>> Thursday, June 16, 2011
I love watching the sunset. But the truth is I don't make the effort to see very many of it each year.
My last trip to Taiwan (my hometown) me and some friends made a trip to a scenic spot just to say farewell to the sun.
The sunset was incredible. And all around me I could spot people gasping with delight at the sight of the slowly descending sun or people posing for the cameras with the sunset as the backdrop, or couples embracing in silence as they soak in the beauty of it all. Fascinated. Content. Seems like the worries and the grudges of daily life suddenly disappeared for everyone.
And so I wonder what it is about nature which has the power to mesmerize us over and over again? The ever changing colour of the sky, the lofty mountains, the incredible sunrise and sunset....I mean, surely we've seen a number of these in our lifetimes? It's nothing new to be honest - but how does it inexplicably melt the hardest of hearts and calms the most unsettled soul?
As I'm getting older (another birthday this month! Eeek.), it's not hard to notice that my sense of wonder declines. Only the 'new' can amaze me - the latest gadget and what the next superfood is. Tomorrow the new becomes old and yesterday's wonder is not so wonderful anymore. It's all temporary, no?
I'd like to think that I understand a little bit more about life, about people and about God as I mature but sometimes (and often) pride tricks me into thinking that I've seen it all or done it all. That I don't need to go back to the basics or 're-learn' some of the forgotten lessons or be reminded about the familiar Scriptures that I thought I understood.
Afterall, I have a looong list of things to do and who has the time to walk the same walk and what's the point of looking at something I've seen already?
But every once in a while, just like on this recent trip, I do take my time to gaze at God's amazing creation and my hard heart melts, my weariness disappears...and I am humbled by the beauty and wonder of it all, once again.
And in a sort of similar way like the sunset (okay, maybe not quite comparable), there are some of my favourite basic foods that I simply forgot about in the busy-ness of trying all other new and exciting recipes and food combinations.
One of them is my all time favourite oatmeal cookies (yes, they beat choc chip cookies for me!)
This is back to the basics for me. I remember making them growing up. This was the only way I'd have oat back then (how things have changed - now I have oatmeal every morning!)
I'm also beginning to find spelt flour extremely versatile and use it to replace the All Purpose flour completely in many of my bakings.
What is different about this recipe is that the oats are first toasted lightly in the oven so as to deepen the oaty flavour. Hmmmm, delicious. Next time I want to try another recipe soon using oat flour instead of spelt flour. Imagine that, oat + oat flour = oat-ness overload.
I was in a hurry to leave the house after baking these cookies so had to pack them up (in style) as my train ride snack (then took a photo of it, obviously hehe):
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- 3 cups old rashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 12 tablespoon (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup rasins
Makes 2 1/2 dozen 3-inch cookies
Viv's note: I halved the recipe so only made 1 tray.
1. Place one rack in the top third and another in the bottom third, and preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Spread the oats out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the bottom rack for 3 minutes, stir and continue baking until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 more minutes. Set aside to cool. (you can omit this step - but baking the oats deepens the 'oaty' flavour)
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F (177C)
4. In a large bowl combine the spelt flour, cinnamon, baking soda, powder and salt. Stir until blended.
5. In a food processor fitted with steel blade, or with an electric mixer, process the brown and white sugars and butter until smooth and fluffy. Add 1 egg and process for about 20 seconds. Add the second egg and vanilla extract and process until the mixture is smooth, about 20 secs more. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until the flour is absorbed. Blend in the toasted oats and the raisins until the oats are all coated with the dough.
6. Drop heaping tablespoonful of the dough onto the parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between the cookies for spreading. Use the back of the spoon or your fingers to gently flatten the cookies roughly into rounds about 1/2-inch thick.
7. Bake on the upper rack until the tops and bottoms are nicely browned and the tops spring back to a very gentle touch, 8 to 10 minutes. Rotate the cookies every 3 mins for even browning. Slide the parchment paper onto a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batter, relining the cookie sheet with a clean parchment paper and making sure to let the sheet cool between batches.
Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 10 days.
I hope your week has been nice so far.
Oh, and I finally updated my About me page too. I will be working to complete the other tabs soon.
Toodles for now :)