Circles & Cycles

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As I've gotten older I've come to understand the saying " the weeks go by slowly and the years go by quickly." (at least it goes something like that) When I think of the scope of what I try to accomplish in a week it is often times daunting but when I look back at a year and what has already been done, I'm sometimes quite amazed. I try not to get wrapped up in making New Year's Resolutions because I'm already a recovering list maker and I don't need any more self-pressuring as a self proclaimed type A. Isn't it enough that it's a NEW year? Can't we just enjoy the 'shine' of the 'new' for a while?  I read this quote on Instagram a few days ago:

You weren't born to just pay bills and die.

I think we've all felt this at one time or another. Despite living a life I always dreamed of, doing what I love everyday, it's still easy to get wrapped up in the cycle of things sometimes. Just remembering to BE present, to breathe, to smile and to laugh can make some of the not so fun, mundane chores more bearable. The Love of My Life, Matthew Dean, is a constant reminder for me of all the sweetness that life has to offer and he has been a spotlight on the present and a beacon for the future with endless smiles, laughter and love. Just when I thought life couldn't get any sweeter with him as a partner, he surprised me on Christmas morning by asking me to marry him. It was an overwhelming moment and weeks later I'm still walking on clouds.

So, just like that, my perspective on what 2016 would bring, shifted as I enter a new cycle in my personal life. Happiness breeds inspiration for me, and I'm anxious to spend as much time working in my studio as possible with a flood of new ideas and excitement to continue to create and sell handmade functional pottery. My food obsession has not waned and while I've shifted to a 90% gluten free diet in the past year or so, my love of bread is still in there and lately it's been fun making bagels!  So I've shared the bagel recipe below and I hope you'll let me know if you make them, or let me know any other recipes you'd like to see and I'll share in future posts. I can feel winter soup is where I'll be concentrating for a while.........so stay tuned.

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Vegan Bagels

Ingredients:

2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast (or one packet)

1 2/3 cups warm water

4 1/2 cups bread flour (I use Bob's Redmill Artisan Bread Flour)

1 Tbl sugar

1 Tbl barley malt syrup

2 teaspoons salt

approx 3 quarts water with 2 Tbl sugar added to it in a large pot for boiling

Toppings of choice: I used dried minced garlic and garlic powder, and a raw sugar and vietnamese cinnamon, but you can use any seeds etc as you like.

Instructions

Start by mixing the yeast and water and set aside.

In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, barley malt syrup and salt and add in your yeast mixture, mix well with a spoon until a dough forms and then if the bowl is large enough knead it for up to 15min until the dough comes together in a smooth stretchy ball or turn it out onto a lightly floured board for kneading. Set dough aside and cover to rest for up to 45 min.

Preheat your oven to 425 and get the sugar water mixture to a boil then simmer. Knead dough one last time for approx 2min and then cut into approx 12 pieces. Use your hands to gently shape into round balls, use your thumb to press a hole through the center of each ball and set it carefully into the hot water for 30 seconds, flip them over and remove after another 30 seconds. Place boiled bagels on a rack to drip dry and sprinkle with toppings of choice.

Once your bagels have been boiled and topped, place them on a nonstick baking pan and bake for 15min or until golden brown. Remove and cool before serving.

and then......try not to eat them all at once!