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Fathers Who Harm

Father's Day has become a more highlighted day of celebration than when I was a child. My father was born in 1927 and lived a pretty long life: he died in 2013, a few months into his 86th year. He was not a bad father. He did struggle with alcohol addiction and was imperfect in other ways, but he was basically loving and kind. He was a workaholic, so we did not have access to him for emotional affirmation, but he told me in his old age that he always loved everything about us kids and felt sad that he had not been a better parent, and he was sorry he was most of all that he had not spent more time with us.  Other men in my family– my grandfathers, my husband, son, uncles, brother– have all shown themselves to be good guys and have adult children whom they love(d) and who love them back.  But I think to myself, having been a social worker to women and children who fled lives with men who put them and their children through Hell, that there are probably a fair number of children, te

Spelt and Oat Focaccia Bread Recipe

  HOW THIS SPELT AND OAT FOCACCIA RECIPE CAME TO BE: One day I was browsing the flour shelves in my favorite health food store when another shopper sighed in frustration and gestured at an empty shelf. Evidently it had been the Spelt Flour shelf, which was now 'sold out'.  We entered into one of those conversations based on shopper bonhomie. We both liked spelt flour. It is an ancient grain, but has almost a 1:1 ability to be used in the place of bread flour or all purpose flour, even though it is technically a "whole grain flour" like whole wheat-- but sooo different in its baking profile from whole wheat. It has quite a high gluten quantity, but doesn't require as much kneading. In fact, if you over-mix spelt flour, you end up with that stringy quality that says "high protein" (or rubber bands). It has a nice nutty flavor (again, unlike whole wheat), and a sort of "soft cake-y" texture in some baking. And it is high in fibre-- definitely a pl