What’s Making Me Happy: July 24, 2020

Item #1: About three weeks ago, I wrote about how Clif and I had yet again changed our diets. Clif has type-2 diabetes, and he decided to go on a low-carb regimen. I am on a low-calorie diet to lose weight, and there is a lot of overlap between our diets. Because of the caloric and carb restrictions, baking is pretty much out for us, but every once in a while, we want pancakes or muffins. Unfortunately, wheat flour is high in carbs, and Clif can’t have very much of it.

Enter almond flour, low in carbs and delicious in its own right. As to be expected, almond flour doesn’t taste exactly like wheat flour, but that’s all right with Clif and me. We’re both open to different flavors, and as long as we like the taste, we are fine.

I am happy to report that almond flour passed the taste test. Clif made pancakes with the flour, and they were delicious. And because I am a pancake fiend, this made me devilishly happy.

As a bonus, they look exactly the way pancakes should look.

Item #2: You might be wondering why the picture below of the simple white flower made me happy this week. However, those who photograph flowers know how hard it is to get a good picture of white petals. White tends to blow out, and I hardly ever a get a decent shot of a white flower.

But, lo and behold, I finally succeeded. What I did was focus on the center, on the stamens and the pistil, and this really seemed to help. Yellow is another color that tends to blow out, and I will be testing my technique with yellow, too. Too bad the evening primroses are not in flower.

On to Item #3: Thanks to NPR, I recently came across Jacob Collier, yet another musician I was unfamiliar with. I was really taken with his light, funky style.

Before listening, do take a close look at the four musicians. A really close look. Pretty amazing.

Colin Marshall, from NPR, writes: “Polymath musician Jacob Collier has been championing this style of one-man-band music videos since 2012, singing every note and playing every instrument. His cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing”earned him a devout YouTube following at the age of 19, and he hasn’t slowed down since. The London wunderkind owns four Grammy Awards already, including two at the age of 22 in 2017, and his evolution as a bandleader has been evident in his live performances ( like when he came to NPR for a Tiny Desk concert last year). Now 25, and with nearly a decade of experience producing every aspect of his own music from his home, Collier is uniquely positioned to crank out his best work from quarantine. ”

Where there is a will, there is a creative way!

58 thoughts on “What’s Making Me Happy: July 24, 2020”

      1. Instead of syrup, I use whatever fruit’s in season (blueberries, just now) and slow cook them with only a tablespoon of sugar or so. Cooked slow and easy, they become syrup-like, and are delicious.

  1. Necessity was the mother of invention – you go, guys. 🙂 Now, that talented young man just takes your breath away once you realize what is happening. WOW doesn’t quite cover it, but it’s the best I can do right now because I’m still recovering.

  2. Good for you. It’s great to find things that are tasty and healthy. My spouse has got the strictest weirdest diet in the world (digestive injuries from acid etc., several different things going on from top to bottom), and it is so hard to feed him–he’s like an adopted chipmunk or something that I don’t know the diet for because several conditions contraindicate each other. The dietician he hired is not stellar yet, so we just keep trying. Enjoy the pancakes!

  3. Congratulations on your flower photo. That’s a beauty. I think for every 30 pictures of flowers I take only one comes out really good.

  4. What a talented young man! If you like stitched-together music, look on YouTube for Eric Whitacre’s virtual choir, “Sing Gently.” It’s the total opposite of the one-man band–it’s 17,500+ voices. It is so beautiful I play it before I go to sleep. His chords just shimmer. Someone commented that if there’s a heavenly choir, this is what is would sound like.

  5. Lovely photo… Thanks for posting it! I used to have trouble taking photos of black sheep. I could never get the light right, and they just looked like a dark blob. And your pancakes look awesome. Did you just do an equal swap of the two flours and do everything else the same?

    1. No, there are special recipes for almond-flour pancakes. It’s not an exact substitute with wheat flour. We found one online, and there are many others.

  6. I love almond-flour pancakes as well. When made well, i never notice the difference. 😀
    Your white flower shot is beautiful. I took a few shots of white petals yesterrday….and instantly deleted them. You’re right – white flowers are difficult to photograph!

  7. Yellow and white really are hard. Those highlights blow out like crazy. One thing that’s helped me is photographing them on cloudy days whenever possible. Shade often is too dark, but a nice even cloud cover can help.

  8. I need to dig out my almond flour. I have a great recipe for almond cake (I know) and haven’t made any lately, but I’ve been wanting pancakes…I watched the Jacob Collier video off Twitter a while back and holy Toledo! I’m impressed.

  9. What a marvellous list of Happy!
    #1. From another pancake fiend, I love that you have found a delicious version given your dietary parameters. I am going to try using almond flour as I have an opened bag sitting in the larder (it will be a change from using sourdough to make all sorts of different pancakes).

    #2. Congratulations on your photographic success! As a haphazard point&shoot person, I have wondered why white things were troublesome. Now I know.

    #3. Am still listening to the funky music. He is such a talented songwriter and multi-musician. What fun!

  10. The pancakes look delicious. Great photography tip … I sometime find that focusing on the tip or edge of the petal helps too (as the camera can then contrast the white petal with the background). 🌿

  11. That is good to know about the almond flour, as I have been thinking of trying some. I bought coconut flour recently, and thinking those two might make a good mix. Some ideas for things to try!

    That is a beautiful white flower photo, Laurie. White flowers and white cats can both be hard to photograph. 🙂

    Listening to your music selection now. It is enjoyable. There is such a wonderful variety of music out there!

  12. I love the music video Laurie, what a wonderful talent! The pancakes look very tasty too and your photograph of the white flower is beautiful 💜 xxx

  13. Well, the only musical instrument I play is the car radio!
    I use ground almond for cookies, but never tried the almond flour. I will, indeed. thanks for the tip, and the one about how you photographed that white flower. My best to you and Clif.

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