i drop the small lumps into a bowl of flour. silky and smooth. dry liquid. the dusty splash as the butter belly flops into the white sea. little clouds of wheat dissipate into the air. the minuscule grains flutter and land around the bowl. dusting the counter.
i smile at the moment when my fingertips first plunge into the expanse of flour. my hands undulate like a sea monster under an unsuspecting ocean liner. searching. hunting. i strike and grab my prey. sliding and spreading my fingers over and into the chilled fat. mixing the flour into the butter. quickly. with purpose. soon the once smooth sea of flour is dappled with yellow. the texture is coarse yet uniform.
a splash of icy water curdles the surface. uniformity is destroyed. clumpy and grainy. tossed about until a small amount of pressure is applied and a shape is formed. held. pressed and flattened. a disk of pure joy.
once rolled out and shaped further. this humble lump is both modest and mesmerizing. a shell for more interesting ingredients. a costar. never the main player. yet, failure with simplicity and even the best filling becomes somehow, less.
tender and strong. flaky and sincere. simple and complex. sweet or savory. hot or cold.
i take comfort in pastry.
i'm made from the same recipe.