spicy cheese biscuits

We never think of the indelible marks we leave or impressions we make, even as we make them or as time passes and we think we’ve been forgotten. We think only of the work, our duty, and how we can imbue it with a little kindness. We think of the mistakes we’ve made and how we have a chance to correct them.

I made someone cry once. I was in a position of power and I was stressed, overworked, resentful of my boss and tired. So very tired. And because I was a weaker person, a pale version of a woman I used to know, I took it out on someone who reported to me. This was a woman who revered me and I made her cry at her desk. I think about that a lot, how I apologized days later — I knew it wasn’t good enough, the damage had already been done — and how she looked at me, looked through me when I said I was sorry. Although it’s been more than a year since that day, something has irrevocably shifted. We trade emails and polite courtesies, but I know in my heart that I was the woman who made another woman cry — all because I allowed my work to subsume me. My work was my country and my employees its citizens, and who could see the world outsides the confines of an office? Who could permit the sun on their face and the cold on their neck? Who could be the woman who has perspective, who exercises a certain kindness.

A year later, I finally realized why I left financial security {or the illusion of it} and a fancy title behind. I knew in my heart that I was compromising myself, making excuses for my increased flawed character. I left because I wanted to be the person I used to be — the leader who mentored, inspired and always exercised a sense of calm.

Over the past four months, I’ve had the opportunity to make reparations with myself. I took on a well-paying project doing the sort of thing I started my career doing — building and growing a team. When stress was high and folks were frantic and frustrated, I refused to waver even if it was easy to. Over four months a semblance of the woman I once knew returned.

Yesterday was my last day and I was sad. My team folded notes and cards in my hands, lay flowers in my arms, and we spoke endlessly of cats. On the train ride home, it was I who cried. I’d inspired them. They had grown as a result of my leadership and kindness. Today, as I caught up on my sleep and made my biscuits, I resolved to be the advanced yogi who always returns to the basic class, who always remembers that the work comes second to the people.

The sign of an advanced yogi is one who consistently returns to a basics class. They re-learn the fundamentals, remind themselves to revisit all the things they think they knew and learn them anew.

INGREDIENTS: Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika
6 tbsp cold butter, cut in pieces
6 ounces {1 cup} manchego cheese, finely grated
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, add 1-2 tbsp if your dough doesn’t cohere

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Whisk the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, sugar, and paprika in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse meal with a few clumps remaining (I used the processor for this). Stir in the cheese.

Add the cream, and stir with a rubber spatula until it just comes together. Use a 1/2-cup measure to scoop mounds about 1 1/2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Dust with more paprika. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through.

Let the biscuits rest on a rack for five minutes, and then dive in!

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6 thoughts on “spicy cheese biscuits

  1. Beautiful post and a subject I relate to. Good on you for being strong enough and self aware enough to recognise the need for change and then taking the action required. :-)

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  2. I left a corporate middle management role too, but because it defined me, consumed me and kind of lead to my destruction. Leaving it was probably one of the bravest steps I took so I congratulate you. I congratulate you further for finding success elsewhere. Your recipe is very lovely, I like the inclusion of paprika x

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