For my tenth birthday I received two of the smallest bundles of fur, one a black and white slim girl and the other a small round male tabby. Magic and Ace.
My mother had a severe allergy to animals, and this was just a perfect testament to her character. She knew how badly I wanted a cat, watching me stop to pat all the neighborhood ones and scolding me when I let them in the house and they wouldn’t leave. They barely bothered her though as she quickly got used to them, and it was then that we discovered I had the same allergies. Even as a child though I felt that once you adopted an animal you kept them no matter what, also I could live with a constant stuffy nose if I had kittens to cuddle with at night.
It wasn’t until after my mum passed away that I started looking into healthier eating. And one day I saw a program on how to beat your allergies with diet change and I dove into it right away. I did 3 months of no gluten (bread was the hardest part for me), no dairy, no eggs, no refined sugar, and a long list of supplements every day. And it worked! My allergies rarely bother me now, only when I eat badly days in a row do I wake up with a stuffy nose and itchy eyes. If only the world knew you don’t have to live suffering so.
I almost never eat bread now, It gives me anxiety knowing my liver and stomach doesn’t always like it. But When I do, its something like this. This bread isn’t gluten free. Its spelt flour and that contains gluten, but it has a different molecular make up and is a bit easier to digest. But people shouldn’t be afraid of food, everything in moderation is key. I wish I had known when I was younger that there were options like this, that healthy food doesn’t have to be boring.
I only had Magic for under two years as she was hit by a car one day when we moved. We got another cat though, sweet Jack to keep Ace company. Jack was like my little baby, and Ace was my soul mate, my familiar. We lost both of them oddly at the age of 13 and my heart is still heavy. I wouldn’t wish allergies on my worst enemy, they are so consuming. But would I live through those years again to have those little love creatures?
3 cups spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon salt + some course salt for spinkling
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (about one packet)
1/2 cup warm nut milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil (vegan works too!)
1 Teaspoon milk
4 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon cinnamon
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking pan.
-Add the yeast with warm milk and set aside for around 10 minutes. Make sure it’s nice and foamy! If not your yeast is dead and you need to replace it.
-In a large bowl mix the salt, maple syrup, butter or coconut oil, and then yeast mixture. Mix until well combined and then add the sifted spelt flour a bit at a time until the dough has come together and is easily handled. Flour your hands and then continue to knead for another 5 minutes (yay arm workout!)
-Lightly oil a clean bowl and add the dough ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit to rise for 45 minutes in a warm area.
-Once dough has risen, transfer it to a floured work area and roll out into a large oval until about 1/4 inch thick.
-Evenly cover with pumpkin puree to the very edges and then sprinkle rosemary and cinnamon.
-Take the edge of one of the longer sides and fold it in by a third, and then take the opposite side and fold the remaining third over. Lightly press it down, some filling will probably squeeze out a bit.
-Cut it down the middle, leaving about two inches attached at one end.
-Take each half and twist them, again some filling will probably squeeze out. Once twisted, wrap one half into a circle tucking the end into the center. Take the other half and wrap it around the already made circle and tuck the end into the middle again until a knot is formed.
-From here you can neaten it up a bit, tucking in ends here and there until it is the desired shape you want. I personally find it nice when its a little messy. Place it on the lined pan and cover with a dish towel and let it sit for another 30 minutes.
-Once the 30 minutes is up, take the nut milk and brush the surface lightly, then sprinkle with course salt.
-Bake in the middle rack for 25-30 minutes until top is golden brown.
-Let cool on the counter and enjoy with tea and warm butter.