06 April 2012

One Thing at a Time

The title is a reference to recovery programs; I wrote my thesis on creative recovery programs.

On Monday, when I returned to campus, I had a few options: park car and think how low on gas I was for the next three days BUT have time to read, OR I could take care of it right then.  Back at school, I could do six things at once and read, OR I could sit down, proofread my thesis, and then submit it for binding.

I chose to get gas and wrap up the thesis.  One thing at a time, folks.

As I finished my thesis and realised my Reddit habit has become quite severe, I wondered if because anyone can post something to Internet forums and social media sites for the world’s judgment, is it becoming more acceptable to make fun of people?  I’m not at all saying it’s acceptable to make fun of people, and part of me says, “you reap what you post.”  However, I wonder if all the judging of others (about whom one rarely knows the whole story) that Internet interaction demands is socially and soteriologically harmful?

I’m going to break up this sermon with a bread recipe, Colomba di Pasqua.   My mother began making “Easter Dove Bread” when she was a teenager.  I made it the first Easter I was vegan and didn’t eat it since it’s an eggy, buttery, dense, delicious breakfast treat with a toasty crust, lemony-cakey interior, and toothsome chunks of almond paste.

In short, this shit is fucking rad.  Too bad it’s not VGF.

But wait!  I enjoy making “food that should not exist.”  I halved my mother’s recipe, and, using the knowledge of VGF yeast breads I’ve been cultivating, I created my own “CDP” in a loaf pan.

Colomba di Pasqua
Modified from my mother’s modification of “Colomba di Pasqua” in Sunset Italian Cook Book, ed. Sunset Books and Sunset Magazine editors (Menlo Park: Lane Books, 1973), 76-7.
With advice from Sadowski, Laurie, “Grandma’s Polish Babka,” in The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread (Summertown: Book Publishing Company, 2011), 78-9.

1/2 cup non-dairy milk, warm (I used unsweetened original almond)
1/4 cup water, warm
2 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup agave nectar
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup King Arthur Flour Ancient Grains GF blend
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1 cup sliced almonds

Oil a 9*4*4-inch loaf pan.
In a large measuring cup, combine the warm milk, water, yeast, and sugar.  Set aside for five minutes or until it foams.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, turmeric, and salt.

Once the yeast has bubbled, whisk in the ground flaxseed.  Then add the agave, coconut oil (make sure it’s not too hot), vanilla, zest, and cider vinegar into the yeast mixture.  Pour the yeast mixture onto the flours and mix well with a wooden spoon.  When the bread has just about come together, stir in the almonds.  Transfer to the pan and smooth to the sides of the pan.  Set aside in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 60 minutes or until doubled in size.

About fifteen minutes before the rising interval is done, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once the dough has risen, place it in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test, sounds hollow when tapped, and has pulled away from the sides of the pan.  Carefully remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack.

I just had to have a snack today since it was Good Friday.

My brother and I wondered last year when I visited him on a Friday during Lent and reported that I had had “chixen” salad for lunch, if a vegan should avoid direct meat substitutes during fasting and abstinence days during Lent.  Should a Catholic vegan not eat, say, soyrizo on a Lenten Friday?

My religious affinities have since changed.  Besides saying, “No ‘shoulds,’” I would ask of someone prescribing abstinence from meat on some days but not others the question I saw on a bumper sticker last weekend: “If you’re pro-life, why do you eat dead animals?”

My politics do not operate on an x-y axis; I tend to go for the z-axis.

“Make cupcakes, not war!”

I had an insight this week that the above phrase could be applied not just to anti-war protesting but also to life.  Instead of being pissed off at the world, I could recognise—again, this goes back to creative recovery—that I’m angry because I haven’t made anything with my hands in a few days.  Hence, it would be more constructive for me to bake a batch of cornbread than to fight against school structure that discourages creative activity.  Not only am I a calmer person by choosing to engage in creative activity, to answer my creative urges, but I also avoid doing harm to myself or others in choosing to make cupcakes and not war.
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