04 April 2013

Running to the Sea and Cookies

I play mindgames with myself while running. Running towards someone is much more inspiring than running away from something, in my experience (when it’s a thought experiment, anyway). 

Running from zombies would of course be a different story.

In the fall, when I ran to the farmers market early Saturday mornings, I would imagine preparing for Thanksgiving with someone whose family I suspect hosts a pretty darn awesome T-gives. You don’t need the details of my feasts in the clouds up front. Mental, emotional, and physical directions have changed over time, however. I now run later on Saturdays and run in the opposite direction of Old Town.

Last week, I was imagining running towards someone, as if I could physically cover the distance and terrain unaided. I ran with better form and faster. My imagination won’t let me limit myself as I imagine the landscape changing. When wet blanket mommy voice says “But you can’t run over water!” my inner artist child says, “You’re a Scorpio, a water sign. You’ll swim!”

“What about cliffs?” Wet blanket mommy worries.

“You fly in dreams and free-fall gracefully—you’ll scale it,” assures the artist child.

It takes consistent meditation and inquiry to get to this point where the artist child can take on the wet blanket mommy.  Go artist child!

Bit of relevant news: I wrote a responsum to this piece after my fashion-forward aunt alerted me to it on Easter. If you’re Facebook friends with me, then you can read it. However, I only friend people I know in real life. If I don’t know you in real life, then tough cookies.

If you caught that The Vampire Lestat reference, you get a cookie.

A teff roasted maple almond butter chocolate chip cookie, that is.

Say what, Q? I know, in my item-level-processing brain, I tend to make titles like archival folder titles—say it all once and say no more. Think of these as peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips. My mom gave me maple roasted almonds for Easter and I soaked them and made them into almond butter with some coconut flakes (‘swhy I have a Vitamix, right?).

Teff Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Modified from http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes_detail.php?rid=604
and http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/peanut-butter-cookies-recipe.html

1 1/2 cups roasted maple almond coconut butter (made with peanut oil, so my cookie was still sort of a peanut butter cookie)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup agave nectar

3/4 cup teff flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
dash cinnamon

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or silpats.

In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together agave, vanilla, nut butter, and pumpkin. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Add nut butter mixture to dry ingredients and stir in the chocolate chips. Mix well and watch for dry teff spots. Using a two-tablespoon cookie scoop dipped in water, dollop balls of dough on the baking sheets. Flatten the cookie balls to 1/2-inch thickness with a fork dipped in water.  Bake for 16-18 minutes or until cookies spring back when touched and are firm on the bottoms.  Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

I made these cookies while watching The Walking Dead season 3 finale. I'm up to date on the comics but about 1.5 seasons behind on the show (I have no TV watching habits, which is good for my physical health, probably, but it's terrible for my social health). Don't worry, I spend plenty of time on the 'nets and thereby have the requisite obscene amounts of screen time that make me a member of Western civilisation. Since watching the affectionately-named idiot box is so rare for me as to be a treat, watching TWD was my artist's date for this week. 

Artist's Dates are a Julia Cameron invention from her creative recovery program The Artist's Way (on which I wrote my thesis). They are scheduled free time to do whatever fun activities (or no activity, just time for stillness) in order to feed one's creative side. Artist's Dates fill the well. They are 99 per cent of the time to be done by oneself alone. I've considered attending some plays or concerts with certain people (relatives) as ADs because hanging out with them isn't interfering with my art and is, in fact, helping my art (AA, I'm talking to you).

Speaking of art, I've been doing an art project this month as it is National Poetry Month. Besides writing a poem a day, I'm reading a poem a day on my YouTube channel. Check it! I'm either reading my poetry or someone else's; the point is to experience poetry, you must hear poetry out loud. I love to read to people.

Parting shots:
This is the chocolate pecan pudding pie I made for Easter since we had no chocolate desserts. I modified it some.

My cousin Mike and me chillin'.

My too-healthy lunch today: quinoa sushi, black beans, broccoli, beet juice of some sort, daikon slaw, raisins, and a blob of chia pudding. Too many cooling foods. #eatingforabs

I can pretend I'm running to the beach now. My grandparents are moving to the OBX for good. I reclaimed from my grandparents' basement this bowl that my grandmother bought for me, sharing her love of the beach and cool dishes with me. We both cannot turn down a good deal on dishware. Now I shall eat from it again and wish I lived by the sea (Atlantic or Pacific or a glacial lake). As I eat my green smoothie melange each morning, I'll dream of being a yoga teacher and health coach at a resort or a personal chef to people on vacation.

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