Everywhere I look in the blogosphere it seems people are settling down and having kids. Offline, it seems everyone is coupling up and there are fewer and fewer people who use the ‘I’ for individual instead of ‘we’ for couple. People are happy and growing up, striving for bigger and bolder moments and it’s beautiful to see.
Yet, it’s a little over a week away from another valentines and each has been spent since starting this blog alone, with no hint of there being a change anytime soon. While sitting over tea with the Nursad’s in the very Muslim country of Turkey, the father was very animatedly asking why I “was so happy for his daughter to be single, that soon she would be too old for children.” I replied that “it’s better to be happy.”
Let’s not get started when somehow my backward younger brother asks “when are you getting married and having kids?” My response is always “aren’t I a whole human on my own?” Yes, we may be in the 21st Century, but there are expectations still placed on women and I’m from a country where I am very free, a luxury so many people don’t have because of the gender they are born into. Somehow with that fateful February 14 date getting ever closer the only song in my head is Single Ladies, but lets not put a ring on it, just keep doing your thing, don’t give in to the pressure if you are very happy in your freedom.
If I could sit down with anyone who has recently become single or anyone who has been single for a while, I’d stand and cheer you on with the little line of “to freedom.” It’s important not to dismiss this because one day in the future, if you didn’t enjoy what luck you have right now than surely you’ll not take advantage of all that comes with this blessing.
So if you are in a relationship or are enjoying the single life, what advice would you give to someone who isn’t feeling very positive about spending Valentines without a significant other?
Now, this loaf doesn’t require you to enter your relationship status to make it, and it’s basically a bread version of tomato soup and grilled cheese with garlic bread thrown in for good measure. The flavors all shine here. The cheese is really the icing on this loaf which for those with a savory preference will see as their cake.
Tomato Garlic Cheesy Pull Apart Loaf
1 1/3 cups milk, lukewarm
7g instant yeast
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup mild cheese, grated (I used half cheddar, half mozzarella)
Place milk and yeast in a bowl and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and garlic. Add to the yeast with the tomato paste and butter and combine until a dough has formed.
Place on a floured work surface and knead until smooth and combined.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl and place in a warm place until doubled in size (approximately 1 1/2 hours).
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350F and brush a thin layer of olive oil over the baking tray.
Knead the dough into a round loaf and place on the tray. Slice 3/4 way across the dough in lines, add some of the grated cheese to each sliced portion. Than carefully slice the dough the opposite direction (creating squares) in the same manner, adding cheese in each portion once again until all portions of the dough have cheese inside.
Place in the oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the cheese is golden and dough sounds hollow when you knock on it.