Wednesday, September 4, 2013

It's still pretty warm, but the air is getting a little crispy around the edges. Last night was a marvelous evening for doing my errands on my bicycle. (I never realized my hometown was s'damn hilly.) I braved sections of the road that I hadn't covered before and saw three students! Two of them were playing in the street and didn't notice me, and one is apparently the daughter of the owners of the carniceria/taqueria where I tried to get cilantro (her father gave me the one pathetic remaining bunch for free.) When you teach every single second and third grader in town, you musn't ever dress skankily or be drunk in public. I even feel bad riding around without a helmet; I'm setting such a bad example!

At the taqueria, I fell for coconut juice again. I always get it confused with coconut water, which actually tastes good and would be great after a bike ride, unlike coconut juice which is slimy and too sweet. So with an un-resealable 18 oz can of coconut juice to use up, I made this cake.

Note: I was really appalled today when I had some of the very sweet chocolate milk served in the cafeteria at school and realized that sugar is the second ingredient. So I didn't use sugar. But you could. In that case mix it in with the dry, not the wet, obviously.

Vegan/Lenten Pineapple Upside Down Cake 

Preheat oven to 350.

Make 2 flax "eggs" with 2 tablespoons flax meal and 3 tablespoons liquid (I used the damn coconut juice.) Do this first so it can coagulate a bit.

In the bottom of a 9x13 pan, spread around:
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
20 oz can of crushed pineapple (DRAINED; reserve liquid)
1-2 tablespoons ground ginger (I just grated it right over the pineapple)

In a big bowl, whisk together:
2.5 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/3 cup liquid (mine was leftover pineapple juice and most of the coconut juice)
1 tsp vanilla
the flax eggs
~1 cup sweetener (I used honey and molasses)

Mix dry and wet. Pour batter over pineapple stuff. Bake for 40 minutes. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Disconnected pieces of news about my life

Well, it's been a while. This morning I'm typing at a card table by our kitchen window, overlooking a little playground at an unused elementary school. My computer is surrounded by squash and zucchini and Rousseau's Emile. I am drinking my second Labor Day cup of coffee and the fan in the window is sucking out the scent of burnt oatmeal. I have set off the smoke alarm at least three times in the first two weeks in this apartment. The stove is electric and I just can't get the hang of it.

We moved from slummy southwest Indianapolis to sweet, green Crawfordsville. We aren't teaching at the little Orthodox school any more. Someday I will write about that lesson. I work in a little public school not four blocks from this little apartment, and it's horrible because everything is built on assumptions that I completely disagree with or at least question seriously (except for "It is good to help children",) but it's wonderful because the teachers and aides are so kind and devoted, and the children are raggedy, raw things who give me adoring hugs and high fives whenever they see me at Wal*Mart.

Matt is piecing together several little jobs, like substitute teaching, tutoring, teaching a homeschool Latin class, working on a farm stand and occasionally picking tomatoes, possibly building a fence for one of the priests, cleaning a bank, etc. Once he gets it all oscillating harmonically I think he will like his rhythms. He is working hard at applying to Ph.D programs in philosophy, so he walks over to Wabash college almost every day to take advantage of a scholarly, air-conditioned library.

We walked to Vespers this weekend. It's 1.4 miles according to Google. A nice walk if you're not bringing something to coffee hour or portaging your raw milk home. We do so much wheeling and dealing with our crunchy church family that we usually need the car on Sunday.

I don't have to prep at all for school because I'm an aide. I get home at 2:45 and I have the rest of my life to do what I want. I am working on sketches for an icon of Christ, which is inspired by Manuel Panselinos' Christ Enthroned:

and the Hilandar Christ:

 It's for my grandmother, who is old and failing. I hope it will be a comfort to her. She is Baptist but I know that she loves Christ and if I paint him truly, she will love the icon. She is an artist herself and has painted so many beautiful things for me. I've repaid her in scribbled thank you notes and brief phone calls. It's time for a real gift.

I have much more time to read now too. I devoured The Master of Hestviken, by Sigrid Undset. After a YEAR, I'm almost done with Emile.

 Here is a great essay about writing. I am fully aware that I am not a writer and I like to hear that practically nobody else is a writer either.