It is a long time ago. Weeks and months. So many hours just went by, without even noticing. A long time since I sat down and breathed. A long time since I felt I can do something for myself without rushing, without watching the time, without being somewhere else with my mind. A long time since I could actually say: ‘Yes, I am here now’.
The last couple of months were busy. Things happened. Pleasant and unpleasant, happy moments and sad moments. I have never felt so fulfilled, yet defeated as in the last couple of weeks. I have been going through emotions I have never felt before and am still not used to. I am learning with every step, but I am struggling to accept I am not always coping very well. I am still trying to figure things out. I am still trying to be me.
I had times in my life where I felt hopeless and defeated. Times when I felt down and like constantly drowning, swimming against the forces pulling me down, here and there touching the surface to fill my lungs with air, so I could survive the next pull. Just when the fight got almost unbearable, I felt saved. All of a sudden, I felt ok.
I met people who somehow managed to laugh away the weight of my sorrows. People who welcomed me in their group and made me feel at home. I got a direction, away from that pull, swimming with the force not against it. I was able to slowly let go and just be. No struggles, no fight, just breathing and living. For a while at least the storm got quiet and the winds softer. Those little breezes would only touch my skin, but would not prevent me from following my path.
Today I feel the stormy weather again. I feel this group of people getting smaller and smaller. We all follow our paths and those don’t necessarily lead into the same direction. We met at some point and took a few steps together. Some left the road earlier than others, but we have our common memories, our moments. I am more than grateful for them.
When two weeks ago, two of this group left, I felt like the two pillars holding me up were taken away from me. Those two were sitting next to me when I started my new job. They answered my questions, shared their knowledge with me and – most important – made me feel like one of them.
Of course I had to make something special for them when I heard they were going to leave our common path. Today though, I will only show you one of the pieces.
For that one I decided to go for a suitcase, that would have stickers with the most important landmarks in Berlin (the town my colleague was about to leave) and London (the city he was heading). He always kept telling me how much he loved cheesecake. As the normal German cheesecake is a little tricky for theme-cakes I decided for a classic German ‘Käse-Sahne Torte’ from my favorite recipe provider ‘Dr.Oetker’. Different from the baked cheese cake this filling is not baked and thus would not loose it’s shape, which is why I went for this version of cheese cake.
Here is the recipe.
170 g flour
4 Tsp baking powder
170 g sugar
1 pckg vanilla sugar
2 pckg (=12 leaves) gelatin
150 ml water
180 g sugar
1 pckg vanilla sugar
1 kg cream cheese
50 ml lemon juice
500 ml heavy cream
For the cake:
- in a small bowl mix flour and baking powder
- add remaining ingredients and mix approx. 2 min until well blended
- bake 25 min at 180°C
For the filling:
- mix the gelatin with the water and let rest for approx. five min
- in another bowl mix sugar, vanilla sugar, cream cheese and lemon zest
- heat the stiffened gelatin until resolved and mix in the lemon juice
- mix 4 Tbsp of the cream cheese mixture with the gelatin
- add gelatin to the cream cheese mixture and mix until well blended. Avoid clumps
- beat the heavy cream until stiff
add to cream cheese mix
Divide the cake into two or three layers and pour the cream cheese mixture between the layers.
I used dark chocolate ganache to cover the cake and prepare for the fondant.
After preparig the marshmallow fondant I dyed it in light and dark brown. The dark brown pieces made the handle, belts and corners of the suitcase. For the stickers I used white fondant and drew the landmarks with edible colors on top.
It seems that my colleague really liked the cake, which made me very happy.
I will continue on my own path now and hope he will meet people who will be by his side for this part of his journey.
Good luck David and thank you for being who you are!