A friend brought me this loaf after I had Cleo, over a year ago now, and I still think about it. She was very much a fast food girl in a season of taking care of herself - in part by learning to cook and eat cleaner, so it felt even more special. A loaf made of mostly ground almonds, flaxmeal, eggs, a few other pantry staples and studded with bits of fresh herbs. I would slice and toast it and spread a thin coat of coconut oil or butter on top and it was heaven to a tired and overwhelmed spirit at the time. Food has a beautiful way of evoking memories. I can remember how I felt, where I was, the state of our home with muslin swaddles drapped over every chair and pacifiers that my baby had no interest in but I kept trying for the chance at quiet. I remember that there was always a child in my arms when I think about eating that loaf. I did a quick search online and found what is pretty close if not exact to what I remember of the recipe she texted to me a year ago. I liked it that much, my photographic memory could recall the ingredients, just not the amounts. Anyway. I made it again yesterday and we did the same. Nibbled on it through the day and then I made it again the next day because I had some lost time to make up for.
In other important news, I am roping you guys in on my resolution to be a better lover of people. That's a general goal, I know, as the scale for that is short and long and deep and wide as you all know in your own lives. That can mean my own family or people I may never have any contact with. I am planning to host a couple dinners to raise money for charities that need more resources to fund the good work they are doing. I figure that instead of just donating money, I can put that money towards hosting a meal and then multiply those funds with the help of the guests. I want my feet on the ground too, but I have to start somewhere and this is a way I can do something by way of this platform. My hope is to gather with different, compassionate people to stir conversation and awareness and raise funding for organizations who have their hands in there getting shit done. The fact that dinner will be served is secondary; food merely being the glue that binds us. The price tag is high, but keep in mind this is to raise money. That is the focus. Given the present state of affairs, I am going to be donating all proceeds to the International Rescue Committee who respond to the world's worst humanitarian crises. I don't know how the fine details of all of this are going to go, but for now, I am planning to host two, twenty person dinners. The tickets are available on the Shop tab on the left side. If you don't live close, perhaps we could get a fire started to host dinners like this in other cities. Anyway, long overdue but here we go.
ROSEMARY ALMOND MEAL BREAD // Makes one 9x5 loaf
Recipe adapted from Mind Body Green
This loaf is to resemble a savory bread, not a sweet loaf, even though the texture makes you think of one. That said, it can take savory additions: chopped sun dried tomatoes, feta, olives, lemon zest, a micro-planed clove of garlic or bits of dried fruit if you'd rather go that direction. I am giving you the base recipe and trust you can manage the add ins, no more than 1/3 cup would be my suggestion. The subtlety here is part of the loafs' charm.
The loaf is best day one. Still delicious day two but it does start to dry out at this point as flaxmeal sucks up any sign of moisture. Keep the loaf wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
2.5 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or warmed coconut oil/
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1.5 Tbsp honey
2 1/4 cups ground or blanched almond meal
1/4 cup ground flax
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
2 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped, plus a little more for garnish
Preheat the oven to 360' and grease a 9x5 loaf pan or line it with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, oil, cider vinegar and honey and whisk well to combine. Add the almond meal, flaxmeal, salt, baking soda, thyme leaves and rosemary leaves and stir them into the wet mixture until evenly combined. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle a few extra herbs and a sprinkle of salt on top.
Bake on the middle rack for about 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.