It has been 59 days since my last post and I feel like the Catholic school girl I once was, going to confession to tell my audience in the dark box what I have been up to when he, my audience, had not thought about me or my life since the last time I visited his confessional box. Most of my readers haven't noticed that I'm gone from this world of endless information influx. My need to confess isn't because my readers are clamoring to know what I've been up to. This is about me. It is important to me to address my absence and figure out the words to describe how I went from completing essays with recipes weekly for nearly two years, to not posting a word for 59 days. I can call it busy, I can call it lazy, I can call it writer's block, but it truly isn't any of those things.
When I started writing this blog, it was necessary for me to have a structure to follow. The format of my posts became a way for my writing to exist. As I wrote, I envisioned one of my children, in the future, in their kitchen with the recipe book I had made for them, glancing over one of my stories before making one of their favorite childhood recipes for their family. I pictured them grinning at a memory, or tearing up over one of our shared losses. Every time I sat down to write one of the 86 posts I wrote between June 2013 and January 2015, I thought about my children reading them and it made me happy. The words flowed almost daily. And then, 59 days ago, they didn't.
My writing came to a halt. Just. Like. That. Every day I thought maybe I would write a new post. And then I didn't. My mind was working overtime on stories and ideas and creative endeavors. But the words and phrases all stayed nicely tucked away in my mind. I tried a few times to write down a the bits and pieces of stories that were swirling around in my brain. But the writing wasn't spilling out like it had in the past and it showed in the results. I have 35 drafts of posts that read like I am trying to write but don't have anything to say. My mind keeps taking me in new directions that don't fit into the blog format I created for myself. And after 59 days, I have finally realized that the structure that once gave me the ability to write is now holding me back.
I don't have the answer yet. But making this confession is my first step towards finding the new me. And since The Water is (still) Smiling, I leave you with a quote and a cake while I ponder my transition.
"A lot of people resist transition and therefore never allow themselves to enjoy who they are. Embrace the change, no matter what it is; once you do, you can learn about the new world you're in and take advantage of it." -Nikki Giovanni
Chocolate Date Cake (no gluten, no grains, no refined sugar) (rewritten from Sprouted Kitchen's Flourless Chocolate Date Cake)
1 cup almond flour (almond meal) 1/2 cup hazelnut flour (hazelnut meal) 1/2 tsp salt 2 cups pitted, chopped dates (about 20-25 dates) 1/3 cup buttermilk 5 eggs, separated 3 T cacao powder (or cocoa powder) 1/2 tsp baking soda 7 ounces semisweet chocolate 6 T unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 10" springform pan and line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine flours and salt. In a food processor or vitamix, combine dates, buttermilk, egg yolks, cacao powder and baking soda. Blend until smooth and mix into to the bowl with flour and salt. Set a pan over a pot of boiling water (but not touching the water) and melt the butter and chocolate stirring until smooth. Mix well into batter. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and fold into batter. Transfer to cake pan and smooth top. Bake for 30-40 minutes until toothpick comes clean. Cool completely and serve with whipped cream and berries.
Notes: This cake is not as sweet as many chocolate cakes. It is dark chocolatey which I love, very satisfying so can be served in tiny little slices, and I think it is best topped with plenty of sweetened whipped cream (whip 8oz heavy cream, 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla until thick).