There are certain times in my life when I feel like I need to break free. Free from the usual. Beak away from what I do everyday. Don’t get me wrong – I love my life – especially where I am today. I have everything I could desire and am happy – right down to the core. I am a Gemini you see, and every now and then my terrible twin comes out of the hiding and asks “What if …?”
And leaves me wondering. Sometimes I get so contemplative about that what if that I get lost in a make believe world and it can take days for me to come out.
This weekend when I was in Frankfurt watching A-HA in concert and enjoying every moment of it, I came away wistful and contemplating that “What if” seriously. See I saw A-HA for the first time at 15. I was the typical teenage fan, screaming and swooning over Morten Harket. Today I am 37 and after over 20 years I came away thinking “you’ve come a long way true but what if I took another path in life. Where would I be?”
As my girlfriends and I waited with glasses of champagne in our hands, for Mags, Morten and Pal to come on stage I looked out into the hall and realized there weren’t any screaming teenagers there but those teenagers had grown up and were all sitting here. Some had streaks of gray in there once dark hair, others fine lines under there once gleaming eyes. Which path did they take? Are they all that they wanted to be?
Finally when Morten, Mags and Pal came out and began the concert with “The Sun Always Shines on TV” I remembered the exact moment the first time I heard the song so many years ago and could not help but smile. Morten’s crystal clear and husky voice still gave me those goosebumps – but this time the goosebumps were intermingled with years of experience and memories. I think I experienced this concert so much more intensively - with all my senses.
I am a bit of a wild one – always have been. I’ve learned how to tame it as I’ve gotten older but it’s very much a prominent streak in my character. Those who are my friends love me for it while those who are not hate me for it. It’s gotten me into trouble a few times but mostly it’s made me break loose from the conventional. While I do watch my decorum, I do not hesitate to do the unexpected. We live only once and if shouting “Morten I love!” at the age of 37 and getting the whole hall to cheer and clap was what I thought was cool I did it. After all in return he did say “Thanks, love you too!”
I spent most of Sunday thinking of my past and asking myself “So, would you do it all over again?”
I’d probably change a few things – do a few things I never got a chance to do and not do other things I did - but would want the same results. I’d want to be exactly here where I am today. With Tom and Soeren. And with Morten and the songs from A-HA escorting me through it all.
This focaccia is perfect for the daydreamers in us. Yeasty dough dimpled with sweet mirabelle plums and laced with a lemon and poppy seed butter – a heavenly combination.
Dimpled Mirabelle Plum Focaccia with Lemon Poppy Seed Butter
Printable version of recipe here.
For the dough
400g + more flour
25g fresh yeast
200ml milk, luke warm
pinch of salt
For the focaccia topping
500g mirabelle plums, washed, pitted and cut in half
10g poppy seeds, dry roasted
zest and juice from one lemon
icing sugar (optional)
For the dough
- Prepare the dough by dissolving the yeast in the milk, then add flour, sugar, eggs, butter and a pinch of salt and knead with the kneading hooks of your machine. The dough should be smooth and silky. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm dry place - approx. 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. and prepare a baking tray by lining it with some baking paper.
- Once the dough has risen using floured fingers spread the dough out to the edges of the baking tray. Cover and allow to rest for another 20 minutes.
- Using your thumb dimple the dough side by side making cavities for the mirabelle plums and the lemon poppy seed butter.
For the focaccia topping
- Whisk together sugar and butter with an electric whisk until the mixture is smooth, creamy and pale in color. Add the roasted poppy seeds, lemon zest and juice and incorporate into the creamy mixture.
- Fill the buttercream in a pastry bag with a plain tip.
- Place a mirabelle plum half in the first dimple then squirt some of the buttercream into the next dimple. Do this switching alternatively from plum to buttercream until all the dimples are filled.
- Bake in the oven, second rack from bottom, for approx. 20 to 25 minutes. The top of the focaccia should be lovely and golden.
- Allow to cool then if using the icing sugar dust with the sugar.
This was truly exquisite. The pure aroma of the yeast focaccia intermingled with the fruity mirabelle and lemon poppy seed was just bliss. But the bite into the soft and chewy sweet focaccia was just heaven. Soeren was in love with it - it was his hit & run cake. What I mean by that is while he's out playing with the kids he'll quickly come in hit on a piece and run off with it. Tom too actually cut up a huge slice and hid it away from Soeren it was fairly hilarious watching them.
This focaccia is a simple lazy Sunday afternoon kind of treat. Enjoyed with tea or coffee and the hot tunes from A-HA it honestly satisfies to the core.
Monthly Mingle Reminder
I would like to invite you all to a fantastic party this mingle. Come and join me for a grand Brunch.
Make your favorite brunch recipes and bring send your creations to me by November 16th.
See you there!
European Food Blogger Connect Update
Circle November 28th in your calendars. That's when the first European Food Bloggers Connect is taking place in London. We’re all excited at the fantastic response so far. Foodies from all over the world will be flying in to join this great event. What’s more a few brilliant presentations by a selection of talented bloggers are planned for this event. Yes and I am going to have the honor of speaking on the topic of basic food photography and food styling. I’ll need all the support I can get so hope you’ll all be there. Check out the updated Food Blogger Connect flyer for more information on speakers and presentations.
You might like these from WFLH:
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Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:
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