05 December 2013

Detour | Another Beer Bread Variation

Cooking with Gas, Part 1B

This series is about cooking with hard liquor. The vodka quinoa muffins were the first post. This recipe is related by virtue of being alcohol. I used the last of the crappy (for this beer cannot be mentioned without being ridiculed) Redbridge I bought in April that sat in a cooler behind the Abbey for several months in a loaf of beer bread about a week ago. Then I fed the bread to my coworkers and GF friend. Talk about curse reversing...or dispersing. They all said it was dry, and I do not wonder why (besides the obvious, that teff is a very thirsty flour) . Dead hypotheses' dessicated limbs, to use a little William James terminology, break under the weight of live friends.

CryptiQue will keep these things in their crypts.

Teff Beer Bread

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 cup whole teff grains
1 cup whole almonds
1 cup white rice flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 12-ounce bottle GF beer
3/4 cup water
1 cup of pumpkin or squash seeds and guts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and set aside.

In a blender or food processor, blitz the teff to make flour. The colour will become lighter as it breaks down. Transfer the resultant flour to a large bowl. Repeat the process with the almonds to make coarse meal. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in the bowl. Blitz the beer, water, 2 tablespoons of oil, and pumpkin guts until smooth. The beer will foam.

Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet. Stir to combine, minding dry pockets. Transfer to batter the pan and smooth out the top. Pour the last of the oil on top of the batter and place in the oven. Bake for 35-37 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before serving or removing from the pan to cool.

Yesterday was National Cookie Day. I made agave oat cookies, the recipe for which I've bastardized beyond belief and I can't find the original online.

December 4 is also an important date in the novel on which I've been working since 2006. For various reasons, something--stress, depression, angst, fatigue, dissatisfaction--peaks for me around 4 December each year since 2006. My usual response is to
1) freak out
2) "clear the table" (id est, shut down to trying novel situations)
3) isolate
4) make radical and unsustainable lifestyle changes

This year has been no different, other than I can identify what I'm doing. To CAKE that shit, I've got the Awareness part. Now I need to work on generating Compassion, Kindness, and Equanimity. First towards self, then towards loved ones, enemies, and all sentient beings, in that order. Sound Buddhist? It is.

I seem to turn more to Buddhism during the Western holiday season. Energetically, the winter is the wrong time of year for all this rush rush. I've found myself turning reflective, particularly after this year has involved changes I'd never imagined I'd make (or at least not at age 23). When I was drafting this post, I noted, "I just want to be alone and have some fucking time in the corner." Resentment, resentment/ Angry red fences. The challenge for me is not to be alone in anger but instead to try to excuse myself politely, not feel guilty for taking time for me, and say I'll be back in a bit. Eventually.

So what am I doing? Scheduling my life. Getting a health coach for accountability. Taking care. Measuring. Being kind. Being kind to myself does not always manifest in the form of sleeping in, for example. Exercising in the morning wakes me up (or I could go to bed on time, ya know). To distill this thinking, another challenge to me is to follow my tendencies, not my impulses.

I was looking for a new prayer/mantra to say in the mornings and evenings, one that did not position me as powerless nor create a punishment and reward mindset about how the world works. The newsletter from the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, D.C. had this yesterday:

May you be held in the heart of lovingkindness

May you be free from inner and outer harm

May you be well

May you have ease of well-being

May your life be of service to all beings

May you come to know great and natural peace

May you awaken and be free
May you awaken and be free.
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