Tag Archives: food

Newness and Gingerbread Cookies

paper

New Year. New you? New resolutions? New beginnings? What is it that makes us so fond of newness? Newness is inherent. It is our very nature. Must we wait ‘til some arbitrary moment on a calendar to feel the newness of ourselves? Why no, for we are new in every moment. Each one now is not the same as the one just passed and you need not await the timing set by another to embrace alternative perspectives, take on dream-worthy challenges, experience life differently.

Life, as nature, has a rhythm. Allow yourself to feel your own rhythm and when you are ready to grow to move to fly, it might not be the new-year, it might not even be Spring. It may be the coldest depths of winter when that creative urge begins to stir within you. Heed that call. Dance to the tune of your inner calendar. It’s the only one that will guide you home. It’s the only one that will tell you just how old you are; whether it’s time to settle down or power forth with that creative vision you’ve submerged for so long.

For too long we have danced to the tune of common causes. Be it new year festivities or valentines day roses; be it the arduous mill of the corporate grind or the greasy rung of the mortgage ladder, be it legalizing love into the defined parameters of what society calls marriage or acquiring false security through such unreal notions as money.

Stop.

Go eat that sugar filled jam doughnut if you want to, even if it is the 2nd of January. Go hug a colleague even if every fibre in your fearful body tells you that it is entirely socially unacceptable. Go destroy a project you’ve been trying to complete with all guts and no heart. Whatever your tune is, sing it.

It is not a ‘new year’ for newness is all there is.  Enjoy celebrating this year, this day, this moment. Now.

I’ll leave you with this recipe for spelt gingerbread cookies. I’ve never cooked with spelt before :)

Spelt Gingerbread Cookies (adapted from www.mynewroots.org)

Ingredients: (makes 15 cookies)

350g whole spelt flour
¼ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
5 tbsp. coconut oil
70g dark brown muscavado sugar
½ cup date syrup
3 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Sift the dry ingredients together.

Melt the coconut oil and mix in the date syrup, applesauce, and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and fold until it just comes together into a dough. Roll into a ball and wrap it into a plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Remove dough from the fridge, unwrap and place the dough between two pieces of baking paper and roll out to about 2mm thick. (I needed to lean into this quite hard). Remove top half of the paper and cut out desired shapes. Gently place on a lined baking sheet.

Place cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes (depending on how chewy you like your cookies). Remove from oven and let cool… if you can resist!

Budapest and Bologna

Me.

You’ll remember this post, Oh The Places You’ll Go, from last summer. That carefree July of 2013 I decided to visit Hungary and Italy. Two long summer weekends, scorching hot yet laced with the winds of change that were to reveal themselves through the months that were to come.

And so this year, when life found me visiting those same two countries again, amidst a mild European winter, I reflect on just how much has happened since my last trips. My inner journey has taken me farther than any passport ever will and for that I am grateful.

Italy. A place so passionate about food will never fail to lure me to its land over and over. This time I went to Bologna, armed with a couple of foodie friends and carefully drawn out maps marking the best eateries in the city. I also managed to bag myself some beautiful leather riding boots and a bust nose. I’ll spare the story.

Hungary. Budapest is of the most striking cities in Europe, its charm so overstated that even on my second visit to this stunning city I walked around agape at its architectural beauty. The views from every angle of this city are breathtaking, and the experience of plunging oneself into a hot outdoor pool beneath a full moon and a crisp clear night was akin to all of the sharp contrasts this year has been.

Food, Glorious Food

Borough Market. Have I told you that I love you lately?

I do love you. For what else can stand strong beside the Thames, amidst the London smoke, beneath a cool spring day, atop well trodden cobbled streets and still host the most beautiful food party this city sees?

garlic

It is a beauty, the market. And the perfect antidote for despondency. (Not that I would ever eat my emotions of course. Ever. No… I would never do that. Gulp).

Food has the ability to nourish and revive, to alleviate the effects of a hard day, to bring people together in happy times and sad, to function as a perceived remedial filler for any holes we may experience. Food is fabulous; it can be a source of creativity or chaos, it is a way – for me at least – to re-connect with the abundance of nature and all that it offers. And it was important too, that I should re-connect with that essence this past week; for I did not make it to the finals of the ‘Taste Master’ competition and, gut-wrenchingly disappointed with the result, I needed to be reminded of the abundance of nature; teeming with life, people and possibility.

Whilst it does not serve us to be dependent on external things for fulfilment (for that fulfilment can surely only come from within); I am remembering how important it is to stay connected to the things we love. I have no new recipes to share with you today; just these thoughts.