I fell off the edge of the world, like literally just walking to work one day clearly not looking where I was going and I just stepped off into the abyss.
I’ve been floundering around here in no mans land for a while but I have managed to find the rock face at the edge of the earth and I’m slowly climbing my way back onto solid ground. I’ve found a perch to rest on a while so I can send you a quick message to show you how life has been in the abyss.
Firstly I’ve missed you, a lot.
There’s not a whole lot to do in the abyss but sit drinking coffee and pondering which direction to go in, one thing I really miss is being able to text someone midday requesting an after work coffee date.
Pretty miserable huh? Yeah so during one of my solo coffee dates I got a grip of myself. Unless I buy myself a chopper and you get a heli pad installed these impromptu coffee dates aren’t going to happen so I got all inspirational quote on myself and decided that I had to focus more time on things that make me happy, and as there’s not that much in the ol’ abyss I decided that much of that happiness would have to be self made.
Therefore, my last few months I have been doing all those things that make me happy, cooking, reading, drawing, learning and I’ve allowed myself to do all of these things without any pressure of an outcome and it has been goooooood.
Belisama welcome to my abyss.
Chick Pea Bread
Everytime I make this I like it more and more. The recipes are usually huge and there’s always more than we need for one meal so I put the leftover batter in the fridge and they make a great quick breakfast. Here are my favourite recipes:
http://powerhungry.com/2015/01/chickpea-flour-quiches-vegan-grain-free-gluten-free/ – For this one I used broccolli and sun-dired tomatoes and served it with a rather yummy jar of chutney I forgot we had. I also found that they cooked much better in my iron skillet than in muffin tins.
I found myself with a lot of leftover beans and a tin chipotle peppers so I HAD to make chili. Except for some sauted onion and garlic and the chipotle peppers I didn’t add any veggies just lentils, beans and bulgar wheat, also cinnamon because cinnamon makes everything taste better.
No Knead Bread
I used to make this bread ALL THE TIME but I got out of the habit and found myself relying more and more on store bought bread which is expensive, full of weird ingredients and doesn’t really agree with my digestive system these days, it also uses a lot of plastic bags which I hate so I decided it was time to drag out the old KitchenAid Mixer and get back on it.
Here’s the recipe I use, I add more water depending on the consistency of the dough I end up with which seems to change every time.
I did attempt to start a sourdough starter but it went rancid almost immediately – homesteading fail!!
Sunflower Seed Cream
Maybe you already know this, and if so, WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME????
But all those cashew nut based sauces can actually be made using sunflower seeds which are so much cheaper and easier to come by where I am.
I’ve been using it to make my mac and cheese and to make pasta cream sauces, the picture above shows the remnants of coronation chickpea sandwich filling….crazy delicious.
The ratio I use varies but I start with 1/2 cup of water to 1 cup of sunflower seeds and add more water depending on the consistency I’m looking for.
You need to soak the seeds as you would the nuts but if you forget you can boil them for 15 minutes to soften.
This discovery was life changing Belisama, life changing.
We joined a farm co-op, in fact we joined two and now twice a week I get a bag of organic local veg. As you know good quality vegetables are hard to come by and expensive here so I’m sure you can imagine how excited I get when I know the bag is coming. I’m also determined to not waste any of it. The above juice was made using some kale and cilantro stalks, apples, cucumbers, lemon and ginger.
Sometimes the bag has stuff in it that I’ve never cooked before…hello rhubarb.
I’m not a particularly big fan of rhubarb and there were only a few stalks of it so I decided to make some of that quick jam using chia seeds to thicken it rather than sugar or pectin.
This jam won’t keep but there was so little of it that it didn’t matter.
You boil your fruit as you usually would but once the fruit has broken down stir in sugar to taste (I added a tablespoon but rhubarb is slightly bitter so I would add more in the future)
Take the fruit off the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and then leave to stand for 15 mins to thicken.
Lemon and cinnamon are also great with rhubarb.
And sometimes you fail.
I had high hopes for these little fellas.
I don’t like radishes but I thought that they would be great pickled
However, they have a shorter shelf life than I thought, maybe I didn’t store them correctly but when I came back to them a few days later they looked more like cranberries.
Enough about food
The sunsets over at tiny towers are incredible and the sun sets right in front of our living room window reducing visibility to zero so we have been taking this as a sign to get off the couch.
Taking our evening coffees down to the beach is the new going out, or staying in.
Here’s what I’ve been reading.
I would like to pre-empt this with I didn’t choose these books they chose me. One way or another they landed on my nightstand and I have to say that I loved each one in it’s own way.
The Help – I thought this was going to be schmaltzy written for Hollywood sentimental poop, but it wasn’t. There was a brief moment when I genuinely experienced the fear these women felt. And I cried, I’ve only cried at two other books in my entire life. (Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and February)
Slammerkin – Emma Donoghue is a literary genius. I’m crazy impressed with her ability to get a characters voice. In Room she wrote from the point of view of an infant and in Slammerkin she is an 18th century prostitute.
The Lost Art of Gratitude – On the cover of this book someone describes Alexander McCall Smiths books as literary herbal tea and I think this is the perfect description of his writing. I love a good strong bitter cup of coffee but every now and again I like to curl up with a relaxing chamomile.
Fall On Your Knees – This is one of those epic novels which crosses generations of a family which I always think seem uninteresting but I COULDN’T PUT THIS DOWN. It completely absorbed me.
IQ84 – I’m on the fence about how I feel about Haruki Murakami. His books are so well written I can’t help but pick them up but sometimes his stories are a little bit to ‘out there’ for me. I’m only one book into this at the moment but I’m totally hooked however, in the last few pages we slipped down the Murakami rabbit hole. I have no idea where this is going Ill report back when I get to the end.
As with all long over due catch ups this has gone on way longer than I had planned but who doesn’t love an long, catch up over coffee. Here’s the view from my perch so you can get the full effect.
I miss you and love you