Sunday, 31 March 2013

People Are Like Kolaches: A Little Patience Goes a Long Way

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Come sit a spell, and have a cup of tea with me, while I share some thoughts that crossed my mind today.

Inspired by a friend's Facebook picture post, about a week or so ago, I brazenly attempted to make my first batch of kolaches. She assured me it was easy, and provided a fool-proof recipe, however I was seriously lacking one essential ingredient; patience.

According to the directions, I was to make the dough, and allow it to double overnight in the fridge. Ack! Overnight? I had no time for that! I wanted my kolaches now. After waiting for about five hours I succumbed to temptation and my own needs, and took the dough out of the fridge and began to prepare them for the oven. The only trouble was -- the dough wasn't quite as ready as I was. As I made the required indentation in the middle, it quickly resisted and continued to rise, covering over the indent, and pushing out any of the sweet filling I tried to place in it. I pushed a little harder, and when it still resisted, I did the best I could and popped them in the oven anyway. My results were less than perfect, and although they tasted like kolaches, they didn't rise to their full potential. The less than lustre end result, wasn't the fault of the recipe, my friend, or any other external circumstance other than my impatience, and inability to let things take their natural course.

I find the often, we tend to treat people, the way I treated my kolaches. We demand they act, react and perform according to our expectations and needs, when in reality, what they really need is a little bit of patience, and time to progress to the state of readiness on their own. We often push people into the heat of the fire, because we decide it's time, despite their shouts of resistance, when in reality if we had just shown compassion, unconditional love and yes...patience, they would have had a better chance of succeeding, and reaching their full potential.

We need to be gentle with our fellow human beings, just as we need to be patient with kolache dough. Everything will happen when it's meant to, and we don't have to try and control so much, that we end up ruining a good batch over something as silly as a battle of wills.

Anyhow -- that's my food for thought for today. The above picture is my success story after a lesson learned the hard way.  Here's the recipe again - and be sure to add a little patience into the ingredient list :)


Yield: 2 dozen

2 pkgs yeast
1/2 cup warm water

1 cup sour cream, warmed
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups flour

Streusel Topping:

1/3 cup butter (melted)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, and set aside.

Mix sour cream, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl. Add beaten eggs, and flour. Mix with dough hook, or by hand. Place the dough in a greased bowl, covered, and refrigerate overnight. Dough should at least double.

Heat oven to 350F.

Roll dough into 1 1/2 or 2 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Flatten dough with the heel of your hand and let rise another 10 minutes.

Make an indentation in each kolache with your thumb (I suggest making this a bit more exaggerated than a normal thumb print) and fill with your favorite filling. (Lemon, cherry and cream cheese are all popular, I chose apple)

Sprinkle with streusel topping, and bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes.

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