Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Healing ... Part 2

As we approach Jan/Feb every year my mind starts to wander back to 2009 and what was the last few weeks we got to spend with my Father.



Dad had already been in and out of hospital including a trip to Perth to remove most of a brain tumour. After that he got to spend some time at home including Christmas, while he did chemo.



It was a day in mid January and we got a call from someone at the hospital to say it was bad news; tests showed the cancer had spread to his bones.



So I rang the family and we turned up at Nan & Gramps place.



I don't believe Dad really understood why we were there. But we were there to take every and any opportunity to be together as a group and take pictures with him and the children while he was still looking relatively well.  



It was a sad afternoon, but it was kept relatively light by the fact Dad was clueless.



I have no regrets for the things I did to capture every moment, to hold on to him as hard as I could with both hands, even though I sometimes made other people in my family angry.



He was after all the one and only dad I would ever have.  He was 75 and I was 32.



It was hard on the kids. Some of the pics show that in their little tiny faces. But it was important. We were still able to make memories with him. Once Gramps was gone there was no more memory making to be done, except the funeral.



After that, everything about him was in retrospect, past tense.



It was the last time we were all at their home together.  Not long afterwards he was put into GRHS, then flown to Royal Perth where we were told he would die, and then finally flown home to spend some time at SJOG Hospital, before transferring back to GRHS where we celebrated my eldest brother Jons birthday on Feb 7.



And in the early hours of February 12 2009, with only about 12 hours notice that he was truly palliative (less than 7 days to live) Dad slipped away as I held his hand & kissed his brow.



Saturday, January 17, 2015

Spinach, Fetta & Ricotta Scrolls

Just like the make at home LCM bars this recipe came from the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Super Food Ideas magazine, but I made a few changes to suit my own needs ;-)

First of all you make the basic dough recipe that can be used for pizza bases, empanadas, scrolls etc.

I want to point out my yeast wasn't fresh; it had been sitting in the freezer for a good year but still worked fantastically.  I also am well know for my pastry and dough fails so was doubly happy this recipe worked for me.

The only ingredient I didn't have on hand for this recipe was the bread & pizza flour, but it was easy enough to locate at Coles.



BASIC DOUGH

1 1/4 cups bread & pizza flour
1/2 cup wholemeal plain flour (I only had regular plain flour to hand)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of warmed milk
7g sachet dry yeast (I measured out 7g from our freezer supply)
1 Tbs olive oil
Extra bread & pizza flour to dust

1.  Combine flours & salt in a large bowl.
2.  Place milk & yeast in a medium jug.
3.  Stir well to combine.
4.  Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.
5.  Add yeast mixture and oil.
6.  Using a flat bladed knife, gently stir until a dough forms.
7.  Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface.
8.  Knead for 7 to 8 minutes until smooth.



FOR THE SCROLLS

1.  Divide dough in half.
2.  Knead each half into a ball.
3.  Place each dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl.
4.  Cover with greased plastic wrap.
5.  Stand in a warm place for 45 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.



FILLING FOR SCROLLS


250 grams frozen spinach, thawed
300 grams fresh ricotta (I used the tub variety from the cheese chiller section)
100 grams fetta (I always use smooth or danish style fetta...personal taste)
4 Tbs fresh basil leaves (I used dried leaves)

1.  Grease and line two baking trays.
2.  Squeeze excess liquid from the spinach.
3.  Combine spinach, ricotta, fetta and basil in a bowl.
4.  Using a rolling pin lightly dusted with flour, roll out you first dough ball to form a 22cm x
     33cm rectangle.
5.  Spread with half the ricotta mixture.
6.  Roll up from the long edge to enclose the filling.
7.  Trim ends. Cut evenly into 8 pieces. (I didn't worry about trimming ends; they add character)
8.  Place scrolls, cut side up, 3cm apart, on prepared tray.
9.  Flatten slightly until 2cm thick. Brush with egg.

Repeat process with second dough ball.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.
Cool on tray for 5 minutes.
Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.





Now the trick is having the dough rolled thinly enough that it cooks through nicely in the centre along with the rest of your scroll, and is not left doughy. But not so thin it falls apart. Overall I found the dough very easy to work with.




Of course you can switch out this filling with your own favourite flavours. :-)


ENJOY!