Friday, December 9, 2011

making changes | spelt pumpkin biscuits


Lately, I've come to realize just how violently people are opposed to change. Not all people, of course, but most. Last December, Tyler and I decided that giving up soda would be our New Year's Resolution. We gave it up and we've stuck to it. Neither one of us has had a drop of soda since December 31 - almost an entire year ago. (Sweet tea, on the other hand, is another story.) And considering both of us were serious Root Beer addicts, this was no small feat.

Deciding to stop drinking soda was solely a personal decision for us. It was a small step down the road of more wholesome eating and something we just knew we had to do. We didn't give it up so that we could walk around telling everyone that we quit soda or so we could turn down punch bowls at bridal showers or refuse to eat Tyler's mother's Coca-Cola cake. We definitely didn't give it up as a way to personally offend friends and family and acquaintances, but judging from people's reactions, you'd swear we did.

People are afraid of change. They think that because we gave up soda, we're going to judge them for drinking it or ask them to give it up, too. We're not. The thought doesn't even cross our minds. But as a defense, people react negatively. They shake their heads or make fun of us or tell us our motivation won't last. A part of me doesn't really understand it. But a part of me knows that it's human nature to criticize that which we don't understand or agree with. It makes me think of a quote I heard a few days ago:
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." (Arthur Schopenhauer)

This is not to say that giving up soda is something noble or praise-worthy or a golden truth to live by. It's just something different, something new that can intimidate people.

I seem to learn this lesson over and over again, but as New Year's resolutions are already on my mind, this one seems to be the most obvious. And it seems that more ridiculing and violent opposition are in our future, because this year, we're giving up white sugar and white flour. Now, we're not giving it up entirely as we did soda. We won't refuse a piece of birthday cake or a glass of tea (in fact, I agree with Laura on the issue of accepting food.) But we're going to stop buying it and using it to bake and cook with. (I'll post more specifics when it gets closer to New Year's)

All of this to say, if there's something in you're life that you want to change, change it. Even if it's something as small as giving up soda or something more life-altering. People are going to say sarcastic things and they may even be mean to you. But really, they're just afraid. So, give them a break, don't let them get to you and just keep on.

A housekeeping note: It was brought to my attention that commenting on my blog was disabled to all users that didn't have Blogspot accounts. I'm so sorry for this! I've fixed it and now anyone can leave a comment :) If you don't have a Blogger or Wordpress account, simply select "Name/URL" from the drop-down menu, leave your information then your comment!

spelt pumpkin biscuits
These biscuits were my first attempt at replacing white flour and sugar in a recipe. And if I do say so myself, they're pretty great -- perfect comfort food this time of year. Keep in mind that these are biscuits, not muffins. There is no sugar in this recipe and spelt flour is a little more dense than all-purpose. But paired with honey-butter and a cup of coffee, it holds its own at breakfast.
2 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter and rub with fingers until mixture is grainy and there are no big pieces of butter. (An easy way to do this is keep the butter in the freezer, then use a grater to grate it into the flour mixture.) Add pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg - combine. On a clean surface, roll out dough to a 1-inch thickness. The dough is not going to be very sticky - I didn't have to flour the surface, but I floured the rolling pin with the tiniest bit of spelt flour. Use a small round cutter to make 12 biscuits. Bake for 18-20 minutes (checking after 15) or until biscuits have risen and are light brown around the edges.


  1. Your pumpkin biscuits look fantastic! I gave up soda two new years ago and do not miss it at all. I recently read that soda accounts for 7% of the average American's caloric intake! Crazy, right?

  2. I used to have to eat gluten free food and it was a challenge to have to constantly accommadate what I ate. Although, it was also fun to find new recipies and substitutes for ingredients. Good luck to you on your venture and good for you!

  3. Yes, it is a challenge. I can't imagine soda being that controversial - I personally don't drink it either - but I guess it's about change, like you said. My mom and sister are vegetarian, so we have had this conversation many times. They run into resistance or questions a lot. Good luck with sugar and flour - although I try to keep them in moderation, those are two I personally wouldn't want to give up! (I'm making my son's birthday cake today, so it's definitely top of mind.)

  4. You are a great writer, Laken. Thanks for your insightful comments on new resolutions, accepting gifts, etc. (The biscuits look amazing, too!)

  5. ;)

    Sometimes getting "teased" for your convictions makes your passion for them even stronger. As a total random personal example, Oprah Winfrey. When people tease, I grow even more confident in my respect for what she's accomplished. I'll defend her to the death. Anyway. Happy for your new goals! You won't miss the soda, white flour, or sugar. Promise.

  6. I've tried to give up soda, but I couldn't! My husband is a serious diet coke addict and there's always soda here! I need to be more determined!

  7. Hi Laken, so happy you opened up comments to everyone! There's been so many times that I have wanted to comment, but couldn't.

    I recently gave up diet soda - and while I still have a bottle/can now and again, it's not a daily habit and I feel so much better for it. I used to "have" to have it, and now, I actually regret buying it on the rare occasions I do. It just doesn't taste good anymore.

    I've also found people will judge you no matter what you do. Good, bad, in between. All you can do is do your best according to your own life goals, and find peace in that.

  8. My Mum used to buy soda only for special occasions, such as Christmas or birthdays, therefore I have no problem living in a house full of soda now (my boyfriends drinks Pepsi on a daily basis!), I'm not even tempted :)
    The biscuits look delicious and I don't even like pumpkin haha

  9. I actually just gave up pop in mid-November, excepting special occasions. I am seriously addicted to root beer myself, and I drank it on a daily basis, so I decided I needed to stop buying it. That's interesting the reaction you got for giving up pop. I haven't run into that, but maybe it's because I'm not giving it completely. In any case, I applaud you for your commitment to giving it up despite what people said to you, because that's definitely hard to do! Are you planning on continuing to give it up completely through this next year?

  10. Loved reading this, Laken--and feel so proud of you! Cutting out white sugar and white flour was an important step for me a couple Christmases ago and I've never regretted it. Can't wait to be seeing more amazing recipes like these pumpkin! spelt! biscuits! Yum.

  11. Isn't it funny how people will make a big deal about such a little thing? I mean it's just soda people!


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