Adventures On My Bike – Day 2/28
Today’s recipe: Spanakopita Parcels.
Yes I am! ‘Adventures On My Bike’. This new story I’m writing myself into. This project to lift me out of my food funk and back into food vigor as I cycle my way around town. It’s not super strict, it’s without expectations and the planned outcomes are exactly none. Creativity needs fluidity yeah. Strategy? Simple – just move. That’s the commitment bit, creativity needs that to grow into something. Let’s just see how this unfolds shall we … I’m feeling that smile on the inside thing (purpose?) returning. Although it is pretty foolproof, you know that right. You know how I know that? Simple. It’s built on La Dolce Vita so goodness is guaranteed to follow. If you’re a numbers person it took me 28 days to walk the camino and this has a 28 day life. Literally, we leave for our summer break on day 29 (we’re going campervanning). It’s about three things: food, my bike and adventure (in my kitchen and from my front door). There’s an international theme. I’ll be trying new things, hopefully having some fun and importantly I’ll be making the most of my days. Since the camino this has been something I’ve held closely, making the most of my days.
The humble Buddha bowl, nourishing bowl, what the heck is in the fridge bowl – that’s my first step in. I literally googled Buddha bowls and landed here with a list of 14 different recipes. My first lunch bowl yesterday in the picture was my take on the avocado and quinoa bowl recipe on In It 4 The Long Run. I think I’ll stick with that site. I like the look of a lot of those bowls, lots of tastes. The Buddha bowl gets you in the swing of grabbing what’s in the fridge and mixing it up. Left over roast veggies perfect!
Are there rules for this project? How does ‘just move’ work? It means I need to get on my bike or out with my backpack on my back and do something each day. Something related to food. It can look lots of ways. A cycle to a friends for a cuppa? Sure, I should do that more (it’s possible I’m too introvert’ey at times). Today I decided I’d cycle to a shop across town. And not directly, I’d take the long way around and I’d take some of the paths through the woods. So with my camera around my neck that’s just what I did. Tickled pink at how this day evolved? You betcha! Singing into the wind on day two, feeling proud – that’s the stuff.
There’s magic in the fresh air, in dreaming up a project and jumping in. I loved writing each day (on my iPhone) on the camino, sharing my daily photos (from my DLSR) and documenting the little stories of the day. It feels good to be back, back photographing the beauty of the day. The rabbits, the cows, the trail folk on foot, bike and horseback. Back writing in my head, connecting the dots. Awake to the world around me, moving with a creative purpose.
I think while I ride. In the same pleasant way I could when I hiked the camino, clearly. Even though there are unpleasant things on my mind. Things I want to write about but don’t yet have the words. I am thinking about how I can do justice to a topic that needs talking about. I think about the recent vigil in my home town of Melbourne for a young woman I’ve never met but will forever mourn. Eurydice Dixon. I think about the stories I heard from the young women I met on the camino. I think of my own #metoo experiences of being a young and now an older woman. And I wonder how to parent my daughter. The beautiful, innocent, wide eyed, intelligent, gender issues calling, self confessed feminist who I will need to let go into the world.
I also notice things. Things like the fact that I’m naturally cycling with my arm swinging. A natural habit that comes from walking a long walk. A walk where you become part of the moment without effort. A walk where you are so free you can release. Release happiness as laughter, pain as tears, reflection into deep connection and fear into strength. I noticed it already on day six of my camino.
After the success of the Caprese Crackers yesterday I decided to dip into another travel story. One of the things I love about living abroad is the close friendships you form with people from all over the world. Friendships that are like family. None of us have our immediate families so we become each other’s. We seem to be gravitating towards Greek friends both my daughter and I. It was at her Greek friend’s house that she learnt to eat spinach. Spinach, YES! A green vegetable and a perfectly healthy ingredient for an after school snack. Spanakopita. Also made with feta and she’s not big on any other cheese so getting in two lots of goodness.
After school snack – Spanakopita
- Spinach 300g
- Onion (large)
- Dill 1 tablespoon
- Feta 200g
- Vegetable Oil 1/4 cup
- 2 Eggs whisked (one for the mix and one for an egg wash)
- Puff pastry
In a large pot place the oil. Cook the onion in the oil (5 mins or so, don’t brown). Add the spinach and the dill. Cook down spinach and any water it is carrying (5 mins maybe). Take off heat. The oil won’t cook down so if needed pop the mix in a sieve and push excess out. Extra moisture will make it harder to cook.
Cool the mix. If you add an egg to the hot mix it will cook it! I popped mine in the freezer. Once tepid I added the feta hand crumbling it in and mixing (with hands). Then I added the (whisked) egg to the mix.
Once mixed take out a ping pong ball size amount and place in your pastry. I had small squares of pasty. If you have a large square slice it into four.
I literally made this but up. Just lifting the opposite corners to the middle I pressed the edges of the dough together to form a parcel. There are YouTube videos that can help if you’re more of a precise cook.
A tip from my Greek friend Lexie: Using a brush coat the outside of the parcel with whisked egg (this is where the golden colour comes from).
A tip from me: There will be egg (from the coating) left so cook it up with a bit of mixture. Like a mini omelette and feet the kid who’s hanging around for food. Or maybe for you if you’re pre-preparing the spanakopita’s. Or perhaps for the gluten free one. #nowaste remember ;)
Cook for 20-25 mins on a cooking tray on moderate. Keep an eye on the colour of the parcels and check if ready by poking with a skewer. It should come out clean.
* I had the ingredients and a recipe from an online website but I checked with Lexie at school pick up and adapted to the most basic ingredients.
Food brings people together doesn’t it. Look at that ‘Adventures On My Bike’ project already delivering the good stuff. Oh and my daughter announcing after eating two that she wants these in her lunchbox every day (evil cackle … what other veggies can I sneak in)!