Alchemy

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So there I was, at a loss at what to do with a bounty of dried pitted prunes, apricots and dates that I had in the larder ( if I may still be allowed to use this quaint word). Who was I intending to feed with these copious quantities of dried fruit? In one of my past lives, I must have owned granaries and root cellars, for it is in my nature that I feel compelled to preserve, conserve and hoard vast quantities of vegetables, fruit and grain, but then, I could have also just been a squirrel.

Prune, apricot, walnut and date tea bread it was meant to be. The source of the recipe, an old cook book I borrowed from my Mother years ago and conveniently forgot to return. This here below, is not a recipe but the real fun you can have of not ever following a recipe, for who knows what you can come up with. For starters, all the chopped dried fruit got marinated in whisky and then, in the middle of the process of kneading the dough, I absolutely forgot to add the walnuts. Thus it came to pass, that a prune, apricot and date tea bread was born.

Fox, that little hand carved critter from a store called Fish Eddy in SoHo, kept me company. Foxes amuse me. They are playful, witty, restless, adaptable, they teach an animal spirit lesson that asks to be lighthearted sometimes. The Wolf though, is what I regard as my totem, speaking of which, this spirit animal’s social and instinctual protective nature is best exemplified in Canadian Rock duo, Kashtin’s song, Akua Tuta 

Take care of our land
Be careful of the way you were raised
Take care of our grandfathers
Take care of our grandmothers, too
Take care of your children
And your brother’s and sister’s children, too

 

Taking care of anyone in the era of the nuclear family seems like a distant memory, being so far removed from our forebears in time and place, more so in times as these with closing borders, contagious disease and grounded flights, it seems almost impossible.

But, the tea bread with those glistening fruit……

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and knobs of butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a dash of egg, solid cups of flour, some leavening agent and there it is, the stuff of magic, pure alchemy ……

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…… and all is well with the world that has aromas wafting from a tea bread that hint at  baked butter scones on a grey rainy day.

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