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uncontrolled fire edge and gluten free rhubarb cake

2018 June 20
by Rachel Turiel

Dear Ones,

There’s so much that’s happened since we last met here.

Col went to DC with his grandmother and sent us this postcard:

True. I’m not sure he’s ever had as much to talk about in 13 years.

A forest fire’s been raging a couple miles north of us, which seems to have settled some due to recent rain, though isn’t expected to be completely out until the monsoons (fingers-crossed) come in mid-late July. It’s hard to explain how consuming it’s been fighting this fire, I mean checking hourly for updates on weather, air quality, fire activity, evacuated friends. (We have an evacuated chicken taking refuge in our coop, which adds to my sense of purpose). Everyday there’s a new map depicting the jagged red line of the “uncontrolled fire edge.” I keep thinking there’s something by a similar name that lives in my mind, something I try to control, keep contained, while conducting frequent strategic meetings to give myself the illusion that a semblance of certainty is possible.

Outstanding fire photos here by beloved local photographer Jerry McBride.

We made it to the forest for a camping trip just before the entire San Juan Forest got put on Stage 3 fire restrictions, i.e. shut down. (Also shut down: all open space surrounding Durango. Anyone want to start a ladies walking club at the mall?).

Dessert platter to celebrate my birthday! Gifts not pictured: new socks and spatulas!

Possible grown up version of the people above, but in different configuration.

I haven’t forgotten about the rhubarb cake recipe. Stay tuned.

We fell in love with a foster dog, who left us for his forever family. (I guess that’s how it’s supposed to work, but still).

Now that we can’t go into the forest, or go outside (because of smoke) we spend a lot of time watching the World Cup. I keep thinking of the Quiddich World Cup in Harry Potter, imagining Peruvian and Iranian soccer teams arriving via portkey to Russia. We’re rooting for Mexico, Peru, Senegal and Iceland. (Ok, and Japan, Portugal, Argentina…).

We like to catch the weekday 6am World Cup game on the nano-screen before Dan leaves for work.

Indoor chess game VIXIII

Dan being Dan figured out that there’s some public land that not managed by Forest Service and for Father’s Day we all got an emotional high being in contact with wild plants and marmots for the day.

Indian Paintbrush.

Purple Fringe.

The 13-year old hand holder.

At one point Col requested to walk alone with just me. We’ve been telling our kids forever that they can tell us anything, anytime, of any nature. I prepared myself. Col grabbed my hand and said, “Mama? You know that new lego airplane I’ve been working on? That’s what I want to talk about.”  (He was nervous about snapping on the wheel struts, but proud that he figured out how to fit two lego pilots side by side. Feelings!). Whew.

Since the smoke has improved I’ve been turning the kids loose on bikes with their shared flip phone. Five minutes ago I got this text from Col: headg. And then I descrambled it in my mother de-crypter and got: heading home. 10/4 little pilot.

I really want to share this Rhubarb Cake Recipe with you because:

  1. Rhubarb season may be ending in your locale.
  2. I made this recipe up all by myself!
  3. It’s insanely delicious: golden crust, light crumb, rhubarby tang-smack to the taste buds, and in the scheme of modern diets, pretty healthy.
  4. If you’re past rhubarb season, sub in cherries, apricots or whatever fruit is coming into your region.

Eat with coffee.

Make sure you have eggs.

Rhubarb Cake

1 cup almond flour

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

(fine to sub both flours for wheat flour)

3/4 cup butter or coconut oil (gosh, this sounds like an awful lot of butter. If this scares you, try and 1/2 cup and report back to me).

1/2 cup sugar or honey

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

3-4 stalks apricots or 3/4 – 1 cup chopped fruit

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients except flours together, including fruit. Slowly add in flours just to moisten. Place in greased bread pan, cast iron pan, pie pan and bake for 25 – 35 minutes. (Cast iron cooks quicker than glass or ceramic, so stay attuned).

All the love,


11 Responses leave one →
  1. Rachel M De Haven permalink
    June 20, 2018

    Love the picture of everyone around the laptop- that’s what “TV” watching looks like in our house too!

  2. Sherry permalink
    June 20, 2018

    I have been reading your blog for several years. (I’m blown away by your writing!) I’ve been watching here for some report of how you were doing with the fire raging around Durango. Thanks so much for the report. So glad to know you all are safe.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      June 21, 2018

      Thank you, Sherry, for reading and caring.

  3. Lindsey permalink
    June 20, 2018

    So sorry to hear about the fire situation in your area. I live in Western Montana and we are bracing for a repeat of last season, but hoping the predictors are wrong (they were wrong last year, just not the way we like). Hoping for a respite from the smoke for you!

  4. Dan permalink
    June 20, 2018

    So snuggly! Thanks for sharing all the fun with Stage 3 restrictions and how we’ve come out more connected by eating rhubarb and cherishing marmots and holding hands at 11,600 ft. Love always, Dan!
    (“…public land that’s not managed..”) Xoxo

  5. Ellen permalink
    June 20, 2018

    Wonderful family photos!

  6. Judith Ann Henry permalink
    June 21, 2018

    As always thank YOU/s for your incredible shares and ways of Be:ing….. grand gratitude this morning just to see the marmot clan…. blessings from all of the Directions dear Rachel and Family !

  7. Kimberly permalink
    June 21, 2018

    Why can’t I picture you at the Dgo Mall? Imagine how many laps you’d have to make. Good news, no one would be in your way. ;)
    It’s goooood to be home.

  8. M moon permalink
    June 26, 2018

    Socks and spatulas. Prefect presents. :)

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