We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. Luke 17:10
I guess it's becoming clear that I hang out with a lot of foodie kind of people. It kind of happens that people who are in the same set of circumstances gravitate together. A goodly number of the email lists I inhabit are about food and food choices. Many of the people that come are, like me, in search of answers to questions that the medical community does not appear to possess the ability to answer. There are an astonishing and saddening number of people that persist in having problems that doctors and tests say aren't there. How contrary of us. I like hanging out with these kinds of people because the pooled experiences, feedback, ideas, and synergy of highly motivated folk can produce astonishing results. My best puzzle pieces came from these kinds of dynamic exchanges.
Change can be hard. Especially when it comes to eating. There are ten million diets out there, each with their own line of highly specialized products just for this very reason. Most of us want the variables and details figured out for us. But some people can see a truth, foresee the consequences to themselves, and set a course for themselves for change that is unwavering, in spite of the fact that they have no immediate feedback mechanisms rewarding or punishing them along the way. They just see a future danger and discipline themselves toward change without flinching. I admire these people so much because I had to be dragged into this. I'm one of those people for whom the consequences had to be more immediate and intense or I probably wouldn't have come along for the ride. That said, I'm never tempted to cheat...at least on the Hobbits' behalf...the consequences are too severe for us. That's why I admire people who can look down the road at potential cumulative damage and change direction. That takes so much more will power. I have to say that I admire them a lot more than I admire me. I only did these things because I was spanked into it. I'm the unprofitable servant....I've only done what was required of me.
Shortly after our introduction of bread, I started having my own set of difficulties that pushed grains off the menu for me. During this time I played around with a grain-free sourdough bread made from bean flour. This bread uses garbanzo and fava bean flour, but any mild bean could be milled in most grain mills and then used. It has a hearty taste, but the texture tends to be a bit crumbly. I can't say that it is something that I'd yearn for like chocolate chip cookies, but as a stop-gap bread, it's a pretty good fill in.
Grain-Free Almost Everything Free Bread
2 cups bean flour
2 cups kefir-fermented apple juice
Mix thoroughly and let stand for 24 hours.
In a bowl, measure out:
1/2 cup tapioca starch flour
1/2 cup potato starch flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons guar gum
In a mixer, whip up 4-6 egg whites until frothy.
Into the meringue, pour:
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 cups sourdough starter
Mix in dry ingredients. This yields a rather thin batter for a bread. It will be about the consistency of toothpaste, but not spreading out with the ease of pancake batter. Pour into bread pan and let rise until doubled. Bake at 350* for an hour.
I'm still reading farming books. The latest point of inspiration is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. This is the first of her books that I've ever read...I've never been much of a follower of Oprah Book Club type of books. But I loved it. It was a great book. I laughed and cried, but mostly I thought that she'd been looking in my windows. She and I share an affinity for tomatoes and her description of her summer kitchen sounds a lot like mine. Actually, given our different perspectives on life, I was amazed that we had so much in common. Their story of making the changes necessary to eat local, uprooting their lives and relocating across country to follow this dream is amazing. I'm astonished and have a profound amount of respect for people who are willing to shake up the status quo and endure the disequilibrium that this brings all for the sake of personal growth and for ideological reasons. These people who are willing to endure the inconvenience and sacrifice with no other motivation than an intrinsic ideal...they've got what I want.
I think I'm ready to move beyond just dragging my feet and doing what is required of me. Look out local...here I come.