My neighbors got chickens this winter. At first there were only two, dark brown little things that chased each other around the yard and squawked little. I remember hearing something about chicken-sitting for a friend, a test of the brand new coop just they had just built amongst a cluster of trees, and a trial at taking care of such delicate little creatures.
I had no idea how sensitive chickens were to stresses around them, and the changes to the mundane patterns in their lifestyles. However, when these two were moved into the little patch of land beside us, they trembled with fright and refused to lay any eggs for at least a couple of weeks.
Suddenly, I've noticed that the number of chickens running freely around on the other side of our fence dividing the properties only in appearance, has doubled. I see four chickens now, and they make twice the amount of noise. I just tell myself that it won't matter when I find the perfect day to wake up before everyone else, a warm day in the summer when the sun rises early, and I'll sneak my way past the end of the line of fencing, and find a perfect, fresh, egg awaiting.
Imagine the possibilities for breakfast with a real egg in my hand, still warm, with an inside glowing and golden. I know my neighbors feed their chickens vegan feed only, and with the exercise around the yard they're guaranteed free range. So much better than any store bought eggs.
I'm not condoning stealing, especially from an innocent animal, no way, but rather describing my need for wholesome, fresh food right from the source of where it's produced. I'd much rather eat food which is limited by the season it's produced in, but be intoxicated with the violent bursts of flavour in each bite, the cacophonous colours of purple carrots, the deep dark forest green of kale, and brilliant orange of egg yolks.
Every time I crack an egg I think to myself as if it were a mantra, and as if the willing tone in my voice could cause it to be true,
"Farm fresh eggs... Farm fresh eggs... Farm fresh eggs..."
Until the dull yellow of the yolk breaks, splashing into the bowl and being pulled apart, I've suddenly forgotten for a moment the thrill of having a fresh egg. We try our best at purchasing organic and free range eggs, only supporting local BC farms and ethical practices, but oftentimes, especially on a small island, we forget the impact in buying something which had travelled across the province, or even the country, to look at the cheapest price. Living in such a vast country it's easy to forget how many boundaries really do divide either side, from the coast of British Columbia to where my sister bundles herself up to face the Montreal storm, and the cost of travelling from one side to the other.
So instead of plotting revenge on the chickens, I think I'll just relax with a warm cookie from the oven, full of tasty goodness and made with whole and healthy ingredients, and save those fresh eggs for breakfast when they've settled down into their new home, and forgotten the trials of travelling in the back of a truck, being bumped up and down over uneven roads of Bowen.
Almond Cookies with Coconut and Chocolate
Print recipe here.
I was so excited about these cookies that I began pinching chunks of chocolate and coconut while gathering my ingredients, and eating the dough when everything was mixed together. There are two things which are absolutely fabulous about this recipe: It is very quick and simple to make (I quickly had to whip up another batch the next day after making these, everyone just kept eating them!), and they are filled with healthy ingredients; I won't forget the fact that the cookies made were completely wonderful, the perfect blend of chocolate chip and coconut, and possibly the best version of chocolate chip cookies that anyone - gluten free or not - would be thrilled to be presented with a plate of. Because even after one day, a plate of twelve cookies had vanished between three of us.
Makes between 12 and 16 cookies
1¼ cups almond meal
¼ cup dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
½ tsp baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup brown sugar
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
½ tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl, combine almond meal, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Mix, and set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg before whisking in the melted coconut oil and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients are evenly blended.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Using your hands, roll the dough into small balls, approximately 1 - 1 ½ inch wide, and place on the baking sheet with 1 inch between each cookie. Press down with the palm of your hand to flatten a bit.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges just begin to brown.
Enjoy! xx S.
Labels: almond, chickens, chips, chocolate, coconut, cookies, eggs, gluten free, grain free, meal, shredded