Building a tribe with feta and spinach bread
They say that it takes a village to raise a child and as this year ticks on, I am beginning to believe them. I guess that it wasn’t that long ago that families lived closer together, that you knew your neighbour, that you had childhood friends down the road. As most of you know we moved to Munich when I was nearing the end of my pregnancy. I ended up two weeks overdue, was induced and after 30hours (with zero progress at all) had an emergency section (the umbilical cord was wrapped multiple times round Mays neck). From the minute May arrived, we needed a tribe and we haven’t stopped needing one since. We needed our freezer filling, our dog walking, our baby to be cooed over. We needed to be taken care of. The few friends that we had here made us feel loved and special but we had only met them weeks before and we weren’t at the stage of being able to let them into a crazy house, in three day old clothes stained with milk leakage. We needed people that knew us. People that knew our normal and could read between the lines. We needed friends that knew our history, that knew how to ask the difficult questions and who would ship us off to bed when we needed it. This year has been the very very best of years. We have watched in wonder as our little daughter grows and learns. But it has also been the hardest of years. Doing something so life changing as becoming parents meant that we needed the support of loved ones around us and on top of that, the husband has struggled this year with depression. He has found moving here harder than me in many ways. He has struggled with the culture shock of the land and of becoming a dad. I have spent the last 13months trying to keep his head above water whilst being the best mum I can be and when there is just the two of you, everything is felt more intensely. I think that why this year more than ever, cooking has mattered. It has been my respite, my solace. It is the little bit of me that I can cling on to. On days where words haven’t hit the spot the action of putting down a bowlful of something delicious has been my way of showing love. Serving homemade cakes to friends has bought us closer. Taking freshly made goodies to playgroup allowed me to open up and chat round the language barrier.
Today I dropped May off at nursery and then met a old friend for coffee. We greeted the owner by name, we sipped espresso and we laughed. It felt homely. I realised that somewhere along the way, we have been building a tribe here. That despite the hard days, the days where I was sure I was failing everyone, it turns out we were doing something right. I came home wanting to cook. I was wet and cold from the weather and I needed the oven to on and to break bread. So as Cold Feet played in the background I measured out this loaf. It is silky rich when baked and souffle light. It is salty from the feta and earthy from the spinach and it needs that tiny hint of chilli warmth. It would be delicious toasted along side a bowl of ratatouille, dipped in roasted tomato soup or topped with a crunchy carrot and seed salad.
Happy Tuesday x
Large handful of fresh spinach chopped
200g – 250g flour
1 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp dried chilli flakes
1.5 tbsp ricotta
40g feta crumbled
1.5 tbsp rapeseed oil
Preheat your oven to 170C
Grease a loaf tin
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl
Stir in the ricotta, crumbled feta, chilli, oil and spinach
Fold in the flour and baking powder – use as much flour as you need to reach a thick batter
Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 50-60mins or until a skewer comes out clean and it is golden brown
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