Yes, we laughed, listened to music, looked at the garden, shared excellent food. But, most important, I now see my sister in my mind, baking in her kitchen, digging up bulbs in her front yard, playing with her cat. I see my brother-in-law in my mind, typing at his computer, going up the stairs to bed, dancing by the dining room window. And it all makes sense. Everything is right with the world.
Here is the recipe for the torte. I hope you get to spend time around a table with whoever is your family and see them with your own eyes.
2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. cornmeal
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. cold butter, cut into small pieces
3 to 4 T. cold water
1 1/2 c. cottage cheese
1/2 c. feta cheese
1 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 c. parsley, chopped
2 T. fresh basil, chopped
2 t. fresh oregano, minced
2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 lb. sliced ham
1 10 oz. package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 7 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
Crust: In a bowl, mix flour, cornmeal and salt. Cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Beat eggs with 3 T. water and stir into flour mix until dough holds together. Add a little more water, if needed. Shape dough into two flattened rounds, 1/3 and 2/3 of dough.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Filling: In a bowl, mix cottage cheese, crumbled feta, Parmesan, egg and herbs.
Roll out the larger round into a 15 inch circle and place it in a springform pan. Trim it with a 1 inch overhang. Press lightly against bottom and sides. Sprinkle 1/2 the mozzarella over the bottom. Place 1/2 of the ham slices on top. Spread the cottage cheese mixture, then sprinkle with spinach. Cover with remaining ham slices. Press down gently to pack layers. Add red peppers then top with remaining mozzarella. Roll out remaining dough to cover the top. Bring the overhang down to edge of top crust. Seal. Brush with a beaten egg and cut several small slits in top crust. Bake for 1 hour in a 375 degree oven or until crust is deep golden and pulls away from the sides. Let cool for 20 minutes before removing pan sides.