Toasted Sesame Cookies

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When I reflect on the speed at which my life has gone by thus far, I would say it has mostly whizzed by in the blink of an eye. But then there are times, when moments creep by as slow as molasses. I vividly remember a conversation I had with my father – weeks away from turning sixteen – expressing how I never thought the day would come. “Don’t worry,” he said “you’ll be forty (snapped his fingers) like that”.

At the time, forty was unimaginably old and impossible to fathom. Then suddenly, here I am. A year away from the big 4-0. Many things have obviously changed and grown but I still find myself driving in the car rocking out to some trendy rap song – same as I did when I was 16 – just now I am in a different town, have way too many grey hairs to simply pluck out and car seats in the back. He was right. It went by like (snap) that.

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Presently though, during these final countdown days of pregnancy, time is sloooooooooowly ticking by. For the past few weeks, my eyes have been regularly popping open around 4am to which I lay wide awake in bed, hips aching, awkwardly turning my body from side to side unable to find a comfortable position, baby belly jabbing, stomach growling, bladder full (again!) with thoughts swimming laps in my head – when oh when will I go into labor and how oh how is it gonna go down!

ALSO, to add even more of a challenge, last week my foot twisted on my way down 2 old wooden steps landing onto the hard concrete floor below – majorly spraining my foot and busting up my knees. I must say though, with all this relaxin hormone floating throughout my body getting it ready for labor, it was the most graceful fall I’ve probably ever had. I didn’t brace or stiffen up but rather surrendered into the fall and thankfully didn’t brake anything or land on my belly. I did, however, spend 24 hours in the hospital while the baby was being monitored to make sure she wasn’t affected by it which, thankfully, she wasn’t. To quote my dear NYC friend when I told her, “She’s tough but she was like Mama you need to lay the F down already and REST!” :-)

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I guess this was the way the universe had to get me to listen. I HEAR YA but OUCH! And so here I lay, with my incredibly swollen black and blue foot elevated, resting at home, unable to walk around much and awaiting labor. I told my doula I needed a magic walking stick and as luck would have it – she tells me when she was in Africa years ago she traded her swatch watch to a cow farmer for his wooden stick. Perfect!

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I am greatly comforted by the unwavering support I feel from her – my doula. Being able to have this experienced fierce women assist me through-out the many challenging colors of birth, washes away any fear and opens up the unknown with curiosity and excitement. I couldn’t imagine moving into the birth realm without her. Yes, my very supportive husband will be with me as well but he and I are very different in our approach to many things. Let’s put it this way – I’m sure while I am laboring at home – I’ll be freely walking around naked, tribal dancing (now on one foot hobbling around with a wooden stick!), vocally toning and probaly baking. He will most likely be quietly observing me – muttering proudly, “that’s my wife.”

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Toasted Sesame Cookies

These are everything a cookie aspires to be. A bit crispy on the outside, chewy and moist on the inside, with a lovely, delicate, sweet aroma. If you don’t have barley flour you could substitute it for oat flour or just use 1 cup of spelt flour. And though I haven’t tried it, I have confidence this could become a great gluten free cookie swapping out the flours for your favorite gluten free one. They are also a wonderful source of protein, iron and calcium due to the sesame seeds – making them a lovely quick snack to bring to the hospital for labor!

1/2 cup whole spelt flour
1/2 cup barley flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 TB sesame tahini
3 TB sesame oil or mild extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup hulled sesame seeds, lightly toasted *

Preheat the oven to 350°.

*to toast the sesame seeds simply heat a small skillet, over a medium flame, and consistently stir them with a wooden spoon to avoid burning for a few minutes until you begin to smell their aroma and they release their oil and glisten.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk the flours, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk the tahini and oil until creamy. Whisk in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Fold in the sesame seeds and the flour mixture. The batter will be quite dry so ditch the spatula and use your clean hands to mix everything together.

Using a small ice cream scooper or tablespoon – scoop dough onto the baking sheets and roll into balls; press into 2-inch rounds. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden. Let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days.

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