The Unexpected

 

We all wore aprons Sunday morning to make Dada buckwheat pancakes and bacon. Try to ignore the house clutter, everything is in constnt flux.

The last few days have been filled with joyous surprises for us.  With Litha (summer solstice) and Fathers’ Day both on Sunday, we attempted to spread our celebrations across the whole of the weekend. We toured my partner’s work at Wizards of the Coast for the first time on Friday, went for a hike on Saturday, and made brunch and held a mini-bonfire on Sunday.

To top it off, amidst a productive Monday, I reconnected with two cousins on the East coast I hadn’t seen since childhood, and one of my local cousins gave birth to her third child.

The last few days have been as emotionally sunny as the weather, and despite a demanding schedule, we have been making a lot of time for one another in little ways, such as evening walks, afternoon cuddles, and spontaneous outings.

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Saturday, we had discussed going

SAFE member guiding Sunny the pony

berry picking, but my partner wanted to seek wild berries rather than visit a farm (we are blessed with an abundance of farms near our home).  He found a couple of local hiking trails we had never tried that boasted wild, unsprayed berries.

We chose Bridle Trails’ Raven Trail, since it both bore my name and was only a mile long.  Though we knew blackberries won’t be along for another month, we still kept our eyes out for salmonberries.  It proved a more challenging hike than anticipated, but we managed well.

We walked a narrow trail through sword ferns higher than my shoulders, noted which trees were young or old based on their branches, nibbled ripe salmonberries, ate the nuts we brought along, dodged horse droppings, and stopped occasionally to watch the birds or simply be.

At the end of the hike, we heard mediaeval European choral music, as though we were being summoned to a divine event.  Indeed, we were, as we broke through the tree line and ended up at the outskirts of a horse corral.  SAFE of Woodinville was holding a costumed event with a rather SCA feel to it.  Both horses and riders were dressed as different characters, mostly from Alice in Wonderland, and went through a series of trials for tokens to win prizes.

Their Queen made announcements to all throughout the proceedings, and taunted her jester, whose job it was to be on the receiving end of flying produce, thrown by riders from their mounts.  He also took out his own trusty steed, an upside-down broom, and went through one of the more difficult challenges on a mount.

We watched for over an hour, as each horse (and a pair of ponies, Sunny, and his mom, Shasta) took turns through the trials.  Some of the riders allowed us the chance to say hello, and some of the horses were kind enough to let us pet them.

Our little hike of wonder turned magical thanks to a surprising encounter with a whole group from our neighborhood we didn’t know about before.

WHAT WE’RE READING

We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow

We Planted a Tree by Diane MuldrowDaughter is reading the draft of a manuscript her father and I sent out to DAW Books back in May, and Son is making us all read endless tongue-twisting Seuss books.

We just picked up a new book from the library titled We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow.  It’s a wonderfully illustrated book that tells the tale of what happens when a tree is planted, how it affects the microenvironment and the world.  Not at all pushy or preachy, just beautiful.  It gave me goosebumps, and my son enjoys it, too.

 

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

Since we’ve been spending so much time outside, our video time has been next to nil!  Just a little Community at lunch and Fairy Tail after dinner.  We miss Adult Wednesday Addams on YouTube.

WHAT WE’RE EATING

The Broke Ass Gourmet’s Chickpea Flour Flatbread

It’s hot, and it’s just getting hotter.  The other day, I made a chicken tagine and quinoa tabbouleh, but wanted some flat bread to go with our baba ganouj (who doesn’t, right? ;).  So, I hit Google up for wheat free ideas and came across this: The Broke Ass Gourmet’s Chickpea Flour Flatbread.

While the author is correct, the batter should be thick as a pancake batter, the water to flour ratio didn’t work for me.  Also, for that particular dinner, I wanted an unobtrusive bread to dip, so our ingredients were simple:

Chickpea flour, water, sea salt, and turmeric.  I added extra flour to the proportions listed in the link until it appeared to be a yellow pancake batter.  Then I fried it, a small ladle full at a time in our smallest skillet (I used a blend of sunflower and olive oils for frying) and cooked like pancakes, tossing them in our tortilla warmer as I went.  I doubled the original recipe and got 5 flatbreads for my efforts.

The chickpea flour adds a new dimension to the flavor one can’t get with wheat or rice flours, and it puffed up nicely, with a pleasantly chewy texture.  Leftovers worked well the next day with tomato slices and parmesan (popped into the toaster oven on broil for a few minutes).

Chickpea flour is now a staple in our house, next to buckwheat and organic corn meal.  We’ll be switching out spices this weekend (and maybe adding garlic to the batter) for some flatbread pizzas this weekend (a la flour tortilla “pizzas” with hummus, veggies, and provolone).

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