For the Love of Flat Bread

Funny what counts as inspiration and makes me want to blog all of a sudden.  This is mostly for my recipe-sending sister, to let her know I take her seriously when she makes a recommendation even if it takes me forever and three days to try it out for myself.

It’s coconut flour flat bread!  I followed the recipe!  Except for the part at the end where my one act of rebellion was to cut it into shapes instead of rounds.  Rounds give you too many left over pieces you just want to throw out.  This was less wasteful and more interesting.  The two pieces sort of shaped like Manitoba were just happy accidents.

It smells great when it’s baking and tastes really good with garlic and herb cream cheese.  And yeah, that was breakfast.

Here’s how easy it is.  Maybe you know what a big fan of easy I am.

Ingredients

½ cup coconut flour

2 (two) 15 ml Tablespoons + 2 (two) 5 ml teaspoons xantham gum

¼ cup melted coconut oil

1 cup boiling water

optional: 1 tsp spice of your choice (I used Italian)

Directions

Preheat oven to 355 F
Whisk dry ingredients together

Add water & oil. Mix with fork until no lumps and dough comes together.

Knead with your hands until well mixed.

Roll out dough in between 2 sheets of parchment paper

Cut into rounds with cookie cutter or oiled drinking glass

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper & fill with cut outs like cookies

Bake for 20 min until golden brown
Next time I might add some salt, and flip them over in the last five minutes so both sides get a bit crispy.  And of course experiment with the spices.

I’ve been so incredibly antisocial for such a long time this summer, if that’s what it takes for an introvert to recharge, I should be at about 120 percent by now.  I admit I sometimes talk to myself out loud lately.  You know, just to see if my voice still works.  This morning I had a staring contest with a jack rabbit until I asked him wtf he wanted and he took off.  The other day I watched the squirrel on our fence taunting three squawking crows.  Perhaps you are getting an inkling of why I haven’t been rushing to my iPad to record these and other extraordinary events for posterity.

And it’s been so hot.  When I shop I go early in the morning, get the mail from the day before, half close the blinds to the direct sunlight and read my kindle with a fan blowing in my face.  Play some computer games, check out the idiotic crap going on in the world, see if there’s weather watches or warnings.  Get quite excited for myself and my grass if it rains.  Wasn’t so thrilled with the latest tornado watch, didn’t like the black sky and hung out in the basement for a bit one evening.

Other than that and having family here for the Canada Day weekend and talking to and texting W sporadically, there is nothing to say.  So I have been saying nothing.  And doing next to that.

I am alive and eating flat bread.  Life is good.

Rabbits In the Rain

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Rational me knows that the appearance in my backyard of crows and magpies and jackrabbits and squirrels and cats and ducks (yes, there have been ducks!) is completely random and entirely insignificant.  There is no sane reason for me to be counting these creatures and keeping track of their arrivals and departures.  But I do.

Weird superstitious me believes in omens and portents and prophecies of doom and assigns grave importance to…well….pretty much everything.  Because you never know, right?  If the cosmos is sending me messages I would like to be receptive, not oblivious.

Let me tell you about the crows.  It’s been a crow summer here.  These big black shiny creatures swoop down four and five at a time onto the grass and squawk at each other like mad things. Magpie conversations seem almost polite in comparison.  They are devious and mean looking.  One in particular, perched somewhere in the big pine tree in a neighbors yard,  eventually lost his voice I guess, or moved on.  For weeks he just would not shut up.  But now he has.

So What Does That Mean???  One for sorrow?

Maybe somebody shot the bastard.

Anyway.  There are no crows today.  Today is W’s birthday.  If you’ve been paying attention you will notice my last post was on MY birthday three months ago.  I am fine.  Just finally doing things worth writing about and not having time to write about them because I’m too busy doing things.  I feel like I sat on my derrière for the first year or so of my retirement and now I’m not doing that so much.

My kitchen and living room are cleaned up, painted, decluttered and tastefully decorated. Ha!  Notice there’s no pictures of that so you can’t dispute the tasteful part.  Instead I have shared jackrabbits and white spray paint on our pitted driveway through the kitchen window.  That probably means something too.  Like I should stop gazing out rain streaked windows and get on with the rest of the house.  I’ve taken a few ‘before, during and after’ shots. And then some after-after ones after I changed my mind again.  We had a garage sale the end of July and got rid of a lot of stuff.  The garage has now become home for what remains until my daughter picks it up and it gets donated to some poor unsuspecting charity.

It’s been lovely to have lots of time and no deadline getting the painting done.  The house is old and there are always new challenges and surprises.  I am now an expert at concealing gaps on wooden window and door frames and baseboards, imperfections which showed up when we painted them white, with sealant.  House glue!  Awesome stuff.  Hallway, three bedrooms and main bath to go!  All in various stages of work in progress.

The crows have been worrisome, but now I think maybe they were not trying to give me bad news.  Because after all my doctor visits and tests  and consultations, I finally have a medical diagnosis.  I will save that for another post, and don’t worry, it won’t have to wait for some random relatives birthday.

Unless the crows freak me out again simply by being their normal bird brained annoying selves.  It’s their fault this post wanders around all over the place.   At least I got it done.  Longest break ever.  But I think I’m back.

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My Own Little Murder of Crows

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One is for bad news.

Two is for mirth.

Three is a wedding.

Four for a birth.

Five is for riches.

Six is a thief.

Seven a journey.

Eight is for grief.

Nine is a secret.

Ten is for sorrow.

Eleven is love.

Twelve is joy on the morrow.

on the menu today, at flickrhoo

on the menu today, at flickrhoo (Photo credit: Jaboney)

Yes, I freely admit it – I count crows.  Someone made up that informative little blurb about what the numbers mean for the benefit of superstitious people like me.  Having discovered this poem (and others like it) I now forever find myself taking the words seriously and assigning deep meaning to having big black birds land in my backyard.

A few days ago there were five crows strutting about back there.  I’ve gotten used to the magpies visiting, but don’t often see the rest of the Corvids family (which includes ravens, crows and blue jays.)  These particular family members are all black, a little scruffy looking, and tricky ominous shape-shifting soul-eating scavengers.  Really, you probably won’t find that description in your bird book, but they do have a reputation.  They are loud, rambunctious, cunning thieves with a plethora of different calls, all of which sound like “Go to Hell” in crow-speak.  A group of them is called a “murder” because (according to me, with no scientific back up for proof)  it always sounds like they are sufficiently pissed off to kill the next thing that crosses their path.

I could also come up with explanations for a jury or an unkindness of ravens;  a parliament of crows, rooks or owls;  a cast of hawks, a knot of frogs, and a skulk of foxes. But maybe I’ll save that for another day when those things present themselves for view from my kitchen window.  A pride of lions, a gaggle of geese, an absence of waiters, an ostentation of peacocks and a brace of orthodontists are all self-explanatory.

This morning there were five crows on my front lawn.  I had a twilight zone moment.  These birds are definitely trying to tell me something.  It could be simply that there are great snacks in my grass, or maybe it’s something much more important, like information on the secrets of balance within my soul (because, you know, that could come from anywhere) or timely advice about purchasing a lottery ticket.  Five is for riches, after all.

Crows are not always harbingers of doom apparently, although I tend to associate them with warnings of danger – death, accidents, sickness, bad weather.  It’s all that gloomy black I guess.  But these birds are also considered by some to be the keepers of sacred law and the mysteries of creation, divine messengers here to guide and protect, bringers of knowledge, seekers of the gates of the supernatural.  Squawking indicators of a change to come.  You never know with crows.

As guardians through the cycle of death and rebirth, the scintillating rainbow
colors in their dark wings remind us that even in the midst of darkness we
have the power to touch the light
.

(Medicine Cards, Jamie Sams and David Carson)

The appearance of crows has long been associated with death omens, dead bodies, battlefields and cemeteries because they are thought to circle in large numbers above sites where animals or people will soon die.  The other side of that is being considered the guardians of ceremonial magic and healing.  Crows have been used for divination and luck, both good and bad.

Somewhere I read that crow medicine people are masters of illusion.  We should not try to figure crow out.  It is the power of the unknown at work, and something special is about to happen.  And that’s all we really need to know about that.

As if that will stop me from counting them.  And constantly checking now for the fabulous five to show up for the third time.