I never used to be one for non-fiction reading, always turning away from mum or dad's, or even my sister's recaps of what historic event had come up during a peruse through a book. I even stopped taking history in school as early as I could because I was never interested in it, and because of that I wasn't willing to study very hard for each test...
However, recently I have been immersed in book after book on the subject of animals, and especially ones that have a behavioural component to them, like why dogs are the why the are. I came upon this story a couple of days ago, and it stuck with me. So after thinking about if for some time, I realised how perfect a description it is of how I think people should act around and with each other, and that's what keeps bringing me back to accounts of animals. Something that we find amazing which an animal does, a dog saving a humans life from a raging river, or more simply, a cat comforting a person who is upset, are all important morals and emotions which we value, but may not practice daily. What if everyone really did help out one another as much as they could at the time?
Unfortunately, the author was not stated and remains unknown, however, I'd still like to share this, after all, Christmas is a time of giving and sharing among each other, and it rapidly approaches.
When you see geese flying south in the fall as winter comes along, flying along in a 'V' formation, I recommend that you consider why such a pattern in created in such perfect harmony of all the birds.
As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird following immediately behind. By flying in this 'V' formation, the whole flock add at least seventy-one percent more flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
People, like these geese, can get where they're going more quickly and much easier when travelling with the help of one another by sharing a common direction and a sense of community.
When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of oncoming winds as it tries to fly alone ... So quickly, it must get back into formation to take advantage of the power caused by the lifting stream cast behind by the bird in front.
If we have as much sense of each other as the goose, perhaps we will stay in formation with those who are headed in the same way, and can offer guidance and support along that path.
As flying continues, the head goose begins to tire, and will rotate back in the wing and allow another goose to replace it as point.
It is sensible to rotate in and out of demanding jobs just like the goose, a habit people should also consider in our daily lives.
Furthermore, the geese who follow behind the point flyer, will honk in encouragement to those ahead of them to keep up the speed. Isn't that much better than complaining or competing to get up front all the time? Instead, encouraging and assisting those around us will benefit everyone with far greater return.
Finally - and this is important in the habits of geese - when one flyer becomes either sick or wounded from a gunshot causing it to fall from formation, two other geese will fall out with that goose to follow it down to safety and lend help and protection throughout. These two will stay with the fallen goose until it can safely return to flying on its own, or until it dies. Only then will they launch back into the sky on their own or to tether behind another formation in the hopes of catching up with their group.
If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other in the same way, and in the same manner; elegant and unceremoniously.
Gluten-Free Orange Oatmeal Muffins
Print recipe here.
With the fruity fragrance from orange juice and a little extra flavouring, plus the added nutrients of oatmeal in these little muffins, they're sweet and tasty, and will fill your entire kitchen with warm smells of baking.
Another added bonus is how quick they are to bake - after a little soaking of the oats to make sure they hold as much orange flavour!
Makes about 14 muffins.
1 c gluten-free oats (I used Bob's Red Mill for these ones!)
1 c pure orange juice
1 c boiling water
1/2 c butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp orange flavouring
1 1/2 c gluten free flour mix
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with reusable or paper muffin cups. Set aside.
In a bowl pour the orange juice and boiling water over the oats and set aside for 15 minutes, there will be some leftover water, but this will make your muffins lovely and moist!
In another bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in the egg and add the orange flavouring.
Pour in the oats and beat once, quickly.
In another bowl, (might be a bit of clean-up here, but just tell someone in your family the goose story, and maybe they'll help!) combine the dry ingredients; flours, baking powder and soda, salt, and nutmeg.
Mix, and pour into the wet ingredients. The batter should be wet, however should not be runny.
Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups and place into the centre of the oven.
After 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and bake for a further 5 - 10 minutes, or until a knife (or toothpick) inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Cool before serving.
**A Quick Note: If you don't have any orange flavouring (it comes in a little bottle like vanilla extract), try grating half the rind of an orange and adding it in after the dry ingredients, the result may be a slightly different texture - however you'll still get the flavouring at a much cheaper price!
Labels: baking, breakfast, gluten free, muffins, nutmeg, Oats, orange, snack