Pineapple Einkorn upside down cake.

(adapted from Einkorn: Recipes for Nature’s Original Wheat by Carla Bartolucci.)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut oil/butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 20 oz. can sliced pineapple

1 cup (120 g.) all purpose einkorn flour

5 large eggs, room temperature and separated

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.  In a 10 inch cast iron pan, melt coconut oil or butter over low heat.  Remove from heat and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the pan.  Arrange pineapple slices to cover bottom of the skillet.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer with wire whisk attachment, add the egg yols, 1/2 cup of the sugar, salt and process on medium high speed for 3 minutes until thick and pale yellow.  Pour mixture into a large bowl.

Clean and dry mixer bowl.  Add the egg whites to the bowl and beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes until the whites hold soft peaks.  With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat for 1 minute until stiff and glossy.

Fold a third of the whites into the yolk mixture.  Sift the flour in a small bowl then sift and fold half of the flour into the yolk mixture.  Fold in another one third of the whites, then the rest of the flour, and finish off with the whites.

Pour the batter in the prepared pan over top of the pineapple.  Bake for 35-37 minutes until the center of the cake springs back when you press on it.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto serving plate.

 

Redneck swimming pool.

I remember the day the well witcher came. I was both intrigued by the idea that this man with his crooked stick would find a source of water in the ground and disturbed that my parents actually hired him to do so.

We never had enough water. It was clean, pure water but it was not in abundance. I grew up letting yellow mellow not because it was environmentally friendly but because we didn’t want to run out of water for supper or the laundry or a bath.

That well witcher worked his magic but the water never ran clean enough to use.

On good, hot summer days my dad would load up the plastic blue rain barrel in the back of his old white Ford and I would eagerly hop in the front seat with him. Windows down we drove into town to my aunt’s house with the abundant city water that would quench our withered garden.

While the barrel filled from the backyard hose I ran wild for an hour with my close cousins, playing in their small city lot. I remember these evenings well, a testament to how simple the best memories in life are.

We would say our goodbyes and, on the very happiest evenings, when we got home my dad would let me change into my suit and jump feet first into my very own redneck swimming pool.

Cleanliness.

A couple of summers ago I sat outdoors, nursing a baby at The Wilds, while my family puttered around the gift shop.

A middle-aged woman at the table next to me engaged in discussion with a younger couple, probably her children, about how another woman kept house.

“She doesn’t even keep her stove clean.  I clean my stove every time I use it, I deep clean each burner every week, you know, that’s what you’ve gotta do to keep it clean.  I just don’t know what to do with her.”  On and on this lady described the shortcomings of another’s housekeeping and how angry that made her.

How, with an amazing view of God’s glorious and beautiful land right in front of her, could she be spewing such hate?  Did she even notice the rolling hills and blue skies?

I wondered if this is how everyone else feels, because I certainly do not wipe my stove every time I use it and do I ever really scrub those burners?

Today a friend was telling me how dirty her house was.  I could see the look of despair in her eyes, of realization that she can never get it as clean as she would like.  She’s a new mother, an amazing one, and she reminds me of the early days of motherhood when suddenly I cared about keeping the house clean but no longer had the time or energy to do so.

“Sometimes I look at the big beautiful houses around the park, and instead of admiring their architecture or gardens, I think about how clean they probably are inside,” she told me.

Your house says a lot about you, but it doesn’t say everything about you.

My favorite houses are those that let me in, no matter what lies behind the door.  They don’t clean up for me, cover the holes in the walls or the dishes in the sink.  They say, “Come on, come in, we’re so happy to see you.”

One of my best friends is an inviter, quick to have me over even though her house is just as chaotic as mine; full of noise, kids, animals and toys spewed about.

What I see is exactly that, fullness.  She has a life full of love, friendship, andfamily and she spends her days giving herself to others instead of worrying her house will get dirty.

Brad told me that he likes when I visit her because I come home relaxed.  She’s not a poor housekeeper, in fact she has white couches and small kids (crazy, right?!), but she’s doesn’t try to hide the fact that messes are made and things get broken.  Her honesty and openness encourages me to present a more humble and honest view of myself to others, knowing that my warts can help others to feel more comfortable with their own difficulties.

A few years ago, we were watching fireworks in a church parking lot.  We met a family with two little boys that took a liking to Theo and while we chatted with their parents they ended up playing in our van.

One of the boys, about four, boldly told me my van was a mess and I should clean it. Annoyed and defensive (I’m an adult, I don’t have to clean it) I stammered something about knowing that it was a mess and we should clean it.

Did a four year old just call me out?  Did it make me feel bad?  His observation bothered me for a while until it occurred to me there was probably a lot of pressure placed on cleanliness in his household.  I thought, I would rather have old french fries in the crevices of my van than children that point out other’s dirt.

A clean house can probably be fun, but I know for sure that a messy one is.