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Entries in pita (2)

Thursday
Apr042013

Homemade Pita Chips

Homemade Pita Chips

I devour books whole, swallowing them in one mouthful. Most people take in books slowly, savoring them page by page, drawing out the stories over the span of days and weeks as they pick them up for an occasional hello. Some days I wish of a world where stories could travel farther through time, the sentences stretching over hours instead of seconds. My impulsive nature dictates otherwise; falling hard and fast for a narrative, it refuses to put it down until the final page has been turned. I wish I could make the stories last longer. I wish, in so many ways, they would never end.

They always do, they must, but there is an endless supply reaching out to take the next place.

Homemade Pita Chips Homemade Pita Chips

When I pick up a book, I expose my soul to it, allowing it into my most vulnerable and unguarded corners in a way I struggle to do with people. I live vicariously through the characters, experiencing their highs and lows, swept up in the journey of self-discovery. Even so, the end of a good book jars me. My heart is so consumed with emotion and the story told that I find it difficult to adjust back to reality for a moment. I want to share this experience with those around me. I want them to feel as I do in that instant, somehow both shattered and whole. Instead I keep the quiet moment to myself and pass the book along to them, hoping they will find the same experiences as I did.

Last weekend, on a long car ride back from the mountains, I picked up Cheryl Strayed's Wild. My eyes were glued to the page as Cheryl took me through her journey. While I wish to speak about this book in great detail, it is simpler to tell you that there are many books worth reading and this is one of them. And so, I pass the book on to you.

Homemade Pita Chips

Just as I have a fondness to revisit favorite books, I like to do the same with recipes. While many recipes can stand alone, I like to give a few of them a bit of a tweak now and then, to steer the recipe on a new course of its own.

When I found myself with more pita bread than a lone woman should eat, I cut it into slices, spiced it, and baked it until crisp. As I dipped my fresh pita chips into a bowl of hummus and paged through a magazine, I wondered whether the experience of eating a good dish was similar to reading a good book. Food takes me through a journey of the senses, of memories, of nostalgia, and, in a few instances, of self-discovery. While most foods and flavors I enjoy are a part of the everyday scene, there are a few that stick out in my mind. As great books, these recipes have carved a place in my heart. I find myself longing for more after the last bite is gone, grateful for the experience, wishing I could share the moment with you.

And, thankfully, I can.

Homemade Pita Chips

Homemade Pita Chips are spicy, addictive, and perfect for snacking. Pita bread is brushed with a layer of oil, cumin, and chili powder, sprinkled with salt, and sliced into bite-sized pieces. The chips emerge from the oven browned and crispy, ready to be dipped into a bowl full of humus. While I used homemade pita bread for this recipe, store bought pitas will work just as well. A fair warning, however: you may find it difficult to share.

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Saturday
Mar302013

Pita Bread

Pita Bread

I write to you from the road on this overcast afternoon. The sky is a band of mixed hues, blue and gray clouds hanging low and heavy in the tired lull of midafternoon light. The landscape is muted, with brown prairie grasses and the occasional small dark green bush. The world rushes by quickly outside the car window, passing slow enough to grasp, but not long enough to leave a lasting impact. Instead, the impression is formed from miles and miles of prairie terrain extending from the road to the farthest reaches of my vision.

Even before the world has overcome the death of winter, the landscape can be beautiful.

Pita Bread Pita Bread

After traveling across North Dakota and part of Montana, the scarcity of people becomes evident as the rolling landscape and occasional ranch dominate the journey. It may be an hour or more before a significant settlement pops up along the road. While some people find this land endless or lonely, it feels like home to me. After traveling across the country more than once, I much prefer the beauty of nature to the busy roadsides of the manmade domain.

I am headed to the mountains for a weekend of skiing and lounging near the fire, saying my final farewells to the winter air and snow-covered ground. The car is heavy, weighted down by suitcases, ski boots, and warm bodies. The mountains are growing closer, as evergreen trees are becoming more numerous, grouped on the sides of the increasingly steeper hills. Still, the mountains are not within sight.

Pita Bread Pita Bread

On long car rides, where the hours blur into the landscape and time is put on hold, food revives our sleepy souls. A cooler of snacks rests at my side, filled with enough sweet and salty snacks to please even the most selective of eaters. As with any road trip, I like to pack a few treats to make the time pass faster and to sustain us once we have arrived at our destination. Banana bread, monster cookies, and a few pitas are taking the expedition with us, ready when hunger strikes.

As the unending road rolls out before me, I realize how far I have come and how many hours there is to go before the Rocky Mountains will lay at my feet.

Pita Bread

Homemade Pita Bread is an alternative to bread, acting as a vessel for your favorite sandwich ingredients. The bread is made from only a few ingredients, including a mixture of bread and whole wheat flour. The pita bread does take a bit of time to roll out and bake, but the effort is well worth the final product. By nature of the bread, the pitas puff in the oven, filling with air, and creating a pocket to be filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. The pitas are best enjoyed in the first couple days when they are the most fresh.

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