Day 47 - Laura Foote, Creativity, and a Nutty Bread Recipe
People change your lives. Today I was talking to Kent Bond and it hit me as it sometimes does that if Kent weren’t in my life I would not be the same person I am now. I started going to his studio Willow Glen Yoga about nineteen years ago. If I hadn’t gone through those doors, I might not have become a massage therapist. That means I would not have lived where I was living and doing what I was doing in order to have learned about the writing retreat in Montana that led me to Kitty who led me to New York which led me to writing a book which led me to a life I never could have predicted.
Last year Kitty asked a handful of people to join her in a beautiful house on the beach in Tulum. I invited Cheryl Della Pietra, author of Gonzo Girl, to share a room with me and because I was broke and Cheryl was Cheryl, she flew me out there. I’d met Cheryl the year before at a two-week writer’s retreat on Martha’s Vineyard. If I hadn’t gone to New York, I would not have gone to Martha’s Vineyard. So Kent has influenced even my friendship with Cheryl, a woman who lives in the other side of the country from both of us.
Kitty also invited Laura Foote to Tulum. Do you have any tall, beautiful, wildly creative magical fairies in your life? I didn’t until I met Laura. She is funny and kind and strange in the best sense of the word. She’s from Mississippi, and so talking with her is like eating honey. One day she sat next to me by the pool and read me a story she’d written about mayonnaise. It was nota story I had heard before.
Laura was not a person I had met before.
Those are the very best people. Kitty is like that. Cheryl is like that. And so is Kent. My daughter is like that. Mold breakers. Hell. No mold ever came close to those people. I think they all came out of flowers or arrived in spaceships or were sculpted from sunlight or water. They are the people you watch just to see what they do next.
I talked with Laura on the phone today to ask her if I could use the drawing she’d done of the two of us with our hair on fire as the logo for the podcast I’m planning to do for Write or Die. Within twenty seconds of telling me yes, she was telling me how I could make something and that all I’d need was a jar and a pan. And a baking sheet. And parchment paper. With Laura it’s usually simple and complicated at the same time. Her recipe for flourless bread was no exception.
I wish I had recorded our conversation so you could hear her voice. The story is less for its lack, but anything Laura Foote touches is more, so less of more is still more.
Laura is an artist who lives at home with her mom for various health reasons. She makes the best of the energy she has, and she is on a mission to live the best life possible. She works hard to eat well, to feed her body what it needs. I asked her what she had for lunch yesterday and she laughed. Candy bars from Big Lots, she said. The ones that are a dollar for five. You open them at and they aren’t colored right. I ate all five. I asked her how she felt after. Good, she said.
I asked her where in her world she feels the best, and she said getting in the kitchen makes her feel better, helps her get out of bed. Health starts in the kitchen, she said. She said she’s a hack, and then she says, I’m always stabbin’ onion powder that is dried up, and I realize she is actually a hacker. I can just see her, long and elegant with her short hair and wide eyes, looking to see what she can invent next. A bottle of dried up onion powder in Laura Foote’s hands becomes an adventure.
She uses the onion powder in this bread recipe that she had first told me I’d only need a couple of things for but that now called for almond meal, water, arrowroot, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, a wide mouth jar (Say widein a southern accent. It’s so much more satisfying.), and the things I had listed above: a pan, a baking sheet, parchment paper.
In the wide mouth jar, add ½ a cup of water, almond flour, and arrowroot and shake to mix. Laura Foote said, Arrowroot is gelatinous—but and I’m making this up, when you cook it it becomes not gelatinous—it becomes chewy.
You then add ½ teaspoon of salt, onion and garlic powder and more water if needed to make the mixture the consistency of pancake batter.
Oops! I forgot to say you’ll need coconut oil for your frying pan, but you’re from California and they probably sell that on street corners. Anyway. You’re going to pour five little pancakes…oh! and you’re going to need a flipper…a spatula…but I bet you have one of them. It’s not like it’s a blender or a KitchenAid mixer.
Cook each one for about a minute a side, and then put them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Put them in a 350 degree oven for twenty minutes.
Then you can pile on the good stuff: tomato, avocado, and cucumber. Almond butter and blueberries. Whatever sounds good to you. Steak. Laura Foote says this tastes like real bread, and she says, It’s healthy! You’re eating almonds!
I’m attaching some drawings Laura sent me. She made me notepads, and even the way she wrapped them to send them to me was special, beautiful. I like to be reminded that the opportunity to be creative is everyone: in the kitchen, in bed with a sketch pad, by the pool telling stories. When we were in Tulum, Laura had a terrible headache one day and so I held her head in my hands and did Reiki. I felt something I had never felt before, her head, the bones of her head moved. It was more like I was holding fluid than bone or the stomach of a pregnant women. I don’t know what that was about. It was lovely. Laura was so alive even her skull swooned when held.
It can be so challenging to not feel well physically. It’s tiring to be tired. Laura said that when you have parasites inside of you, they toot, and that’s what makes you sick. She went to Africa years ago and brought back some bugs. These things aren’t predictable and they can have devastating consequences, but Laura is what you might call a good sport. She is playing her cards like the fairy princess she is, with grace and wit and surprise.
We have our own store of energy and then we have things that deplete these stores. Parasites can come in all forms. What parasites are tooting in your world and depleting your energy? How can you get rid of them?
See you in the kitchen.