sunday in the kitchen

One of the very first things I remember learning how to bake was peanut butter cookies. Finally being old enough to learn some skills in the kitchen was so thrilling. And I'm sure my mother was equally as thrilled to have the eldest of her five children happily take over one of the many large-family responsibilities. It was an exciting new world that had opened up to me.  I had so much fun measuring and mixing and, oh yeah, tasting. Mmmmm, peanut butter cookie dough! I can still taste it even though it has been years since I have whipped up that recipe. I pulled out that old recipe today determined to come up with some acceptable likeness. What I came up with bears little to no resemblance - the butter, peanut butter and eggs all needed to be substituted so as not to kill my food-allergic boy. And 2 cups of sugar? Yikes!
Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies
2/3 C tahini
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 C turbinado sugar
1/4 C honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp hot water
1 1/4 C spelt flour
1/2 C oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
50 g dark chocolate
Mix together wet ingredients - when working with melted coconut oil, ensure all other ingredients are at room temperature. Mix in dry ingredients. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into a ball and place on baking sheet. Using a fork, gently press down middle of cookie. Bake at 350F for about 10-12 minutes - until edges of cookies are golden.

While baking cookies held little appeal for those boys of mine, yelling out 'I'm making pickles' brought that pickle monster of mine running to the kitchen. His eagerness to absorb each step in the process flooded me with those memories of my eagerness to learn how to bake. 
He carefully cut up the cucumbers and forcefully packed that jar full of those crunchy slices. I added a handful of dill, a couple of cloves of garlic, and a pinch or two of sea salt.
He was careful to fill the jar half full of apple cider vinegar and the other half with water. I loosely screwed on the jar's lid and set it on the counter to ferment for a day or two when I will tighten the lid, throw it in the fridge, and hope that they will last the week!


held captive

I was locked up today - thrown in 'jail'. My crime? Laying eyes upon the secret, 'invisible' fort built by two young warriors. I could have taken them, wrestled myself free. But they were kind captors. They brought me books, they brought me coffee, they even threw a few nacho chips my way. I willingly stayed captive for two whole hours. I felt pampered.


happy new year

The merry year is born
Like the bright berry from the naked thorn.
~Hartley Coleridge
Photo by GZ