This family baking party actually happened over the summer, but I never got around to sharing it on the blog because there were too many other things to share! I thought now would be a good time to finally publish this post because what says the holidays like baking and family time? And also I’m flying home to Beijing today and seeing my family (winter break, here I came!), so here’s a little ode to them.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup cream cheese
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 cups flour
Jam (tart jams such as raspberry or apricot work best)
Cream together the butter, cream cheese, salt, and sour cream. Stir in the flour. On a floured surface, knead the dough with your hands until it’s smooth. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for three hours.
Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured countertop. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough thin (about 1/8″). With a table knife, cut the dough into 3-inch squares. Spread one corner of each square with jam. Starting in that corner, roll up each square, then curve in the ends to form a crescent.
Gently place the crescents on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to turn golden.
“Here’s a simple recipe for the Hungarian treat that Mrs. Dalrymple loved to bake. Crescent-shaped pastries filled with jam or with cinnamon, sugar, and chopped nuts are a favorite sweet throughout eastern Europe. They’re known by many names, including the German word kipfel. Serve these delicious treats to the friends and family at your dinner table!” -from Kit Kittredge’s Collection by American Girl
This recipe card has been stuck to our refrigerator for years. I’m pretty sure the last time we tried making it was back when we still lived in LA, which was… 11 years ago? I remember that I ripped it out of an American Girl book, which, for this post, I later Googled to find out that it was from the Kit Kittredge Collection, though my favourite American Girl was definitely Kaya.
This blog post is a little different from what I usually share. I’m not doing anything particularly exciting or visiting any place particularly spectacular. I’m wearing a sports bra, my nails are chipped, and who knows how long it’s been since I’ve washed my hair. But it was such a fun night of baking kiflis with my family that I wanted to save it in my digital memory box, every insignificant photo. Maybe the fact that these memories are the ones I want to cherish is a sign that I’m getting old. I can already see myself as a mommy blogger.
Mom trying to convince us to mix essential oils into the batter. She’s obsessed with essential oils. We vetoed her suggestion.
Omg the whole cream cheese just fell in.
Flouring the surface.
Wrapping up the dough to chill.
Oh yeah, before we started making the kiflis, we baked a batch of cookies because we had cookie dough in the fridge. They finished baking just in time for us to munch on whilst waiting for the kifli dough to chill.
Making sure my minions follow the recipe. Knives can be quite persuasive, so I hear.
Our “squares” turned out too rectangular, so we tried rolling the individual rectangles out into squares.
Do you see how Dad set up his phone for a timelapse video? Also he’s the one who took all these photos for the blog post. Well, he took them for himself and I swiped them for a blog post.
Gotta take a pic for Snapchat!
They’re BLEEDING. So it turns out we might have overstuffed our kiflis.
Mom’s verdict: 真恶心！Roughly translates as: Nasty! *proceeds to shave off extra jam and then plate shaved kiflis* Mom to the rescue!
This blog post is a bit light on text. I guess I’m a little uncertain about how to organise blog posts like these and getting that right balance of photos, captions, and a narrative that glues it all together. Naomi from Love Taza is my favourite mommy blogger and she has such a wonderful balance of that. Her photos are bright and colourful and you can feel that energy, and from her text you can feel the love. She picks up on the little tangible moments with her family, and I’m sure that it’s the sort of thing that, when she and her family look back on, will take them right back to those moments.
I love her positive vibes and admire how she’s able to capture all these happy moments. For me, it’s hard to write about happy moments in a way that doesn’t feel fluffy. The closest I can get to writing about something happy without it feeling too fluffy is writing something “deep.” And though when you feel really happy it does come from the deepest part of you, there’s also something very light about it that I have difficulty capturing. There’s something about the moments that Naomi captures that feels so tangible, that captures the lightness without feeling like fluff.
Anyways, I’ll just have to write more (and write more timely). I want to do more posts like these, but with more substantial writing. There’s something about these set of photos that I love. I think it’s the fact that they capture all the in between moments and in that way really take me back to that experience. I used to write and photograph more like this when I first started blogging, but now I don’t feel like I do that as much anymore. Now, it’s almost as if I sort of wait for everything to settle down before I try to capture it at the perfect moment. It’s not exactly that I pose all my shots but… something along the lines of that.
My attempts at putting more thought into this blog post with these paragraphs at the end are a little disorganised, but my point is, I want more of the in between, because that’s what life is.
Photos by my dad
Post-processing by me