No two people are the same. Isn’t that a crazy thought? You are the only “you”. Despite our efforts at times to be like others, we can never completely be someone else. Nor can anyone become you. It’s one of those phenomenas that I struggle to grasp, but delight in it’s truth. If nothing else, marriage makes this very clear for me. Even the most compatible of couples, although joined “as one”, still consist of two individuals. Two individuals with different temperaments, sensitivities, interests, and energy levels. Scott and I have been together now for six years (married for the past three and a half) and although we grow closer and more alike each year – we are still different. We have to bend and compromise and sacrifice for one another each day. About ninety percent of the time we jive within this balance happily and are “in sync”. The other ten percent of the time, we clash. This past weekend fell into that “ten percent”.
I work from home. I get outside for a long run in the morning, and try to take multiple walking trips to various grocery stores during the day to help get out and about as much as possible. BUT – the truth is, I’m inside our home the majority of the day recipe testing, photo editing, writing, etc. By the end of the day I am ready to get out. When the weekend comes, I’m bouncing off the walls with excited energy to hop in the car and go adventure, see, explore. Now lets flip it around. Scott leaves for work early in the morning, and doesn’t get home until around six or seven in the evening. He is working eleven to twelve hour days away from home, and sometimes stays up once I go to bed to continue working late at night. Lately he has been overly exhausted. He looks forward to coming home and relaxing, having a delicious meal, and hanging with his wife (holla). When the weekend comes he is looking forward to getting a chance to reset. Be at home. Think for himself for once and just “be”. We’ve been going back and forth this summer. On some nights we stay in, relax, watch something that requires little brain activity, laugh, and just enjoy one another. On other nights (and weekends) we get out, hike new-to-us nooks in the mountains, visit farmers markets, go camping (and sometimes sleep in our car), etc. We are trying to meet both of our needs while living very different lifestyles at the moment. It can be tough some days, but our love for one another always wins.
However, there are times when Scott loves me too much – wishing to only give me what I want most to the point where it runs him into the ground. While I can simultaneously be so excited to do something that it trumps my ability to sense what Scott really needs. I only see him agreeing – A.K.A. I only hear what I want to hear. I dismiss the possibility that it might not be what is best for “us” in order to make whatever “fun thing” I had in mind happen. We are a team, and if the whole team isn’t healthy, the game is no good. This past weekend, I pushed it. Scott was beyond exhausted and needed to basically sleep the entire weekend. I was a little puppy exploding with energy and just wanted to play with my bud. I planned too much. Pushed too hard. And slowly the cracks became visible. The team was not healthy. It was being lead by an overly excited, selfish teammate dragging along teammate number two who was in need of some serious R&R. We clashed. It wasn’t pretty. But the mess always leads to a loving discussion where we learn more about one another. We are able to voice our needs, and discuss how we can try to make sure those get met in our current season of life. I’m so grateful for messy weekends full of cracks like this past one. I get to “see” Scott more clearly and learn how I can love him better. Because, you know what I want more than to get out of this tiny city apartment, more than I want to hike into the sunset on top of a beautiful mountain, more than I want to wake up in a tent far away from the city lights? I want to love Scott well. Take care of him, make him feel important, and lift him up in all the ways he needs me to. I want to create an environment he can come home to relax in, find peace and companionship in, and feel restored. It’s a balance, and lately the scales have been tipping more-so in my direction. This weekend, the scales are going to tip back towards you, Scott. And we are going to do WHATEVER THE HECK YOU WANT. Because you deserve it, and I love you. Thanks for putting up with me and loving me like you do. I’m a better person for getting to see the way you love me.
I now digress from story telling and am moving on to tell you about something I discovered earlier this summer. Super butter. Or at least that is what I am calling it. I tried so many variations and amounts of different nuts and seeds before stumbling upon this winner. Almonds were a must for their flavor, cashews for their creaminess, brazil nuts for a little savory action, hulled pumpkin seeds to counteract the oilier brazil nuts with their drier texture, and chia seeds stirred in at the end for some extra omegas and a little texture (!!!). Yeah, its a major success story and I am PUMPED to get to share it with you today. Oh and these little flax toasts? Fancy, huh? They are really my basic flax bread/crackers that I jazzed up with a little maple syrup, cinnamon, cardamom, and dried currants. Toasted and slathered with some super butter, plus a few peach slices because, SUMMER. I cannot begin to describe the flavor party your mouth is going to throw when you sink you teeth into one of these. This is just one way to enjoy super butter, though, its really good on everything you would use any old nut butter for. I eat it with a sliced banana, put a few scoops into my homemade protein bars, slather it on my pancakes, eat it off a plane old spoon – its SUPER.
SUPER BUTTER W/ PEACH SLICES ON SPICED MAPLE FLAX TOASTS
Makes about 12 ounces of super butter and 10 to 12 flax toasts.
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw cashews
15 raw brazil nuts
1/4 cup raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
salt to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons chia seeds
spiced maple flax toasts
1 1/4 cup flax meal
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup hulled white sesame seeds
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 cup dried currants
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup filtered water
fresh peaches (or other organic, in-season fruit)
To make the super butter, preheat the oven to 300F. Place the almonds and cashews on a baking sheet in the oven and toast for 20 minutes. After ten minutes of toasting, add the pepitas on a separate baking sheet to the oven to toast alongside the nuts for the remaining 10 minutes (I place two racks in the center of my oven, one for each sheet). The toasting helps break down the enzyme inhibitors in the nuts, making them easier to digest. The brazil nuts do not contain these inhibitors and can be left raw.
Once the nuts and seeds have finished toasting and have cooled, add them to the bowl of a food processor with the raw brazil nuts. Add a few pinches of salt (if desired) and blend until creamy, pausing and scraping down the sides as needed (see pictures above for the process). It should take about 10 minutes of processing to reach its creamiest state. Taste and add more salt if needed at the end. Transfer the super butter to a glass jar and stir in your chosen amount of chia seeds. Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.
To make the flax toasts, preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the dry ingredients (including the dried currants) in a medium size mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup and water and stir to fully combine. Spread evenly into a large rectangle on a parchment lined baking sheet (about 1/4 inch thick). Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool fully before slicing into rectangles. Toast and serve right away, or store in an airtight bag in the refrigerator for up to one week. Toasting as you go.
To assemble: toast a piece of flax bread, slather with super butter, and top with sliced peaches. Serve for breakfast or snack, with a cup of coffee or tea, and get ready to feel SUPER.