Well, I did it–I finally moved all the way in to the cabin! I’ll be honest, though, this past week has been extremely trying, but more than anything I feel like (once again) I’ve learned a lot about myself and learned how better to deal with pressure and stress and sore feet.  Oh, the sore feet (where’s my foot massage?)  The insane thing is the timeline: I only got the privilege of living in my last house for ten months–August 15-June 15–because my landlady, Beth, was a Neiman Fellow at Harvard for the year. Somehow, even though I knew that I would soon be packing everything up again, I managed to settle in fairly thoroughly–I mean how I could I not since it was my dream home: porch, antique furniture, salvaged doors and all? And then, knowing that I would be moving soon, I managed to put it all off until the week I needed to be out. It’s been a whirlwind, needless to say, and given that, beyond two wonderful friends helping out with a couple truckloads of furniture, I did it all by myself with my tiny, ancient Honda Civic. I feel like superwoman–superwoman who wants to take a very very very long nap.

But I’ve kept you waiting.  Without further ado, meet the cabin! I haven’t come up with a name for it yet, I want to feel the place out, see what it’s quirks are, but hopefully I’ll come up with something soon. I haven’t taken a picture of the kitchen either (I’ll give you a tour for the next post), but the layout is simple: kitchen, bathroom, main room, and lofted sleeping space. There’s also a boarded in porch that I’m using as my study. Oh, and a cellar! Goodness I’m going to put that cellar to use this winter. And it’s so peaceful. My old neighborhood was quiet–extremely residential and small-town-America-ish–but this goes beyond. I hear crickets and the hum of my refrigerator. That’s it. This, friends, is a piece of heaven.

And for two nights I shared the cabin with a dog named Mozzetoff. Yes, the super redneck spelling of Mazel Tov–appropriate given that I live in Appalachia. Also appropriate since my life has been nothing but good luck these past few weeks. However, Mozzetoff and the cats did not get along and while I’m sure it would have calmed down, I also realized that I wasn’t going to be able to spend as much time home with him as I hoped. And leaving the dog inside (he refused to stay outside on his tie out) for 7 or 8 hours just seemed like an awful thing. He was perfect and relaxed (around humans, at least) and the best darn dog. I was sad to give him back to the shelter. I might reassess the situation in a few weeks, but, as my friend pointed out, you don’t need a dog, you need a shotgun.

Cabin life, needless to say, is unparalleled thus far, and I can’t wait to spend a good deal more time in it. Yes, I might not have my dream stove and oven, but my little electric one will do just fine. And my spring water? Can I gush (yes, pun intended) about it enough? So delicious. Oh, and the first bird I spotted was a scarlet tanager! And there are turkeys calling behind me in the woods and woodpeckers hammering all around and the clearest view of the stars for miles (well, maybe not, since the stars are clear everywhere here). Beside the point. They’re “my” stars and I love them all the more because of that.

Life is still crazy hectic so I haven’t had much time to cook, but yesterday I decided to take a little time and make some pancakes–some gluten-free cherry coconut pancakes, to be exact. Last week a friend took me out to some super laden cherry trees on one of his family’s properties and we picked at least half a gallon of the red berries. He gifted them to me to make something with them, but with the move my plans were thwarted a bit. Don’t worry, I still have something else up my sleeve. So with the gift of the cherries and the gift of a few hours to cook a leisurely breakfast while listening to Loretta Lynn on the turntable, I whipped up an experiment in gluten-free pancakeness. And they turned out pretty good–light, fluffy, slightly sweet with the coconut and tart with the cherries. The perfect start to the perfect relationship with a home.

Gluten-Free Cherry Coconut Pancakes

1/2 c sorghum flour
1/2 c rice flour
1/4 c oat flour
1 tsp xanthum gum
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 can coconut milk
1/4-3/4 c water (depends on how thick you want the batter)
1/2 c unsweetened coconut flakes
3/4 c pitted cherries, halved

Warm a skillet over medium-low heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, xanthum gum, salt, and baking powder.

Add the oil and coconut milk and whisk until a batter forms. Add as much water as necessary to get the desired consistency.

Stir in the coconut flakes and cherries until well distributed.

Spray or brush a tiny bit of oil in the skillet to coat it and then spoon 1/4 c amounts of batter into the skillet. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until browning on the bottom and bubbly on top, and then flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes until browned and done. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Makes approximately 16 pancakes.

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