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Archive for January 21st, 2007

Guilt: So Slow, and Little Focus

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

I just can’t get jump started. I got sick two weeks ago tonight and although I do not feel very bad anymore, I have low energy. I tried to work on patterns and I just do not have the focus to make it mistake-free. (I will bet this post proves the focus issue for me, I’m sorry if it is a little jumpy in the presentation.)

I cooked breakfast, Brian cooked dinner, and after dinner I made a teff and carob cake (it was nearly black it was so dark, and the flavor was OK but it was very dry… I should have followed my instinct to put applesauce or some other vegetable matter in it for moisture and hold-together power). I will try that one again.

Teff is a grain grown in Ethiopia and other places in Africa. It is used pretty much exclusively in that part of the world for their distinctive sourdough-like flatbread.

Teff is gluten free and flavorful (and extremely nutritious) on the good side, and it is a lot like rice flour in its crumbly nature on the down side. I would say baked goods made of teff remind me of bran muffins, a bit rough and a bit rich. I love that sort of thing! I can eat gluten but it is good for me to rotate different foods and so teff is one of many grains I eat during the week. I look forward to Teff day!

Bob’s Red Mill Brand offers both teff grain (tiny tiny grains but not flour) and the teff flour, both of which I can purchase in my smallish city. They offer a good muffin recipe on the back of the package but it calls for egg. I eat very few eggs, at most one per week. So I wanted to make the muffins without that. Baked goods, particularly those which are gluten free, are hard to make without eggs as a binder.

It has taken me since early September to work it out but the last two muffin batches were wonderful. Typically teff muffins dry out and become stiff hockey pucks after just a few hours. The ones I have made the last two times held out much better… today’s batch lasted 4 hours and although they did dry out a little on the outside, that just seemed like a nice crust. I will plan to use all the little tricks I use on the muffins, while working on the basic teff cake recipe, and see what I end up with there. I bet I can do it.

I did talk to Diana today (she got the same bug I did on the same day I did). She took a little longer to feel better, but was able to make dinner tonight and is knitting again.

As for me, I’m knitting a mostly-simple mostly-ribbed scarf as a gift right now. I just can not count or measure or check instructions or knit on gauge. That means work knitting is out. All the work knitting I’ve done in the last 2 weeks was torn out anyway, why go there?

The rib scarf is really forgiving for some reason, and since I needed straight needles for this project I’m using some size 4 (3.5mm) ebony needles which were a gift a few years back. They feel really nice and work well with the smooth merino sportweight I’m using for the project. My wrists do not like long straight needles, though… I needed to stop tonight and rest.

Monday is my first day of teaching computer classes at Haslett this term. I know the material backwards, but I am a little concerned that my voice will be able to handle 4 hours of talking to a dozen people in a computer lab. Cross fingers for me. I may take my lapel microphone. Normally I do not need it for this short timeframe. However, with all the coughing I’ve been doing my voice is tired.

I really do feel pretty decent, I’m just very slow still. I can stand up and walk a bit but I can not sprint. And although I am used to having a very quick mind, I am being humbled in that department this last few weeks. It is good for me.

Once I spent 31 days without any voice at all, doctor’s orders. That was a serious loss though it truly was temporary. The bug I have had this month? Not as bad. Definitely not as bad as total silence for a month.

One must keep all things in perspective. I am trying to not feel guilty about not doing the work I had planned for this month. I’m a bit of a workaholic when I feel well and watching myself knit a non-work scarf on a work day, well, it’s really hard to do. I need to give myself sick days but this is really getting old.

OK, back to the good stuff: So far, Teff muffins rule. Teff cake? Needs a lot of work, but I have done enough experimenting with the muffins that I bet the cake comes around in short order. I’ll report back.