And Chocolate Cake
This weekend was filled with simple pleasures. I baked a chocolate olive oil cake. I recently read in a book called Deep Nutrition that most vegetable oils, such as canola, destabilize quickly after production, making them a little bit toxic for human consumption. According to the book, olive oil stays stable for longer, and is therefore much healthier than canola. I was happy to find a recipe with olive oil in it because I was craving chocolate cake and we are practically floating in olive oil here. In fact, a walk around town is marked by vendors, mostly elderly ladies, selling their own homemade olive oil in repurposed containers. We currently have this Sprite bottle filled with aromatic local olive oil.
I used some of it to make my cake.
It was a deeply chocolaty recipe that used almond flour as well as regular flour, so it was nutty, dense, and slightly fruity with the olive oil. I served it with a whipped yogurt coconut topping.
When I eat something really sugary, I try to eat it with yogurt, since otherwise the sugar upsets my internal balance of flora and fauna resulting in infections. The yogurt provides pro-biotics that restore balance to keep everything healthy. The yogurt also provides protein so I feel more stable and don't get the sugar high/crash affect. We all know refined sugar is unhealthy for SO many of our body's systems, but if you love it and eat it once in a while, it's nice to know how to keep your body from freaking out from it.
Anyway. Let's move on to Jelly shots. I had a request from Natalie for more Jelly shots, so since I'm sure she's not alone in her desires, I'm providing more cute doggie photos right here. This is Jelly's favorite spot in our house. As you can see, she's a very smart girl:
She's a bit camera shy, so it's hard to get a photo of her holding still, but I did manage to capture her with her ears sort of up this morning by singing. When I sing to her, she gives me this quizzical expression, twisting her head side to side to figure out what is going on.
Everyone who meets Jelly says "she's so skinny!" which is true, but which also makes me feel like I'm not feeding her enough. For your information, she eats a lot. She eats more than my parents' dog who is twice her size. I think she's just a naturally skinny breed. She's extremely agile, alert, and quick on her feet, and this attentiveness must burn a lot of calories.
Jelly at Mulberry Springs
This weekend, and last weekend, we took Jelly to a place we drove by called Mulberry Springs. It's just off the road that is for the District Control Office (Reserved for Israeli military, NGO workers, and whoever else the soldiers decide to let pass). Last weekend Jelly got to romp and play off the leash while we hiked up the large hills that surround a creek bed. Jelly was hoping to get to play off the leash this weekend too.
We were thankful for beautiful weather, a rare thing, thus far this winter season in Palestine.
When we got out of the car this time, the first thing we noticed was a large flock of sheep on the next hill over (I didn't get a photo). The second thing we noticed was the way Jelly's vomit had decorated the side of the car when she puked with her head out the window while we were driving.
I was ready to run. I started jogging, hoping that Jelly would keep up like she did last time. I leapt over the creek, but she lagged back, look fearful. It was then that I saw the large dogs guarding the flock of sheep. I'll just run right by them, I thought. I would have to run the trail under them, but then I would pass them and go up another nearby hill. Jelly uncharacteristically hung back. When I got almost directly under the flock of sheep, I heard and saw the three large, furry dogs barking at me. I stopped and stared at them, trying a) to gauge how easily they'd be able to come down from the very steep hill they were on and b) to not act like prey on the Discovery Channel. My stopping was all they needed. They began charging down the hill, taking a small switchback trail I had not seen before. I considered running, but knew I was outmatched for speed. Just when I was preparing my most aggressive fighting stance, they got to the bottom of the hill and raced towards Jelly, back at the creek picnic site with Prince Charming. I felt instantly relieved, and then my protective instincts kicked in, and I ran after the dogs. I watched as Prince Charming, backed my Jelly, barked fiercely at them. They came to a screeching halt and ran away, up the creek bed.
I tried again. I ran the same path with Jelly cowering on the leash next to me and with a tube of powerful pepper spray in my right hand. This time when we passed the dogs and they started barking, I simply barked back. They let us pass. Jelly and I were rewarded with a glorious run up, up, up the long hill to a patch of green (green!) grass and blue sky at the top of a hill. I lay down on the soft grass and for the first time in Palestine, felt completely safe outdoors. There was no one around. I couldn't see any soldiers or military towers or security walls. Just me, the grass, the sky, and my fierce guard dog Jelly.
Later I working on training Jelly and tried to grab a few more Jelly shots. Here's her "sit" almost wiggling off the camera:
And here's her "down." Good dog.