By Sophia Young – Kitchen Manager at Embercombe
Over the last couple of decades, we have witnessed as well participated within, a growing obsession with food; one that not only focuses on what we eat, but where it is eaten too. We have seen increasing platters of fine cuisine plastered on all forms of media; vast feasts for our eyes and vast land-markers towards our hunger for health and often, how cool we might wish to appear. And whilst it perpetuates to feed us, the food industry is fed by these images that we consume daily and spirals what we eat to a land beyond need. It distances us from the intimate relationship with the nourishment at our fingertips and sadly too, neglects one vital ingredient along the way. Ourselves.
When we prise ourselves away from the shoulds and should nots, the concept of perfect nutrition, the trendiest restaurant, the best ingredients, we make space for a certain kind of majesty during the process of cooking that can’t be found on the grocery shelves. In welcoming our imaginations, curiosity and wisdom into the kitchen, as if benevolent guests at our sides, we can ignite our intuition and unearth an enriching connection with the food we cook. And, by trusting the abundance that is alive within and cultivating an innate healthy relationship on such simple grounds, we stand to empower ourselves in a way that the food industry can only crave for.
I’m fiercely passionate about creating our own paths in the kitchen, our own guide books and uprooting any notion that we “can’t cook”. And wish each of you along on such radical adventure, opportunity to tear up the divorce papers from Source and discover an inner-witch or wizard in your own beloved hearth.
• 5 cups of oats
• 1 cup of butter
• 1 cup of sugar
• ó cup of golden syrup
• ó cup of tahini
• 1 cup of dates, chopped
• 1 cup of walnuts / sunflower seeds
• 1 cup of grated apple
• 2 bananas, sliced
• 2 teaspoons of grated orange rind
• 1 teaspoon of turmeric, splash of black-pepper to activate its super-power
• 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
• 1 small pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 200 C and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Then go find your biggest pan to create some alchemy in. Along the way, you might wish to light a candle or go put some wild disco tunes to serenade some kitchen mayhem. Wash your hands and as you do so, maybe take a few moments, to connect with the sensation, as if a mindful mediation. Feel your feet connected to the ground and maybe invite your inner-child to the table. This is a time for play and to get messy!
First, melt the butter until a glorious yellow liquid then add the sugar and golden syrup. Now stir with a large wooden spoon the oats, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt and turmeric to create the foundation for your flapjack. Add the tahini, bananas, grated apple… Go off piste a little should the mood take you, maybe ditch some of the ingredients, add others that enliven your soul or those that you simply have at hand. And… USE YOUR HANDS! Take pleasure in your fingers combining the oats, dates, nuts. Consider the possibility of losing yourself for a moment in the pot of golden-ness. And should sticking to recipes be your go-to, with the feel of the flapjack in your hands, bring your senses to the mix. Maybe it seems too sticky – add a few more oats. Or muesli. Too dry? More grated apple. Sultanas. And when it feels ‘right’ to you, place in the baking tray and pop in the oven.
It will take between 30-45 minutes to bake. Time to clear up. Or…. Sit in the sunshine with a cuppa and smell the flavours wafting out the backdoor from the oven. Listen to your tummy rumble. It’s all part of cultivating this beautiful conversation and relationship with that which we create and eat.
Once cooked and before the it cools, traditionally this is the time to score slice markings along the top to enable ease when cutting after it’s had time to firm up. However, warm flapjack tastes delicious so you may wish to just get your paws sticky one more time. Serve with berries, a sprig of mint, maybe even a cup of Golden Milk. And should you have some remaining, pop it into the freezer and soon to follow there will be recipes for flapjack leftovers inspiration…. And if this time it was too moist or too dry, too spicy or fruity or not spicy enough, know this has been a beautiful moment to learn what works for you.
Kids are also a great ingredient too for this recipe!