to shape, braid, and decorate an ornate loaf of Slovenian Heart Bread. As I worked, I was surprised to find myself overcome with relief. Working flour, water, egg, sugar, and butter together into a smooth ball felt like an old friend, come home again.

When I try to pinpoint this comfort, I come to the conclusion that baking feels exactly like a vacation.
But from what? 

What could baking do to “take me away” … and, perhaps more importantly, what was it pushing me towards?

For starters, baking takes me away from the perpetual click-click-click of the keyboard and mouse. So often I find myself lost on Facebook and Pinterest happenings, or who is doing what in some other life that seems oh so much more interesting than my own. But with flour on my hands, there is no social media, no chance to immerse myself into other people’s lives. This life – the one I have been given (gifted!) – is all there is. And I have no choice but to slow down and enjoy it while my hands work the dough.

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Baking also pushes me towards my daughter. While kids are so often alienated from grownups, underfoot and misunderstood, baking is a chance to connect with our youth… to work with them on something that is a hundred times more fun than play dough  and even more rewarding and educational. After all, what’s better than making something from one of our global neighbors that we can eat?

Ava-makes-pleteno-srce

Finally, baking makes me a child again. Playing with dough is silly, fun, and there are no rules.

Which makes me wonder – as I get older, why does it take so much more effort for me to just play? Have I grown out of running in the rain or dancing like no one is watching? As I type this, yet another wiry white hair snakes it’s way out of my scalp.

I’m going to need all the baking I can get if I’m going to stay young at heart.

making-braided-heart-bread

Friends, the superficial stuff of life – of yearning after what other people have – that won’t stick. It’s these cherished times around the table – when we work together on something full of love that really matter.

It’s my goal, now more than ever, to enjoy these real moments… the ones just waiting for us, a full of potential as a ball of risen dough.

xo

 

THE FOOD

Bean n’ Barley Soup | Ričet [Recipe]

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What I loved most about this dish:

This soup is everything I adore about a good bowl of winter warmth: clean flavors, few ingredients, and quite healthy. Mr Picky ate two bowls in a row, which is saying a lot since he hardly ever spoons more than 1 bowl of any soup at a time.  Another thing is that the ingredients aren’t browned in oil, which contributes to the clean flavor.  Overall this is one that will go into the regular rotation. The recipe makes enough that I can store half in the freezer until the next hankering, which is nice as well.

What I loved least about this dish:

I’d really like to try this with sausage. The bacon was fine but mostly displeasure into the soup. I love the idea of bigger morsels of sausage to enjoy. Both are traditional, although sausage may be more common.

 Braided Heart Bread | Pleteno Srce [Recipe]

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What I loved most about this dish:

Pleteno Srce is absolutely stunning. The dough is soft  and not even remotely sticky, making it a dream to work with, especially because of all the shaping that is to be done.  Should you, due to humidity or altitude, run into issues with excess moisture or dryness, just work a little extra flour into the dough or water… as needed. Ava adored shaping this with mama and Keith reveled in it.

What I loved least about this dish:

While it takes time to say love with bread dough, the effort is clearly worth it for such a beautiful statement. If you aren’t sure of your skills, just release yourself to the fun of it. And if you do make this, please take pictures and share them on our Facebook Page. This goes for any dish you make on your Global Table Adventure… I’d love to see what you’re up to!

 

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Comments

  1. How was the texture and taste of that bread where it was made exclusively with cake flour? Thanks for an as usual, great job on another country!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      It was tender and soft… rather reminded me of a cross between challah and brioche… I suppose that’s also because of the egg and milk… but I wouldn’t change back to all purpose. I think it kept it lighter and even as the days went by, the pieces I kept sealed in a baggie remained lovely.

  2. what a beautiful post -thank you!! :) will watch the video later…

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