I always thought a ‘woman’ was someone who eternally had a hairbrush in her handbag, wore shoes that made clippy clop noises and owned at least three variations of the femme power suit. She touched up her red lipstick in the bathroom during fancy work lunches and did enough Pilates that her taught inner thighs were forever separate. These are the kind of warped visions of success that were squished into my impressionable little brain during the nineties. I wanted to be just like Natasha Richardson in Parent Trap. But now that I am legally an adult – legally being the operative work here – I feel even further from my childhood ideals than ever.
Most of the time I wear denim overalls, t-shirts and sneakers - the result being a kind of behemoth mascara-and-red-lip-sporting child. This androgyny is probably extremely confusing for the onlooker and no doubt a contributor to my ‘forever alone’ relationship status. Ideally I like to eat waffles and/or pancakes for breakfast and I have an ardent disdain for celery (if you don’t think it tastes like wet socks then you lack imagination and should take an art class or something). My brother is always telling me to put things in my ‘Google Calendar’ (?!) so I don’t forget and lecturing me for not syncing my smart phone to my email account – as if that is like common knowledge or something?
Dad scolds me for not being ladylike every time I open a beer with my teeth and mum says just because I am wearing sweatpants doesn’t mean I don’t have to keep my legs crossed. Even though I sometimes do the things adults do – like go to work, pay most of my bills and own a vehicle – I wouldn’t consider myself a real adult, let alone a ‘woman.' It is this complete bewilderment of the adult world that leaves me with an intoxicating sense of accomplishment – and pats on the back from my family - whenever I do stuff like hangout the washing or iron things sans holes.
But I still don’t own any lady suits and all of my ‘work’ clothes are made from stiff poly-blends that I hang in the bathroom while I shower to remove creases. My robust distrust for almost all authority figures still lingers from adolescence, to the point that most of my employers end up taking a vested interest in my personal life. My most recent role as media officer in a pretty stiff corporate environment led me to dye my hair pink in a kind of silent defiance – it was that or strangle myself with my locker lanyard. But my extremely paternal CEO at the time calmly took me aside post dip-dye to ask if “anything is worrying you honey?” GUH.
As you can tell, I am WELL aware of my shortcomings as a responsible adult, which is why I take such pride in the kitchen. So you can imagine how heartbreaking it was for me when I thought these delightful little scrolls were an epic failure. I decided to proceed anyway – anointing them with a copious sprinkling of cheese – and luckily they turned out just fine.
Now if only I could just smother the rest of my life in melted pecorino.
- 4 onions, diced
- 2 apples, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, bruised and chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice + 1 tablespoon grated rind
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 ½ + ½ cups grated pecorino cheese
- 3 cups flour
- 1 ½ cup sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon Himalayan salt
- 1 serve of yeast (prepare according to packet)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- To make balsamic apple relish, sauté onion, apple and garlic until browned. Pour in remaining liquids.
- Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Leave to cool completely.
- For the dough, combine flour, sesame seeds, salt, olive oil, paprika and yeast mix.
- Kneed together on a floured surface, adding flour as needed.
- Roll out dough reasonable thinly before spreading with relish (like you would a pizza base). Top with 1 ½ cups pecorino.
- Roll dough up into a long log. Slice short-ways into round portions. Lay these flat next to each other in a pan lined with baking paper.
- Leave in a warm place to rise for about 40 minutes.
- Top with remaining pecorino cheese and bake for at a moderate heat for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.