While many begin the frantic two-step of holiday frenzy I try to remind myself that these cooler months call for a slower, more introspective way of life. I am nearing the end of a horrible cold so I have in fact had plenty of time with my thoughts. Even now as I type and my mind flirts with the notion of a hot bath and warm bed I sigh with relief that the month of November has arrived. I suspect our first fire shall be lit early next week and I shiver with anticipation.
In honor of such a colorful month I put together a gift of sorts, for those in need of some encouragement or perhaps a sweet morsel to lift their spirits. Spiced ginger cake, akin to gingerbread but not as robust. Rosemary apple butter, a flavorful spread to grace any slice of toast (or cake). And lastly, a small journal and pencil to gather one's thoughts, prayers, dreams and inspirations.
Everything budled in a sea of cotton muslin, sealed with brown paper, twine and foraged treasures from the yard. A simple way to share the harvest of such a illustrious time of year.
These next weeks the shadows will slowly gather and lurk at our windows. The herald of skylarks will warble one final song before flying to warmer ground. And the richly colored leaves shall make one last procession down our streets until all is bare, stark in the bitter cold that will knock its staunch hand at our front doors.
So in the meantime, join me as I relish this beautiful month and begin to turn my heart, which is so easily self-seeking, towards others.
Happy November to you all!
Spiced Ginger Cakes (makes 2 mini loafs or 1 regular loaf)
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup ghee, melted (or butter or oil of choice)
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a seperate bowl. Using a whisk or spatula mix wet and dry ingredients until combined. Pour into greased pan(s). If baking in mini loaf pans bake for 40 minutes. If baking in a regular loaf pan you may need to bake for about 1 hour. If tops begin to get too brown lay a sheet of foil on top to prevent burning (I had to do this after 30 minutes).
Remove from oven and insert a toothpick in center, if it comes out dry they are done baking. Allow to cool for one hour before removing from pan. Enjoy!
Rosemary Apple Butter (makes about 2 1/2 cups)
- 10 red apples of choice, peeled, cored and coarsly chopped
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- juice from one lemon
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 sprigs of rosemary (or more depending on how big they are)
Place all ingredients in an oven safe pot on high heat. Bring liquid on the bottom of pot to a boil and the simmer for 45 minutes stiring occasionaly. Remove rosemary stems (you want some, not all, of the pieces of rosemary to fall off and remain in the sauce....this will happen naturally as your stir) and discard cinnamon sticks.
Remove from heat and pour sauce into a blender and blend until it has an applesauce consistancy. You are welcome to stop here and enjoy it as applesacue if you prefer :)
Pour mixture back into pot and place in a 275F degree oven (without the lid!) and cook for 2 hours or until desired thickness. Make sure you stir occasionly to prevent scorching.
When done remove from oven and store in jars for 1 week or longer if you go through the canning process.