“Into the woods–you have to grope,
But that’s the way you learn to cope.
Into the woods to find there’s hope
Of getting through the journey.”
This week has been a difficult one. A week of pain and illness and uncertainty and another visit to another specialist with the merest flicker of hope that perhaps this time this person would be able to help me.
It makes me smile to think of that moment now. Working up my courage to try “just one more time”, hoping against hope that maybe, just maybe this would be the one to figure things out. Two hours and numerous tests later, I walked out with teary eyes and a glowing smile clutching answers and treatment and supplements and understanding and clear direction and, most treasured of all, hope. The cherry on top is that she’s an absolute luv, an expat like me, all the way from South Africa, jolly, kind, tender, and wise. I’m so grateful.
It’s going to be an interesting month as we start implementing this new treatment. I’ll be on a super strict diet for a while (kill me now! ;-)), an anti-inflammatory, no-gluten, no-dairy, no-refined sugar, anti-viral, no-allergen, anti-acid diet. Ayiyi. But it will be worth it. I know it will. At first my mind was a total blank – what on earth could I eat?! But I’m determined to make it as delicious and satisfying as possible, and now my creative juices are flowing.
On a week such as this, there is nothing better than calling for an obliging dog and heading across the fields to the woods.
It was a dark and stormy day as Luna and I tramped through marshy paddocks and fields that stretched brown, brown, brown into the distance. You wouldn’t have thought there was a smidgen of color or life to be found…but there was.
Puddles of water and little streams nourished lush swathes of green grass and clover that clambered over and into lovely old logs.
The woods were silent and still, the high canopy protecting us from gentle rains that fell softly. Here and there I spotted bright red leaves, a reminder of the golden days of Autumn not long ago.
Now and then I’d feel something watching me only to see a kangaroo a few yards away peering curiously at us before bounding away into the neighbors woods.
The forest floor was covered with tiny bits of gorgeousness: sturdy mushrooms with ruffled caps, the ever present purple blooms I can never remember the name of, and something I’d never seen before, fuchsia berries practically glowing underfoot. Aren’t they the cheeriest ground cover?
Luna and I made it all the way to the back pond, stopping a moment to look off to the mountains before turning back towards home.
It was just the sort of day for baking in a warm kitchen, so when I got home I made a Lemon Cream Tart with Nutty Crust. Tart, velvety smooth, with a slightly chewy crust of ground almonds, linseed, and flaxseed, it was marvelous with a cup of tea when the night turned dark and cold. Turns out it was my last “real” dessert for a while, and it was definitely a delicious way to bid farewell to such things for a time.
Where is your favorite place to go when life feels a bit too much? xo
Lemon Cream Tart with Nutty Crust
Needed: 1 9-10 inch tart pan with removable bottom.
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla or coconut extract
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup ground almonds, flaxseed, and linseed
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/2-3/4 cup sugar (choose based on how sweet you want it)
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 6 lemons
3/4 cup coconut cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- Combine all pie crust ingredients in bowl and mix until it holds together.
- Press into tart pan and par-bake for 10 minutes.
- While it is baking, whisk together eggs and yolks. Add remaining ingredients one at a time whisking constantly.
- When tart crust is par-baked, open oven door and carefully pour in filling, letting it come to about 1/4 inch from top of tart crust. If you have extra filling, just bake it separately in a ramekin and eat as a lemon pudding.
- Bake tart for 30 minutes until top is caramelized around edges and filling doesn’t shake when jiggled.
- Let cool 10-20 minutes before serving or serve cold.