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VeganMoFo: Khatchapuri Day 2, The Bread

  • Khatchapuri on Plate
  • Khatchapuri from Above
  • Khatchapuri on Plate, Wine
  • How To Collage
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Khatchapuri on PlateMay I present to you the finished product, those little Georgian cheez pies that made life so much easier while living in Russia!

Now, I’d like to draw your attention to the small wine glasses pictured here.  Actually, they are not wine glasses at all, but vodka glasses and they hold a high sentimental value for me.  As some of you know, my brother passed away from brain cancer in July of this year.  In 2005, my dad, brother and I went to Russia together.  It was a chance to spend time together and an opportunity for me to share with them what I’d seen while living there.  The trip had its highlights and low lights, but those stories are for another place and time – accompanied by a few snorts of vodka, perhaps.  The glasses came from the various overnight train rides we took while there.  When you travel First Class on a Russian train, a couple of these small glasses, filled to the brim with vodka, are waiting for you in your cabin.  Talk about hospitality.  This fact delighted my brother.  There’s no doubt it made the train travel that much more enjoyable for him.

I am now in the process of going through my brother’s belongings, sorting through the material things that made up his 51 years of life.  It is a strange, sad, funny and enlightening task.  These glasses were tucked away in a curio cabinet along with other mementos.  My brother saved not only the vodka glasses, but everything else from our trip to Russia: ticket stubs, metro maps, menus, coins and store receipts.  And now the glasses have come to live with me – along with all of those memories from our crazy trip together to Russia.

Khatchapuri
Makes 8 little “pies”

1 cup almond milk, scalded
2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut yogurt
1 1/2 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. regular yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

Tofu Farmer Cheez (about 1/2 the recipe)

Fresh cilantro, for garnish, if desired

In a small bowl, whisk together the yeast, agave nectar and 1/4 cup water.  Set aside to bubble.

In a large bowl, pour the hot milk over the coriander, salt and coconut yogurt.  Add the yeast mixture and the flours and stir just to create a very rough dough.  It will be in chunks and pieces.  Do not be alarmed.  Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

You probably won’t need flour to knead the dough – but if for some reason it’s too sticky – add sparingly.  Conversely, if the dough is dry, sprinkle water on it as you knead.  Knead for about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.  Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in it to rise for about 1 hour – cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  The dough should nearly double in size.

Punch down the dough and divide into 8 pieces.  Roll the pieces into balls, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes.  Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.

Using your hands, a rolling pin or a combination of both, flatten the dough balls into ovals.  Mine were about 6-8″ in length.  Right in the center of the ovals (leaving an inch or so all around), spoon on a generous scoop of the farmer cheez.  Fold in the two long sides and then pinch the ends.  Set the dough on a baking sheet and proceed with the remaining dough balls.

How To Collage

Cover the baking sheets with clean kitchen towels and let rise for about 45 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 375F.  They’ll get fat and puffy and sometimes the pinched ends come loose.  Just gently press them back together.

Bake at 375F for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 350F, rotate the pans and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheez is firm and the khatchapuri are nicely browned.  Sprinkle with fresh cilantro, if desired.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes or so before digging in.

Khatchapuri from Above

Khatchapuri on Plate, Wine

VeganMoFo

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  1. Somer says:

    I love that you found those mementoes from the trip Annie, it was clearly a memory he loved for him to hang on to all those bits and pieces from Russia. I’d love to dive into those cheez pies with you right now and give you a big fat hug. xoxo.

  2. Brittany says:

    Aww so glad you are putting these glasses back to use! Your brother would be proud!! Any train that fills a jar to the brim of vodka has my ticket purchase! These bread bowl, boats, thing’s look so good.

  3. narf77 says:

    I love you…I seriously love the bones off you! I have been hunting for a veganised version of the khachapuri dough that you posted about recently and decided to mess about myself with the dough but now I don’t have to because I have been preceeded by a genius :). I, too, had to deal with my own journey into the dark places where grieving are the least of your concerns and bittersweet memories still come back to tug at my heart strings whenever I open the fridge and see the little pots of jam that my mum made from her home grown strawberries and tucked into her suitcase when she came to visit us last Christmas and died a week after in that same garden most probably watering those self same strawberries. Life doesn’t give you enough options sometime and when you are sifting through what was precious to the people that hold direct scissors to your heart strings, you suddenly realise how tiny and how precious our own lives are. I, too, brought back tiny memento’s of what my mother thought was precious. A small blue and white glazed plant pot that sits on my kitchen window and reminds me of her every time I do the dishes and her gardening book passed down from my grandmother that speaks to me with its hand-me-down wisdom. It’s when you take these journeys, when the pain is starting to receed and those blessed moments of happiness are starting to replace the emptiness, that you can see exactly what these people meant to us and what their lives were comprised of. Sometimes there is NOTHING more precious than a small shotglass or a tiny little blue and white flowerpot.

    • Well, I ALMOST made it through your comment without crying! But you know, it feels good – a few tears. So sorry about your mom. I know it’s a part of life, etc., etc…but it’s dang hard to lose a loved one!! Right now I have so many sad and well, unhappy memories that it can be a struggle to remember the good ones. I trust you, though – the good ones are there – they just need time to resurface. Warm hugs to you, my friend.

      • narf77 says:

        :). It does mellow. I guess it’s tantamount to how much we love them that we have to go through such harrowing times to let them go. Mum is always here with us on Serendipity Farm because she adored it here. My sister paid for her to visit last Christmas and I caught her sitting on the deck looking beatific and beaming in the mild sunshine while she was writing in her diary. I still see her like that now whenever I think about her and we planted a tree for her on Serendipity Farm so she can look over the river where she loved to be. One day you will remember your brother without the raw pain you are feeling now. Things will make you smile and you won’t feel that desperate lurch of sadness whenever you think of him. It’s like going through labour to arrive at the other end with something precious. Memories are truly precious and your brother will be making you smile more than you are currently crying in good time. Equally warm hugs right back atcha girl and here’s to your brother, a few full vodka shotglasses and Za zdorovee! :)

  4. Those glasses must hold memories my friend that’s beautiful :)
    And your bread is stunning!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  5. I really really wish I could eat these, because I would make them just to toast and celebrate your brother. And because they look absolutely yummers! A beautiful tribute. xx

  6. Little Sis says:

    Finding comfort in memories makes the sorting easier. I’m so glad he kept those glasses and that you were able to find them.

  7. That looks awesome!!!! So cute!!!! I really need to explore vegan cheeze. I’ve heard it’s actually pretty tasty, but I’m scare, I think, because regular cheese makes me sick.

  8. michele says:

    You both are making me cry too! Good memories though!

  9. Shira says:

    Fabulous! Gorgeous food, and I can only imagine the memories and emotions of going through all those souvenirs. I am sure that was a very special cheers, the first time pulling those old glasses out :) Cheers to you, Annie! XO

  10. Richgail Enriquez says:

    The final product looks lovely! Also, I’m delighted to hear the souvenirs evoke wonderful memories of you and your brother :) Cheers to that.

  11. Lou says:

    Precious precious finds. You can toast your brother every time you use these glasses now… I am sure he would approve. Wow I want to travel on a Russian train if it involves lots of little glasses of vodka – sounds like a fun ride ;)

  12. {{{HUGS}}} So glad you have that extra little link in to your brother, and all of those memories. Life is so crazy, precious, fragile and breathtaking all at once. The vulnerability of us all. All of us with our shotglass treasures stored in a little corner of our life, holding onto the memory of something good until all we are is memories and love.

    You’re just beautiful, Annie. Thanks for sharing xx

  13. That so nice that you were able to find those special mementos of happy times with your brother :) And what a lovely dish to enjoy with those memories!

  14. Nihacc says:

    Wow!! That looks amazing!

  15. It’s so beautiful the fact that your brother kept all those items from the trip… And now they are yours, so you can’t never forget that trip to Russia :)

    Great recipe by the way, these lovely breads look so good!

  16. Kristy says:

    It’s so great that you were able to find those glasses- I was almost able to make it through this post without tearing up. Those little cheesy breads look amazing too!

  17. bar says:

    Love your story. xoxo

  18. Nawww, I love sentimental souls and it sounds like that trip meant the world to him, Annie. It’s so beautiful that you now have the glasses as beautiful momentos in addition to your memories. xx

  19. Richa says:

    i had never heard of these pies.. but i am so making these

    those glasses and the sentiment behind them is beautiful. my grandpa used to write handwritten letter in ink till a few years back when he passed away. the old style mail and his writing bring back so many memories.

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