Awareness and a recipe for an Apricot sweet bread (vegan)

Through awareness, you get a certain attitude. That’s the way, you see, to achieve more peaceful, more compassion, more friendship through that way. The Dalai Lama

Often what we are looking for is right there, either already within us-next us or right in front of your noses-

I had a burning desire to watch the film Babettes Feast one evening last winter. I imagined having a fantastic evening, curled up in my warm bed covers to the film with some cookies I had made earlier that day and a fresh ginger tea. I spent the entire day looking forward to the evening had created in my mind!

Once the evening finally came around, I ran over to the video shop around the corner, greeting everyone whom I met with a wide smile and a “hi”, and went directly to the computer to locate the film in the shop. Yes! it was there, and so I took a mental note of the location and excitedly headed over to the little shelf where I would find my evening’s pleasure.

 

I must have had the biggest smile on my face, because two people passed by smiling back at me, saying that I must be in a great mood! And indeed I was. And so I looked and I looked for my film. And then I looked some more, doing a a slow scan of each film on the shelf and then a fast scan with my eyes again, repeated the process and was not able to find the film. I figured that I must have taken note of an incorrect number, and so I headed back to the computer and went through the initial procedure of locating my film. To my surprise, the number I had noted was indeed correct. OK. I then went back to the location and looked and looked and looked once again.

 

Slightly agitated, I went over to customer service desk and informed the lady working there that there must have been was a mistake with the computer indicating that my film was there, as I checked myself and was not able to find it.

 

The lady kindly looked into the computer and told me to go to where I had already been twice. I told her that I was certain it was not there. She then suggested that we go together and I led the way, ready to show her that the computer was in the wrong.

I pointed to the location and said “see, it is not there” with a slight look of distress and “ha, I told you so” attitude.

The lady stood there next to me in silence and then looked up at me as if I had seven eyes-or none as the case seemed to have been. Then her look became expressionless, blank, and I had no clue what she was trying to tell me. She slowly extended her hand directly in front of my nose and placed her hands on the film I had been searching for all along. She then placed the film into my hands and walked off without saying one word.

I stood there absolutely dumbfounded, and with my mouth wide open. What had just happened?!?  And if I correctly understood what just happened, how could that have just happened?!

I honestly felt a gush of hot air go rushing through my body as I stood there in my utter confused state. I had spent more than 5 minutes looking at this tiny shelf, over and over again. I thought that I had scanned through them thoroughly.

I must have pondered over this situation for a long while, because the lady returned with a smile on her face and said “ that happens sometimes. In fact it happens all the time. You are not crazy, don’t worry, come on.”

I closed my mouth and followed her to the counter, slowly and still confused.

Wow. I literally was staring at the film the entire time and had somehow overlooked it.

I left the shop feeling very displaced, and really in a very different state of mind from which I had entered into the shop. On my way home, I could not help but to ask myself how often I go through life searching for that which may be right there beside me-overlooking it as it looks at me right in the face-just waiting, waiting, waiting to be noticed!

As the saying goes, very often we do not realise that what we are looking for has been there all along.

How very true that applied to me that night!

I did enjoy my evening and the film, albeit with a concerted effort to be more aware of everything that was going on. After the film, I had a burning desire for Baba au Rhum, and not wanting the alchohol, nor extra fat, I created a recipe similar to that-without the alcohol and cream and without the traditional bundt pan. It turned out to be a lovely light sweet bread. Here is the recipe-enjoy!!!

 

Apricot sweet bread recipe:Ingredients
      • 1/2 cup soya milk or almond milk
      • 1 package of dry yeast
      • 2 tablespoons of sugar
      • 4 tbs of soya flour dissolved in 6 tbs. of warm water
      • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1/2 teaspoons of salt
      • 6 tablespoons of melted coconut oil or margarine .

For the Apricot Syrup,
       recipe below-you will need:
      • 1 cup of apricot preserves/jam
      • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla depending on what you like best)
      • 1/4 cup of orange or apple juice

Instructions for the bread
      1. Pour the yeast and the sugar into a bowl of an electric mixture.
      2. Heat the milk to just above lukewarm and pour it over the yeast and sugar.
      3. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes until it begins to foam a bit.
      4. Add the soya flour mixture to the yeast and sugar mixture.
      5. Add the flour, salt, and the melted coconut oil (or margarine ).
      6. Using a paddle attachment, mix this mixture on medium speed for about 7 minutes.
      7. Scrape down the bowl and beater to form the dough into a ball. The dough will be very soft.
      8. Now, cover the bowl with a damp towel and allow it to rise until doubled in size, for at least 1 hour.
      9. After the dough has risen, pour the dough into a prepared cake pan spoon into a floured cake pan. Cover the cake pan for another hour.
      10. 15 minutes before the hour is up, turn on the oven to 375 degrees F or 190 degrees C.
      11. Bake the sweet bread for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
      12. While the sweet bread is in the oven, you can prepare the apricot sauce.
      13. Allow the sweet bread to cool for 10 minutes, then tap it out of the cake pan onto a baking rack set over a sheet pan.
      14. Pour all of the apricot syrup very slowly onto the warm sweet bread, allowing it all to soak in thoroughly. Make sure to use up all the liquid, as the bread will soak it all up.


Recipe for Apricot Syrup:
      • 1 cup of apricot preserves/jam
      • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla depending on what you like best)
      • 1/4 cup of orange or apple juice


Instructions for the sauce
       Place the preserves and the juice into a blender, to ensure that there are no fruit pieces left. Pour that mixture into a saucepan and cook over slow heat for about 5 minutes. Add the almond extract.

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