Friday, February 14, 2014

The Process


I don't often get to bake the way that speaks to me. Baking can be a quick batch of cookies on a snowed in night, or an apple crisp that is easily thrown together for a moment of weakness. 
But baking in its purest form, to me, is to labor. 
To begin in the morning and finally have a completed masterpiece by the time the sun turns gold. You measured as if your life depended on it, you paced  anxiously while the oven burned away at your begotten, peering through the glass every few minutes to check on the thing that stole, or rather was given willingly, your entire day. 
Your back hurts a bit, your hands feel soft and warm from handling so much butter, and you whisper little prayers that whatever it is doesn't fall, crack, or scorch in it's final moments. 

This is the kind of baking that impacts me. The kind I wish I was able to do on a weekly basis. I learn, and release, and revive after so many hours in the kitchen. With every time I punch down the dough I remember what a process all good things can be. The best of life needs to be hovered over and tended to for hours. It's hard to be patient, and obedient to a recipe, or to the laws of yeast and gravity. But when you know that at the end of every process lies an Irish Farmers Cheese Tart... Well, you labor. 



I found this recipe a long time ago, and thought... "Someday." 
It was daughnting, and the blogger even admits herself that it is not for the faint of heart. If you want to make this tart, make sure you have a whole day of nothing else to do, and commit to it with heart. I promise you, you will NOT be dissapointed! It is like a little bit of heaven come to earth. 
Not your typical cheesecake, this is the original Scandinavian version. Back when they made their own cheese, from their own cows, on their own genius. The sweet, rich, and rustic cheese filling is embraced with a buttery pastry which has been coated in applesauce before baking. 

Divine. 


You can find the recipe here: 

http://farmette.ie/2013/01/17/sweet-farmers-cheese-tart/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+marriedanirishfarmer/skIi+(I+Married+An+Irish+Farmer.)




Piebox is a Christmas present from my beloved who knows me well. It is a lifesaver, and sold online. :) 



Saturday, February 1, 2014

A box of matches in a dark wood

Since being engaged things between us have changed. Only because love starts to take on a whole new meaning, turning and morphing like a pearl inside a clam. It becomes a forever kind of love, sacrificial, binded, protected. 

While reading a children's book (which I tend to get the most meaning out of) called The Rooftoppers, I read something that deeply resonated with my new and changing love for Jeremy. 
Katherine Rundell writes of a little girl alone in Paris, searching for her mother with only a single strand of music to go on. When she is confronted near the end of the novel, having sacrificed everything, on whether or not loving a person can matter this much she realizes this...

" perhaps that's what love does? It's not there to make you feel special, it's to make you brave. It was like a ration pack in the desert, she thought, a box of matches in a dark wood. Love and courage, two words for the same thing. You didn't need the person to be there with you, just alive somewhere. It was what her mother had always been. A place to put down her heart, a resting stop to recover her breath. A set of stars and maps." 

I realized too, along with Sophie, that my love for this man was no longer about feeling good or special... Even though at times it has that effect. It is a strong object, making me brave, and making me see God in times when I would rather hide. It is a guide to my own heart, a convicting love that will not run from depth. What a gift to have been given a "box of matches in a dark wood." 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksmas



This is so long overdue, but these were 
pictures from my thanksgiving/Christmas at home in Kentucky. It was a time of remembering and learning and navigating. These are too beautiful of moments to not share... 










Saturday, November 9, 2013

Second chances and oatmeal

There is a silence in morning that causes tears to sting my eyes. Why me? This morning? This priveledge? I was gifted with them by no deserving gleam of my own heart. But they were given to me like a weed picked from the earth in the hand of a rapturous child. 
"Here, for you! Because.... Just because I love you."
Ok, so maybe I fill this sacred space with peanut butter oatmeal and journaling. Does that make it wasted or less holy? No, I don't think so. I think it makes it mine. 



Gregory Allen Isiakov, my muse these days, says if it weren't for second chances we would all be "as lonely as a ring on a cold coffee cup." 
He is right. How melonchey it feels to observe something that was once warm and full be rendered empty. 
Praise God who continues to fill our coffee cups to overflowing! He will never leave us without. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Celebrating because we can... With doughnuts.



My roommate Laura knows all of the holidays... Ever. 
She informed me excitedly last week that this Monday was Canadian Thanksgiving. Normally that would include a pancake dinner with lots and lots of maple syrup. 
We decided that doughnuts and cider sounded better. 



Sour Cream Cake Doughnuts - Gluten Free

    For the donuts:
  • 2 cups all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons palm shortening
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • For the glaze:
  • 3 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hot water
Beat the shortening, sugar, and eggs until thick and pale. 
In a seperate bowl combine the dry ingredients. 
Add to the mixer alternating with the sour cream in three batches. The dough will be sticky. 
Chill for an hour. 
Roll out the dough to about a 1/2 inch depending on how thick you want your doughnuts. Drop into hot oil ad fry on each side until golden. You will know your oil is ready if the doughnut rises immediately to float. 

For the glaze: 
Combine all ingredients and stir! Dip the doughnuts completely after that have cooled. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wildwood



I have been reading this book. It is a treasure trove (as evidenced by it's cover) of magical woodland wonder. 

My book review at only half way through reads as thus. 

Thank you Colin Meloy for trekking the hidden paths of wildwood, and following them to my own imagination. 


I get swept away every time I read it's verbiage. I want to smell the moss Prue ( the heroine) talks so fondly about. I want to be frightened by coyote malitia in red tattered coats. I want to taste blackberry wine, even if it does get you tipsy faster than most beverages, and I long to meet the crown prince. A great magestic owl who's eyes, once locked with your own, seem to carry away your deepest secrets. 

[ a lovely little one waiting to be appreciated on the library steps] 

The writer talks of the woods repeatedly. It makes you want to plunge headlong into its deep, cool, earthy recesses. Not shockingly, I have taken to appreciating leaves and sticks and the like even more than my already obsession since picking up this book. They are my friends. They are what God made. And for some reason... They make me feel comforted. A leave stays where it's placed, loyal, living, patient. 

I love the forest. It so quickly lends itself to a sanctuary. 

[ me and a mushroom I found on an evening walk]