Right now, I’m in the middle of a war.
On my side, I have boxes, scissors and packing tape.
On the other side – Clutter, dust, and over a year and a half of accumulated…. stuff.
So far, I seem to be winning the battle. Though that’s difficult to see right now, with boxes blotting out the light from the windows, and piles of “things” gathered in every corner, waiting to be sorted. Waiting to strike.
Moving house really can feel like an up-hill battle at times. Every single thing that you own is dragged out of the dark depths in which it’s hidden for who-knows how long, piled up in heaps and boxes to stare you in the face, making you ask yourself – Why on earth did I keep That? Where did that come from? Do I need this?
In the face of all of this chaos, you become ruthless. Throwing away things that once, a long time ago, you had some reason to keep that now alludes you. It’s not only a battle with your house and your possessions, but a battle with yourself. As you try to cut down the never-ending mountain of boxes that need to be moved…
But it’s not all bad.
(To skip to the recipe, just click here!)
Amidst the manic packing today, I took a little time out to say thank you to my neighbour. She’s always been happy to help, nothing is too much trouble, and without her my surprise birthday trip to Brighton for my partner would not have been possible. I’m going to miss getting to know her more.
So today, I went and bought her some flowers, some chocolates, and made a thank you card (with my new address on it, so hopefully we can stay in touch).
Change makes you stop and think about the things you used to have, the things you’ve enjoyed, but perhaps taken for granted.
It makes you really appreciate what you have in life.
The good times, the memories, the people. Despite all of the bad points of living here, I’ll take a lot of good from it 🙂
I’ve been feeling a little reluctant to leave this place this week. (I may have been wearing some rose-tinted specs.. the lyrics from Big Yellow Taxi – “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” come to mind) But then on Sunday, my partner and I took a load of our things to the new house… and I can see again what we’re giving this up for 🙂
Living with family, and getting to see the little ones grow up. Having a nicer house, in a quieter neighbourhood, with a garden I can grow things in.
… and a kitchen that is bigger than an ironing board, that I can spin around in and not even touch the walls…..
I can not wait.
During all of this madness though, I think that it’s important to take a few moments out to try and relax.
To take a few deep breaths, and just enjoy the moment. Even if, in that moment, you are trying to un-hook stubborn curtains from their loops and getting coated in dust…
On Sunday, after an entire weekend of packing, moving boxes, clearing, cleaning, and yet more packing until my muscles hurt to the touch, I knew we needed a break.
Pizza, potatoes, and a film.
It was just what we needed.
Figs, olives, rosemary, parsley, walnuts, red onions, and a cashew and walnut cheese.
So simple, with ingredients that really shouldn’t work. Yet somehow, it all blends together into sheer perfection.
I made this pizza last weekend too. That’s how good this is. And I’d happily eat this every weekend for the foreseeable future too.
It’s sweet, savoury, cheesy, tangy, herby, rich and refreshing. All at once. It’s pure magic.
(I’ve also been known to double the cheese recipe to slather on, well, everything. It’s very good)
I made my own pizza dough for this recipe (I love the magical feeling you get from mixing together the raw dough ingredients and watching it come to life), but you could always use a bought-pizza base if you want.
The dough recipe makes enough for two pizza. For the second, my partner made his own concoction …
His side was covered in store-bought vegan cheese (which I’m not a fan of!). I’ll have to post a recipe for this some day, it was rather good too ;).
If you try this pizza, let me know! I love it, and I hope you do too!
No posts now I imagine until I’m settled in the new house…
So, see you on the other side!
Pixie <3 x
Fig & Cheese Pizza
By September 17, 2013Published:
Right now, I'm in the middle of a war. On my side, I have boxes, scissors and packing tape. On the other side - Clutter, dust, …
- If you're making the dough from scratch
- 1 Sachet Instant Dried Yeast
- 400 Ml Warm Water
- 1 Tbs Sugar
- 300 g Bread Flour
- 300 g Self-raising Flour plus a handful to use when rolling out the dough
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tbs Olive Oil
- For the Walnut & Cashew Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Cashew nuts Soaked (at least 3 hours, or one hour in hot water will help)
- 1/2 Cup Walnuts Soaked (at least 3 hours, or one hour in hot water will help)
- 2-3 Cloves Fresh Garlic I used 3, but I love strong garlic flavours
- 2 tbs Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 lemon Fresh Squeezed lemon Juice
- 1/2 lemon Zest of half a lemon
- 1/4 cup water Or as much as you need to blend into a smooth paste
- 1/2 tsp Fresh ground black pepper (optional)
- Additional Toppings
- 1/2 Medium Sized Red Onion
- 1 cup Olives, sliced Green work very well, but black are good too!
- 1/4 cup walnuts Roughly chopped
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 handful Fresh Parsley Roughly Chopped
- 4 Fresh Figs (maybe more figs - enough to cover the pizza)
- If you're planning on making your own pizza dough, then start this about an hour before you're wanting to cook your pizza! In a jug, measure out 400ml of warm water. Not too hot, or you'll kill the yeast. Dissolve in your sugar, then stir in the yeast (this seems to ensure the yeast is mixed in evenly).
- In a bowl, measure out your flours. I like to use half bread flour to add some strength, and half self-raising flour to add some lightness to the dough. Add in your salt and olive oil, and mix in the water and yeast mixture. Mix thoroughly until it forms a soft dough, then cover and leave in a warm place to rise.
- Whilst the dough is rising, you can make your cheese! If you can remember to, soak your nuts overnight. 3 hours will do well, but if you're in a rush, pouring boiling water over them then leaving for an hour will help out. This just helps to soften the nuts to make blending them easier.
- Once the nuts have been soaked, drain them and place them into your blender / food processor. You could also make this in a jug with a hand blender, it just won't be as smooth. Add all of the other cheese-ingredients (from the cashew nuts down the the ground black pepper), and blend until smooth (or as smooth as you can make it!) Give it a taste. It should be garlicy, a little salty, with a fresh lemony tang. If you think you need more of the other ingredients, add them in until it tastes right for you.
- Once your dough has risen (after about 40 minutes to an hour), knock it back. This just means you can punch the stuffing out of it until it's a nice, pliable ball of dough (great for working out the stress of moving). Cut the ball of dough in half, and roll it out on a lightly floured surface, until it's the shape of your baking pan. Line your pan with greaseproof paper, and drizzle on 1 tbs of olive oil, spreading around to coat it all. This is important, as the dough Will stick to the paper if you don't!
- Transfer your dough to the paper, pressing down the center with your fingertips until you've made a little rise at the edge of the pan for the crust (you can see it in the photo). Prick the dough all over with a fork (I also like to add a pattern to the crust, but that's optional), then bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes, or until it looks pale-brown, but not dark brown (you don't want to over cook it)
- Once the dough has been half-cooked, spread on your nut-cheese mixture generously until you've covered the base (but not the crust).
- Finely slice your onion, and evenly scatter most of it over the cheese, followed by most of your olives. I like to reserve a few to scatter on top of the figs, but you can use all of them here if you wish. (Yes, the olives here are green whilst the others are black! This photo was from this week with green others, and last week I used black!)
- Slice up your figs! You don't want them wafer-thin, but not too thick either. I think mine were 4mm thick? But no need to get the ruler out, I'm sure you'll do just fine! Layer them on top of the olive and onions, then scatter with a generous teaspoon of rosemary, the remaining onions and olives (if you chose to keep some for decoration), your chopped walnuts, and a sprinkling of sea salt and pepper.
- Bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes, or until the crust it golden and the figs have started to caramelise. Once cooked, scatter over your fresh parsley.
- Serve immediately with potato wedges / bake, and a nice side salad. Or just eat a slice by itself. Followed by another slice. I won't judge you. Enjoy!