REST

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These three words have been painted on the chalkboard in my kitchen since the beginning of the summer holidays. They are things that I find hard (read almost impossible) to do. I felt that this summer break was a good time to begin to try and embrace them a little more (I have a suspicion that it’s a lifelong journey!)

 

Today, I’m thinking about Rest.

 

I’m an active person. I’m generally tearing around with a zillion things to do. I do a lot of sport. I can be found in the swimming pool mostly and I feel guilty if I have not done some form of exercise in a day, whether that be a cycle to someplace or a full-on session, complete with fins and paddles, in the pool.

 

But in the last few years I  have learnt to embrace a more genteel side to exercise, namely in the form of yoga and Pilates. My body copes much better with these forms of exercise. I have reluctantly hung up my running shoes as each time I try to run I get injured. “Finally…”, my body is saying, “…you are listening to me”!

 

I understand the concept in sport that we need to rest in order to build muscle and all that, but I’m not so great at actually doing it. I see rest as having to stop, be totally still, a ‘lie on the sofa and do nothing’ sort of thing. And I don’t like that idea.

I think I’m only seeing half the picture though.

I have thought about rest before. I love a good acronym and this one came to me and helped me to look at this whole idea afresh.

 

R – Rest is REJUVENATING. It allows recovery from energy already expended.

 

E – Rest is ENERGISING. It restores energy for what is next.

 

S – Rest is SANCTIFYING. For me, this means it allows me time to pray and chat to God in a place of quietness and peace. It’s good for me.

 

T – Rest takes TIME. I think this is possibly the hardest one for me. It takes time to rest and I’m always concerned I’m missing something or wasting time!

 

Restful activities? Are there such things? What defines rest for you? How do you incorporate it into your life?

The Rise and Fall of Baking

If my last post was the rise, then this one is the fall of gluten-free baking.

I always get disappointed when recipes don’t work out and I get cross at myself for wasting  ingredients. I was really excited to try and make bagels. I’d recently purchased some shop bought gluten-free ones and was reminded of their deliciousness. “I can do those” I thought… hmmm, I’m not sure they’re as easy as I thought after today’s attempts.

I generally want to hide things that don’t turn out well, but I decided that it’s important to share the things that don’t go well alongside those that do.  I”m sure we can all learn something. So here is today’s offering in pictures- flat bagels.

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Batter was too stiff so I added extra water. Could this be my first error?

 

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IMG_0913 A top piping tip… seal off one end with a clip and use a glass to hold piping bag steady whilst putting in the mixture.

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Didn’t really rise at all!

 

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Just kind of spread out!

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After re-piping them, I decided I’d just see what happened when I baked them. I tried boiling a couple as the recipe dictated but that wasn’t a success, so I just stuck them in the oven!

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The result. Hardly bagel like in any way, shape or form. But they are just about edible in a strange kind of way!

Onwards to the next bagel recipe to try then!

Now the granola I made afterwards, far more successful. That’s for the next post maybe!

Gluten Free Artisan Boule

I’m into baking bread at the moment. I’ve become fed up with the standard gluten free bread machine loaf that I’ve been making for years and wanted to break out from the loaf tin and find something a bit more interesting.
I turned to Pintrest (as you do) and stumbled upon the very lovely people at  artisan bread in five minutes. They have a wealth of experience in bread making and when I saw they have gluten free loaves as well – heaven!

The recipe and method I’ve used is all theirs, so I’ve included the video which I used to create my first batch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxw1iqgJkQE

I now make it by the bucket load and bake a loaf there and then, have dough in the fridge for when I gobble up the first one because it’s so delicious, and then the rest of the dough goes in the freezer.

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Using Sorghum flour was a first for me, but it seems to work really well. I used this one from Bob’s mill. A bit pricey and harder to get hold of, but my local health food store, Manuka Wholefoods, stocks it. Expect to pay about £3.50 a bag.

The result…

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Yes, it takes longer than the bread machine, but the loaf is so much more like ‘proper’ bread. Delightful.

Walking Simply

1083301.largeI’ve been thinking about writing a blog for some time. With the summer holidays in full swing, now seems like the time when I have the space to put that plan into action.

This is primarily a space for me to explore ideas and share things that I  magpie from others and stumble upon whilst trawling the internet, talking to people, reading or scouring recipe books. Perhaps there will be others who find the content to come of interest or useful. Be there many readers, or be there none, this is my space to explore, welcome.

Looking at my Pintrest boards gave me more of an idea of the kinds of things that I’m likely to post about. So stay tuned if you’re into any of the following. These seem to be the things that occupy my mind most frequently.

Food – specifically eating within dietry restrictions for whatever reason. Be that gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, paleo or things that are simply nutritious and yummy. I seem to spend a lot of time thinking about, reading about and preparing food!!

Craft, reashioning clothing, upcycling. I hate throwing things out.

Sustainable living – oh, that’s a whole host of things! Pursuing ethical shopping choies, building sustainable, environmentally ‘good’, quirky (and beautiful) property and many more things that come under this umbrella.

Finally, and probably importantly, learning to write more eloquently!