Something shifted around the beginning of the new year and it seems like everyone has come alive. Suddenly all of the projects, hopes, and dreams that were gathering dust seem possible and even exciting. I'm feeling it too.
I'm blaming a lot of that on the strong palpable feelings of the moon building towards a blue moon eclipse, amidst other things, but I’ll likely wax endlessly on that soon..
It seems moments of brightness often follow dark times and I know personally, in the summer & autumn I hit some of the darkest depressions I've seen in a long while. Just last month I had a wake up call in the form of a panic attack, the first since grade school, and the next day, upon waking, I took a shower, put on my boots and set outside with no destination. I walked and walked and walked and with each step the knots started coming loose -- each exhale carried a worry that was cast off on the sea breeze, and I gradually I began to feel clear again. I walked with purpose, and intention, but no expectations -- the words of Mary Oliver "determined to save the only life she could" repeating in my mind. I looked at all that had been stewing underneath, and found the truth buried underneath each worry. As each truth was unearthed I felt a freedom -- solutions and renewed intention accompanied each revelation. To the peninsula and back I went, over four hours of walking, and by the time I reached our doorstep again I felt almost new born.
It is is no secret that taking a long walk is good for you, but this act gave me a whole new respect for the practice. We take walks with our dog all the time, but this time, going alone, completely alive and raw, inhaling, exhaling, and deeply human -- this led me to see see it as a potent, deep, and completely free medicine.
And also all of this is to say I'm feeling a shift in myself. Amidst the sadness and chaos of 2017, there was a larger transformation happening underneath the surface, collectively and just in our little world, and hopefully I can share more of the pearls from that muck with you this year.
A lot happened above the surface as well. When I look back at 2017 without the muddy goggles, I'm kind of amazed at all we did. I hosted a residency program for 2 seasons, we went to France, I moved out of the little home studio bakery into a real commercial kitchen in the village (!?), we moved into a truly small cabin tucked back in the woods, we began actually wedding planning - oy!
And so with all of those changes comes updates for the year to come! I receive e-mails often about residencies and the apprenticeship program and so here's a few bullet points for the year ahead:
- I will be looking for an apprentice again this year, it will look different, and start sooner. I will do a separate post on that soon so thank you for your patience and stay tuned!
- With the big move into a real-deal official, commercial kitchen I had to let go of our old studio, which means the residency program is on hold until we have a more permanent space to house it. It was rewarding and wild and beautiful and I can't wait to share more. I've collected interviews with many of the year's residents and will be posting those in the weeks to come!
- We're getting married this year! So please excuse me if I'm more scattered and distant than usual ! <3
- I'm slowly venturing into the intimidating world of teaching. I've been teaching kids baking classes on island for the last few summers, but this year I'll be testing the waters of teaching adult classes. My friend Sophie said adults are just like kids who like their hand-outs, so I've been using that to soothe my nerves! I have two pie making workshops scheduled at Hold General in the spring and I would love to see you there ^_^.
- J and I will be launching an exciting project we've been slowly working on for 2 years in April -- stay tuned and wish us luck as we pull these final pieces together!
And as always there are lots of bright dreams for zines, shop ideas, etc. I love collaborating and working with other people so if you have any ideas please don't be shy to write. Xx
And mostly, finally, shortbread. With the cocktail of discovering that J can't eat dairy and receiving a fancy Vitamix for Christmas - we've been experimenting more with alternative flours and dairy free recipes. It is truly amazing what you can do with plants and although these don't have that buttery taste that is signature of shortbread, I still find them to be just as tasty - and only 8-9 ingredients if you don't add the glaze! They were the hit of my new recipe testers -- also known as Thursday's yoga class, so I'd say try ‘em and let me know what you think!
Cardamom Shortbread with Pistachios and Rose Petals
makes 18-21 cookies
For the cookies
1/2 cup cup coconut oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup banana (about 1/2 a banana)
2 1/4 cups almond flour/almond meal
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped
For the glaze (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp honey
1. Cream together coconut oil, brown sugar, and banana in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or with hand mixer on low-medium.
2. Add in maple syrup, sea salt, and vanilla. Mix until well-blended.
3. Add in the almond flour and cardamom and blend.
4. Mix in the pistachios. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Take dough out of mixing bowl and transfer to a floured surface. Toss with more flour and pat and roll dough into a thin log about 2-3" in diameter.
6. Transfer log to a long piece of parchment or aluminum foil, wrap tightly, and place in freezer to harden for 15-20 minutes.
7. Take out of freezer and cut log into 3/4" inch cookies. Place onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until a light golden brown.
8. In the meantime, if you'd like you can make a simple glaze by combining glaze ingredients in a small bowl and mixing with a fork until smooth.
9. Take cookies out of oven and let cool. Drizzle glaze over top and sprinkle with rose petals.
10. Enjoy! These are great with tea ^_^