breakfast

invigorating

I've been playing with my spirograph (did I just date myself here? They're awesome.), watercolour and gouache. I could certainly get used to spending my afternoons at my coffee-table studio with the rabbits snuggled up beside me (or quietly removing the side of a bag of flour in the kitchen... ahem, Zephyr...). Spring here is at that delightful indecisive stage where an enthusiastic breeze roars into a bright day, the sky darkens and breaks into rain showers (and that weird tension that you didn't realize was building gives way to relief). Then, still pouring rain, the clouds break and the brightness is blinding even seen through somewhat dusty windows (stand on the porch and take this in). I seem be geekily enthusiastic in welcoming all kinds of weather, but spring weather is invigorating.

Last night after sweet Seven's 3 am check-in, I lay awake thinking about fermented porridge until I got up to start some for the morning. I've mentioned this breakfast before, it's one of my favorites. It doesn't hold a candle to my friend Kyrie's frittata or her eggs benny, but it's exactly the kind of wholesome simplicity I look for in a weekday breakfast, heartier and more flavorful than regular oats or unsoaked steel-cut oats, with the added benefit of a fairly speedy cooking time.

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Night-fermented Steel-cut Oats Adapted from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions 1/3 cup steel cut oats 1 spoonful (closer to a tbsp than a tsp) plain, happy-cow, probiotic yogourt 1/3 cup water (you can also use liquid poured off of the yogourt, which will leave you with thicker yogourt - yum!) Stir ingredients loosely together in a smallish bowl, then let it sit overnight on the counter (you can cover it with a plate or cloth, or tuck it in the cupboard if you like). In the morning, bring to a boil: 1/3 cup water Add fermented grain and simmer until it comes together and oats soften (try a little to check, they will be more toothsome than rolled oats), maybe about 10 minutes. I like to serve this with a pinch of salt, a knob of butter, about a teaspoon maca powder, and a sprinkling of cacao nibs and hemp hearts. It's also very tasty with heavy cream and maple syrup, or topped with granola and milk. If you have stewed rhubarb, don't hesitate to add it. Some days an impromptu coffee date interrupts my intention to make this in the morning and the soaker fares perfectly well sitting out until the following morning, in fact it might even be improved. (Insert Pease Porridge rhyme...)

sound in the forest

One of my favorite things about my days off is having real breakfasts. I like to soak 1/3 cup steel cut oats in 1/3 cup water and a spoonful of yogurt overnight then cook it in 1/3 cup water the next morning. And I like to make coffee. Very much. Lately before work I've just been making toast to bring with me and most of it ends up quite cold and chewy before I get to it. Waking up even earlier, even for something as glorious as breakfast is so not happening though. Good thing I've been applying for work hither and thither these past few days. Hopefully something better will come up soon. I've been thinking about things I could do that would actually be fulfilling, and while I haven't seen them in the job postings yet I still have hope. Illustrating children's books would be delightful. Reading books and finding every typo and spelling mistake and forming opinions would be right up my alley as well. Something creative, please... I went for a walk near MacKenzie Bight in the highlands with my brother this afternoon. It rained on the way there, but under the canopy the trees were only dripping. I sometimes miss the chilly, crystalline magic of the forests in the Kootenays under their winter snow. There, silence reigns except the occasional clumps of snow falling. The sun comes in sideways and catches the rough snow crystals, the whole forest peaceful and glittering. Here, the thought of winter seems far. The forest is full of sounds. First, the pitter-pat of rain on leaves, then gurgling and rushing as we neared a small rivulet. The gurgles faded down the path behind us and a few steps later new burbles announced the next stream. In one spot, various streams had converged and taken over the paths. This is where we turned around. The roar of the waterfall almost masked the sound of soft raindrops on the small pool at the top of the falls. Over it all, but woven into the louder stream sounds and only evident where the raindrops, the breeze and the leaves were the only backdrop, the clomping of our wet boots. Modern humans are so inelegant in the forest.

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