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Rosemary and olive grain-free focaccia: journey to wellness

Olive & Rosemary Grain-Free Focaccia

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Enjoy x

“If we stay where we are, where we’re stuck, where we’re comfortable and safe, we die there. We become like mushrooms, living in the dark, with poop up to our chins. If you want to know only what you already know, you’re dying. You’re saying: Leave me alone; I don’t mind this little rathole. It’s warm and dry. Really, it’s fine.

When nothing new can get in, that’s death. When oxygen can’t find a way in, you die. But new is scary, and new can be disappointing, and confusing – we had this all figured out, and now we don’t.

New is life.” ~ Anne Lamott

I am in the Perth Hills dwarfed by Jarrah giants. Fat globs of lemony light drip through the leaves and warm the earth. I feel so grounded here among the trees and the misanthropic magpies. A week ago we hitched up Lou Lou the caravan and swapped the Ningaloo Coast for a fresh white page of adventure.

Having a gypsy soul sounds romantic and of course there are romantic moments of open road and melting sunsets in new places but it also means that as soon as you start to settle in a place, as soon as you start to make contacts and connections, as soon as you recognize a place as home, a little part of you starts to yearn for something new.

 

I have spent the last seven months living from a decked-out caravan plonked  on the Ningaloo Coast. Now we are heading to the South West with some time in the trees to be around loved ones. My little life is so transportable. My op shop clothes easily bundled, my art supplies stashed under the bed with fervent promises I will not forget them. My tiny home hitched up and ready to go.

I did not need God, just an open heart and a reverence for that thing that Dylan Thomas refers to as “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower”.

It is a good time to unpack the experiences of the last seven months. What can a stint in wide open space with no structure and an endless horizon line teach us? I have learnt that in the gaping space of unstructured day I can slip quite easily, boundlessly in freefall. I respond to little tasks, little routines. I like to think of myself as a bohemian free spirit but truthfully I am quite the opposite. I like a little predictability. I like to know what to expect from myself at any given moment of the day. I have learnt that I am lazy, or I can be. I must fight against the cat curled in the sun part of myself. I have learnt that the path to self esteem is paved with bricks of esteemable acts. I made a little road of self belief.

I learnt that being deeply ambivalent about religion is no reason to not pray. Anne Lamott says there are three prayers Help, thanks and wow. I learnt to say thanks and wow , help sometimes too. In the absence of God I just yelled it at the sky. I said thanks to the blue blanket  canopy. I gave thanks for a chance to live a life in this amazing body. I have learnt that giving thanks in this way is a profoundly gratifying experience. I understand now what a church can offer a soul and I am sorry for the Dawkins-esque intolerance I have always reserved for religious beings. A quiet moment of reflection and gratitude is quite literally life changing; I did not need God, just an open heart and a reverence for that thing that Dylan Thomas refers to as “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower”.

I learnt that nature is a healer. I learnt that swimming in the ocean is the best way to wake up and I am happiest without shoes. I learnt that my essential brokenness gave me impetus for change and growth. I learnt to be grateful for the dark.

A new life with shoes and work awaits me in the South West. I unpack these experiences in the hope that I can bring the wisdom I have learnt with me. New is life, scary is good, the dark will teach you and nature will heal.

Peace x

Rosemary and olive grain-free focaccia: journey to wellness

By: Bell Harding

A week ago we hitched up Lou Lou the caravan and swapped the Ningaloo Coast for a fresh white page of adventure.


Servings

Prep time

Cook time

Recipe


Ingredients

  • 3 cups besan flour (chickpea flour)
  • 2¾ cups water
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Leaves of 2 rosemary sprigs, pounded in mortar & pestle
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • Pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 heaped tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup black olives, stones removed
  • Extra rosemary to garnish & good sea salt

Method


  • Place besan flour, water, olive oil, pounded rosemary, baking powder, herbs and chilli in food processor or high speed blender and whizz. The mixture should resemble a runny batter. Pour into a shallow baking tin greased with olive oil and lined with baking paper.
  • Scatter the olives, red onion, rosemary and sea salt onto the batter. Bake in moderate oven for 35 mins or until golden brown and firm and springy to touch

  

Tried this recipe? Mention @wellbeing_magazine or tag #wbrecipe!

Bell Harding

Bell Harding

Bell is wholefood cook and a barefoot gypsy. In search of a life less ordinary, she packed a tent and art supplies and took to the road. Seeking the dirt and poetry in the Australian landscape, she also discovered a path to wellness. Bell discovered what it means to be well by healing herself from weight gain and alcohol dependence. She draws on a professional career in cooking to create recipes that celebrate real food and shares her journey as a curious nomad.

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