19 January 2013

The Card that Keeps Coming Up

To touch is to heal
To hurt is to steal
If you want to kiss the sky
Better learn how to kneel 
On your knees boy

--“Mysterious Ways” by U2

My virtues pick was “Forgiveness” a few times in the last few months.  Even if you can't make reparations to the exact same person--you never really can, anyway--you can do better by others, to improve yourself.  I think I know why it’s coming up so much; there are four or five years of bad habits of which I need to let go in order to make my health coach studies my healthiest student experience yet.

On Sunday, I stocked up on grains, I cleaned my room, I recycled old clothes, and I made the rice kickasserole of the previous post.  By taking care of my life, I got ready to do (one of) my art: cooking and learning about nutrition.  Anton Chekov said, “If you want to work on your art, work on your life.”

By the time I arrived home on Wednesday, I had been “out of the studio” for too long and it was time to make cookies. When food and drink fail to satisfy—as Captain Barbossa said, “the food turned to ash in our mouths”—you know you’re in transition.  I needed cookies on Wednesday, not Thursday.

These cookies are about as far from the original as possible, but that’s par for the vegan and gluten-free course.

Apricot Hempseed Drops

Modified from General Mills, "Wheat Flakes Nut Drops."  In Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book.  New York: Golden Press, 1978.  63.

1 cup dates, soaked overnight
water to cover

2 teaspoons chia seeds
1/2 cup reserved soaking liquid

1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup organic granulated sugar
1/4 cup shortening (I used organic palmfruit)

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup teff flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 cup hempseeds
1/2 cup chocolate brown rice puffed cereal
1 cup dried apricots, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

Drain the soaked dates, reserving 1/2 cup liquid, and add the dates to a blender or food processor.  In a small measuring cup, combine the reserved liquid and the chia seeds and set aside. 

In a large bowl, sift together the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.  Whisk to combine.

Add the vanilla, shortening, sugar, and chia seed mixture to the dates.  Process in the machine of your choice until the dates are nearly obliterated; there may be small chunks of date skins.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.  Fold in the seeds, cereal, and dried fruit and stir to combine evenly.  Use a two-tablespoon cookie scoop dipped in water to shape cookies.  Flatten with a fork to about 3/4 inch thickness (or however thick you desire; you can make cookie balls, too, but they will take longer to bake).  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the cookies spring back when touched, have browned on the bottom, and have cracked a little on top.  Cool on the sheets for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.  Makes about 3 dozen two-tablespoon cookies.

Again, I made something and completely bypassed that I have friends who don’t enjoy a particular ingredient, in this case, dates.  It happens and now I won’t ever forget!  Sometimes you have to make mistakes in order to learn; best case is we don’t have to suffer to learn.

Interested in a personal essay that’s not about food?  Check out my LiveJournal, In Mortalite, for a mad awks visit to Victoria’s Secret I made in November.
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