I was just finishing up a post about how crazy pregnancy can make a woman–all the do’s and don’ts, the conflicting advice, the fear surrounding many aspects of pregnancy and birth. But then one day a few weeks ago I found with horror that I had a toddler who was getting up at 5:30am and not napping during the day. I quickly became a shadow of myself, always tired and feeling like an utter failure for raising a child who doesn’t know how to rest, and this is not to mention our weaning struggles as well… My growing belly with all its demands suddenly seemed like a cake walk in comparison. Yet before I became the stupefied, red-eyed, fuzzy-brained parent that the last few weeks made of me, I did think that pregnancy can make you a little crazy. I smile to think of it now; I wrote these words several weeks ago:
“If you’re anything like me, the moment you find out you have a little peanut growing inside of you is the moment you become a chronic food obsessor and neurotic label reader. What’s in that lotion, that sunscreen, that toothpaste, that deodorant? Is this water filtered? What was the internal temperature of that fish when it came off the grill? How many days was that cheese aged for? Is it just me or does this burger look a little pink inside? So many questions and so many questionable situations, the worlds begins to seem a pretty unsafe place. Sometimes you even question whether it’s a good idea to bring a child into this dangerous and dirty existence at all–but then, it’s too late for that now isn’t it. And even with all the question-asking, there are those moments when you get that sinking feeling that you’ve totally messed up, dropped the mommy ball, broke the preggo rulebook. The time you bought that unctous, runny, triple cream cheese “for company” and devoured nearly half of it while standing at the kitchen counter before the guests even arrived–and then one of them has the nerve to say, “So this type of cheese is ok for pregnant women now?” And you felt like throwing up. Or that time you knowingly prepared a fried egg with a still-runny yolk and savored every delicious, forbidden bite. Then there was the time when you ran gleefully into the chilly waters of an Oregon beach and let the salty, frothy waves splash up and over your belly, feeling mometarily like a kid again, then worried anxiously for days about whether cold water could be harmful to the baby. You nervously and guiltily tell your doctor about these situations, fully expecting to be told that you need to shape up, get with the program, be more careful. And then the doctor tells you in the practiced and somewhat tired voice of someone who does this all day long that you are fine, the baby is fine, and please cease your worries. And you feel relief of course. Yet still, that knawing guilt in the back of your mind comes to haunt you some nights as you try to fall asleep. Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten that cheese, you think. And you better not be sleeping on your back, by the way. Don’t you know that’s bad for the baby?!”
But then there are the countless tender moments: watching your husband and toddler sing “Take me out to the ball game” to your belly button; ending the day by rubbing your belly lovingly with coconut oil; enjoying the way maternity clothes accentuate your newly voluptuous frame; the first magical time you felt baby move–was it an elbow? a heel? an itty bitty fist?; day-dreaming about this budding person, looking up her/his expected zodiac sign and wondering what it could mean for baby’s personality, her/his role in your family and the world; returning once again to that hokey prenatal yoga video you secretly adore; enjoying time in the hectic, toy-strewn living room just to breath deeply in and out because that is what the body demands; finding that this is what your harried mind is seeking also: space to put the crazies to rest and marvel at the miracle unfolding. The new baby has given you this space, and what a gift.
Parenting can be a bear. It’s just so much easier when they can only kick you from the inside, you know?
All things considered, I think pregnancy may be the sanest thing happening in my life right now.
Chocolate chip scones, gluten-free (re-visited)
So, you know I have a bit of a chocolate habit. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Though lately I have been wondering if being pregnant with Cadel while working at the chocolate factory is the reason why he out of the blue requests “plain chocolate” for a snack. And just recently we had this exchange:
“Mommy, I need something.”
“Ok baby, what is it?”
“I need chocolate.”
(wide-eyed look of horror on Mommy’s face)
But hey, I need chocolate too. It’s like it says on those Dagoba bars–you can deprive the body but the soul needs chocolate.
Anyway, when you’re up at 5:30 in the morning, it’s helpful to have a treat. A chocolate scone fits the bill perfectly. So I revisited the gluten-free recipe I posted here one year ago and made several variations based on what I had around at the time. I particularly like these with buckwheat flour. The picture above is of a variation made using red palm oil, which gave the scones a really nice color. Also, I added xanthan gum this time around because it helps these hold together.
1 C buckwheat or sorghum flour
1/2 C brown rice flour or coconut flour
1/2 C tapioca or potato starch
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon, optional
1 scant tsp xanthan gum
1/3 cup sugar, white or light brown, preferably organic
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
4 tbsp butter + 2 tbsp coconut oil* (or 2 tbsp sustainably sourced red palm oil)
1/2 C milk or milk alternative
1 tsp vanilla extract
roughly 3 oz. 65-85% cacao dark chocolate, well chopped
Preheat oven to 350F (or do as I did an use a toaster oven, which does not need preheating).
Lightly grease an 8-inch cake pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients, including the sugar. Cut or rub in the butter and coconut oil until a mealy mixture forms. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until a sticky dough forms. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.
Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool for 5-10 minutes on a rack before inverting the pan to release the scone. Cut into 6 or 8 wedges.