Caffeine Free…What?!

Ugh—today is day 3, no coffee.  That’s right, this super-caffeinated lady is now going
fully unleaded.  I’m not sure if everyone should do this, and I don’t have a personal grudge against caffeine, but my intake of the stimulant was excessive by every definition.  At least a ten-cup-a-day minimum.  Sad, I know.  But then there’s the diet soda that kept me going in between…so yeah, I had to start by reducing. It’s been several weeks of weaning, and now I’m finally down to none.  I still have headaches but I think they’re getting better.  What’s the point of trying to watch my body respond to totally clean eating if it’s still being influenced by a chemical addiction?

Speaking of clean eating, almost every day I encounter something I miss, and every day
I have to be reminded that everything existed as a homemade product before it became a canned or packaged staple.  Ultimately, the grocery provides “convenient” replacements for the “old fashioned” products that our grandparents once made by hand.  Everything from baked goods to spices and seasonings are now packaged and sold as  “instant” versions of the real thing. Today on the radio, I heard three commercials in a row that were meant to appeal to the American need to have everything “faster,” to “save time.”  And I wondered where my anxieties were coming from?

What’s sad is how surprised I still am when it occurs to me that I can actually make
things from scratch; even more surprising is how easy most of them are.  And we have officially started bottling and jarring some of them. The list so far:

Bread
crackers
Pam cooking spray
Jam
Peanut butter
spaghetti sauce
pizza sauce
pumpkin puree
hummus
cold cereal
cookies
biscuits
pasta
hot sauce
salad dressing
vegetable broth

And I can’t say enough about how it has helped my family to grow closer together.
The kitchen is now the warm epicenter of our home, and no longer the center of my bitter OCD attacks.  After all, it’s never spotless anymore because something is always cooking.  I admit, I used to keep a pretty cold kitchen—I preferred to have nothing on the counters. Ever.  Not even the toaster.  Now it’s warm and lived-in, and I kind
of like it this way.

Yesterday afternoon, we had our afternoon lull and we all wanted something sweet for a snack.  Without much thought, I preheated the oven and started dumping ingredients into a bowl to form a cookie dough.  20 minutes later we had amazing whole wheat cinnamon apple cookies!  It was amazing to be able to just whip up some cookies like that.  It would have actually taken my longer to drive to the store to buy them!

Today’s recipe:
Whole wheat cinnamon apple cookies

1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup honey
1 apple, chopped (I didn’t peel mine)
dash of baking powder (you can also substitute baking soda and cream of tartar)
1 egg
¼ cup oil
cinnamon to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix ingredients to form dough.  Form into balls on greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes.

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