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Fig and Buckwheat Tart

fig and buckwheat tart

I have finally watched the documentary about Iris Apfel called simply ‘Iris’.

I found it really interesting and inspiring. It reminded me of ‘Diana Vreeland:The Eye Has To Travel’ for two reasons. One – both documentaries are about inspiring, fashionable, bold women. Two – there are similarities in their life and the making of them as a style icon. They were both told when they were young that they were not pretty, so they both figured out that having style and fun by dressing up will make them different and stand out.

Iris is witty and you can see that her mind constantly wonders. She is not your usual 93 year old.

She is so captivating and inspiring with her bold statements, approach to life, love of beauty and uniqueness that you head will be buzzing after watching 90 minutes of ‘Iris’. You might even spend some money on accessories….

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The film made me feel a bit sad as well, because Iris reminded me of a lady who lived in my hometown. She was also quite bold in accessories and totally making a statement the way she was dressed. The only thing is, she wasn’t living in New York but in a small town in the middle of the woods during communism, so she could never start a decorating company and buy clothes from Dior. During communism era, citizens weren’t allowed to get a passport, only on special permission. Private business was frowned upon, as it wasn’t in line with the social correctness of working in public companies and communal production. It was too independent and seen as dangerous individual thinking.

The mentioned lady called by everyone Lola ( I don’t think it was her name, it just matched her flamboyant approach to fashion) was truly a rare bird. In gloomy, depressing times when everyone was dressing in grey, unimaginative, cheap outfits, and self medicating their depression with vodka, she was cheerful and chirpy as a bird and as exotic as a parrot among crows. Her outfits were madly colourful and creatively put together. People in my small town couldn’t comprehend her style, she was way ahead of the times. A few years ago I met her in one of the charity shops (where once I found Thierry Mugler’s suit). She was wearing a crazy but well put together outfit which included a tutu skirt and was picking some items which showed she had a good eye. She looked exactly the same as 20 years ago. My sister who was with me watched her for a while, then turned to me and said: ‘this is probably the only fashi0nable woman in this town who’s always faithful to her style. And she’s got style…’ and she was right. Shame there were no fashion bloggers like ‘Advance Style’ etc, who could make her recognizable and appreciated for what she was – an independent thinker and individualist who wasn’t afraid to discover her own style – just like Iris Apfel or Diana Vreeland….

And because it’s season for figs, let me introduce you to My New Roots fig tart.

fig and buckwheat tart

fig and buckwheat tart

Fig And Buckwheat Tart:

Crust:

70g sunflower seeds

150g buckwheat flour

60 ml coconut oil, chilled until very cool

pinch of sea salt

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons iced water

Filling:

350g thick, plain Greek yogurt

1 vanilla bean

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or agave syrup), plus extra for drizzling if desired

5 fresh figs, washed and sliced into quarters

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C / gas mark 5.

2. Make the crust: In a dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the sunflower seeds until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sunflower seeds into a food processor. Let cool for a few minutes, and then blend on high until the seeds resemble sand (do not overprocess, or you’ll end up with sunflower butter!). Add the flour, salt, coconut oil, maple syrup, and iced water, and pulse until everything is well incorporated and the dough holds together.

3. Press the dough down very firmly onto the bottom and up the sides of a 7-inch / 18cm tart tin. Prick the crust all over with a fork, and bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until golden and crisp. Let cool completely.

4. Make the filling: Put the yogurt in a medium bowl. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and scrape the seeds onto the yogurt. Add the maple syrup and fold to combine. Sweeten to taste with more maple syrup if desired.

5. Pour the yogurt mixture into the cooled tart shell. Arrange the quartered figs on top, drizzle with extra maple syrup if desired.

fig and buckwheat tart

fig and buckwheat tart

fig and buckwheat tart

fig and buckwheat tart

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About potatofaces

People who cook always go on about precious memories of childhood food one of their family members cooked, how daddy or nanny taught them the importance of cooking and eating together, and they still remember the comfort food they produced, amazing dishes whipped up by brilliant but humble cooks in their family. Well, let me tell you, it was totally different in my family. My mother’s family – totally useless as cooks, who could survive on bread and butter, cooked once a week a terrible, terrible meal, usually some kind of meat piece with lots of brown sauce. Also, they were never bothered about eating together. That’s maybe why most of them were depressed and suicidal. My mother followed that path and couldn’t really cook, and because I never wanted to eat meat, was warning me that ‘one day I will regret it’. Probably because my mother wasn’t into cooking my sister at the age of 12 took over and started producing amazing dinners and cakes. Well, luckily for me and her we weren’t that genetically doomed because apparently my father’s family were gifted in that compartment. I can only presume it was genes, as my father divorced my mother when my sis and me were little and he strongly believed that he also divorced us. So, we were growing up never having any contact with him and as a result, couldn’t learn how to cook from him. That’s why I believe the love of cooking ( and the ability) was just passed to us genetically. My father, short time before he died, unexpectedly felt an urge to contact us. First he gave my sister a mandolin (that’s another thing I know about him- he played a few instruments). My sister refused to talk to him, he then decided to contact me and wanted to spend some time with me. I didn’t want to, as he was a stranger to me (I was 11 or 12 at the time) but as I was promised I could leave whenever I wanted to, I went to the village he lived in. There I tried his mother’s cooking everyone was raving about. It was simple and amazing, I wish they were as family dedicated as they were at baking, cooking, making pastries, wine, tinctures, you name it. But I ate, drunk, and got bored of strangers who were my family and demanded to be let to go home. One of the last things my father said to me was that I should start learning English because I might need it one day, which I ignored for another 16 years… Because my sister was such a domestic goddess I wasn’t really bothered about cooking. I got hooked properly after my son was born and I wanted him to eat healthy and get everything he needed, especially that it wasn’t his choice to be a vegetarian (yet). And that is how the story begins…

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