The Drama Chef

Prose – Travel – Recipes

Tag: pie

Peach Lavender Vlaai

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I am walking at a narrow plastered alley, on a cold Monday morning. The air is crisp and the skies are pale blue. I have half an hour until my meeting, so I choose to wander around aimlessly, looking at doorsteps, windows and rooftops. A small bakery looks really busy, people going in and out, holding big bags. I stop at their window. Piles of cookies, bread of all sorts, cakes and croissants and mini pizzas. But most of all, pies! Fruit and cream and custard pies of all sizes and decorations. Small explanatory signs in Dutch: Vlaai.

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Rijstevlaai, Kruimelvlaai, Kersenvlaai. Vlaai, vlaai, vlaai. What is this???

I go in the bakery. I come out holding a box with 3 different Vlaai pieces. I sit on a bench at the church park nearby. It’s the beginning of a new chapter in my life: The Dutch Vlaai!

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Feta Phyllo Pie (tiropita)

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Her hands are white. The sound of fingers rubbing flour makes all the hair on your skin rise, in a wave. This is the worst feeling you’ve ever had, in your uneventful life of five years. “Come help me, so that you can learn how to make a pita to your kids one day”, she says every time. “Your mother never wanted to learn, that’s why she buys all these horrible things from the bakery”, follows after. Sometimes not, if mama and her didn’t have an argument that week.

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Vanilla cream pie/bougatsa hybrid

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You are six years old, on a sunny Sunday. You are walking in the quiet streets, holding the hand of your gramma that looks huge and wise and smiles at you. The world is bright and safe, for you and for the street cats that lie on the cars, stretching in the sun or sitting in a Sphynx position, their eyes like slots, almost roaring but not quite.

You visited your aunts today, to show them your first drawings. You are six now, so you go to school. They are real drawings, water colours and everything, with your name written on the right-down corner, the letters big and uneven, going slightly downwards. A grown girl they say. You blush and you look down at your Sunday shoes, black with a silver buckle, already a bit dusty from a short run in the park. You wanted to pick up daisies, but gramma said you shouldn’t. Grandpa is softer; he lets you pick flowers and laughs at you when the tip of your nose gets yellow from the pollen. My little bee he says. Sometimes he catches a butterfly for you, but not often. When you ask why he says that when you touch too much a butterfly’s wings you destroy them, and they can fly no more. So you never ask for a butterfly again, but you always go and watch them close when they are sitting on the flowers – not touching.

“What are you thinking little one?” She looks at you from above, half-concerned, half-amused. Not waiting for the answer – “are you hungry? Let’s go and get something sweet. But you won’t tell mama or grandpa, deal?” Deal.

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