Thursday, November 7, 2013

Some things take time...

I love cooking. I love trying new recipes. I love waiting for the final product and seeing other's reactions. I love finding the perfect combination of flavor complexity even if it takes numerous attempts to get there. I love the challenge.

Yesterday, I made a crockpot marinara sauce from our leftover garden tomatoes that have been slowly ripening in our three season porch. I used the recipe from BudgetBytes with just a few minor alterations. I needed to add a bit of shallots since I didn't have enough yellow onion. Then in keeping with our unprocessed diet I added coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.  In the end, I went to bed while it cooked and I wish it didn't have as strong of an onion flavor.  I was able to add one can of organic tomato sauce and then I put it in 2 ziploc quart sized freezer bags to use for sauce later.

I also worked on making another variation of chocolate chip cookies.  I used recipes from a few sites.

Tweaking each to try to get the right flavor, texture, crispiness but chewiness.  You can see pictures of my final product.

So here's the final recipe.

Crispy and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups blanched almond flour
2 TBSP. coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 TBSP. honey
1/2 tsp. grassfed gelatin
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
6 TBSP. grassfed butter OR palm oil shortening OR melted coconut oil
1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Move oven rack to middle position.  Mix above ingredients and using 1 inch cookie scoop place cookie dough balls on the parchment lined pan.  Press balls down to flatten.  Bake for 11-12 minutes until golden brown on the edges.  Allow to cool before removing from the pan.

So I had to wait for the sauce, I had to wait for the cookies.  It seems waiting is what I have been doing lately. My dad passed away last week unexpectedly from a heart attack. He was an honest, kind, generous, hardworking, intelligent man. He made time for everyone.  He valued his faith in Christ, family, and those he cared for above "stuff". 

As a child in a family with 6 kids we never had to do without but we also didn't always have all the materialistic things our peers had. We shared bedrooms. We wore hand me downs. We worked for what we had. We waited and it was good. 

We didn't eat out much and that was ok because when we did it was a huge treat.  We didn't get every toy we saw in the stores but when it was our birthday or was that much more special because my mom and dad didn't cater to our every whim. We waited and it was good.

Now as I wade through grief on my own and with my family I am reminded to wait. You can't rush grief just like you can't rush the sauce in the crockpot or the cookies in the pan.  They are only good if you wait.  You need to cry when the tears come and pick yourself up and move when you have the energy to. You keep stepping one foot in front of the other until you realize you're not as sad anymore.

When I was a kid waiting for Christmas I hated waiting. I was so impatient.  Yesterday, was a tough day for me and I was impatient with myself. But I let myself cry. I let myself remember his smile, his laugh, his mannerisms. I lay on the floor a little longer playing Legos with my Superheroes knowing that if today was my last day...I want them to remember me playing. I want them to have a mom who emulates the love my dad emulated. Who teaches the value of working, patience, waiting, and love.

But in order to not let the grief consume me I need to wait.  I need to grieve.  I need to cry.  I need to let my husband hold me and then...bit by bit...I also need to remember to live in the present and enjoy the life I have here.  At a pivotal point in my life, facing the loss of a job and a serious relationship, my dad asked, "If you could be doing anything in your life, what would it be?"  When I told him my answer he said, "So what are you waiting for?  Life is short...go do it."  So I will get through this grief and then I will remember him saying life is short and I will live.

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles.  They shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint."  Isaiah 40:31

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