Gingerbread love

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I don't consider myself a Christmas fan. All the Christmas lights make my "green self" cringe and food and gifts a-plenty revolt me, a little. Not being a Christian, it's starting to bother me celebrating a holiday I don't believe in. I respect it, that goes without saying.
For me all religions are mythologies. This is not a negative judgment. Not from a person who counts the Metamorphosis as one of their favourite books. So even if I don't believe Moses or John the Baptist existed, I surely believe in the stories. Because they're about us, about the strife of human life, the beauty that we often fail to see. Stories teach us lessons. They make us feel. And most importantly, with them you're never alone. Or as F. Scott Fitzgerald (oh so dear) said:
"That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely, and isolate from anyone. You belong."
I've read the Bible (well I read the entire children's version and most of the common one) and I liked it. I appreciated some parts more than other. And I can tell Jesus is so inspiring.
What about Jesus? you ask. Well, first this painting:

Cristo alla colonna, Antonello da Messina, c. 1478, oil on wood, Musee du Louvre



Let's take a moment to marvel at the almost photographic perfection of this painting. The strands of hair softly curled up around the face. The curves of the rope and the crown of thorns. The finesse of the cristalline tears. The ruby red of the blood tears. It's so cruelly detailed, so visually bright yet so subtle and refined that one cannot be untouched by the pathetic and painful expression of the man. But can you see that despite all this pain, Christ is looking up, to God. There is trust behind this look. And there is love.
It doesn't matter if you believe Jesus has existed or not. It's the story behind it that matters, it's what you make up of this story. And it's about:
Trust. Compassion. Love. 
So as Christmas is approaching, think of the story of the man who loved all and gave his life for them. Learn the lesson, what? I hear you say you cannot sacrifice your life, then make some gingerbread cookies and share them. Even better: make a gingerbread cookie tree and offer it to someone who is gluten intolerant and vegan. They will love you back for it. And that is gingerbread love.



Gingerbread cookies
(vegan, gluten free)

55 g oat flour (certified gluten free)
40 g buckwheat flour
40 g almond flour
10 g arrowroot powder (or other starch)
35 g coconut sugar *
4 g ground cinnamon
3 g  ground ginger
3 g ground anise seeds
2 g ground cloves
4 g baking soda *

1 flax egg
30 g agave nectar (thick would work best)
35 g vegan margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Sift together the different flours and spices and the baking soda. In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until it forms a dough. Chill the dough for 30 minutes before rolling it out. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack.

*Notes: if you want them to look like traditional gingerbread cookies, you should use molasses instead of agave + coconut sugar. I believe using baking soda helps reach the traditional taste.



Biscuits en pain d'épices
(végétalien et sans gluten)


55 g farine d'avoine (certifiée sans gluten)
40 g farine de sarrasin
40 g farine d'amande (ou de la poudre d'amande très fine)
10 g poudre d'arrowroot (ou autre fécule sans gluten)
35 g sucre de coco *
4 g cannelle en poudre
3 g  gingembre en poudre
3 g anis en poudre
2 g clou de girofle en poudre
4 g bicarbonate de soude *

1 flax egg
30 g sirop d'agave (épais de préférence)
35 g margarine végan, fondue

Préchauffer le four à 180°C.
Dans un bol, tamiser les différentes farines, les épices et le bicarbonate de soude. Dans un autre bol, mélanger le flax egg, le sirop d'agave et la margarine puis ajouter petit à petit les ingrédients secs pour former une boule. Couvrir et placer au réfrigérateur pendant 30 minutes avant de l'étaler. Utiliser des emporte-pièces pour faire des étoiles, bonhomme en pain d'épice... Faire cuire sur une plaque allant au four recouverte de papier sulfurisé pendant 10 à 12 minutes. Transférer sur une grille à pâtisserie. 

*Notes: si vous souhaitez que les biscuits ressemblent à de vrais bonhommes de pain d'épices, il faut utiliser de la mélasse car c'est elle qui donne la couleur caractéristique. L'utilisation du bicarbonate de soude permet de donner un goût plus traditionnel.


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