This winter, a couple of weeks after I’d arrived in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, I wanted to make cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with nuts. And CHIA! The Aztecs used chia seeds as a major source of nutrition and, when the Spaniards arrived in Mexico, they suspected that locals gave chia a religious quality – something like corn representing life to the Native Americans of the Southwest. So, naturally, the Conquistadores banned chia. Only the Tarahumaras, isolated in the Sierra Madres, continued to use it. As they ran barefoot over a hundred miles of mountains, they reached around to a little bag hanging on their belts and popped seeds into their mouths.
“Chia is making a major comeback,” say my friends Louise and Rob, who are encouraging farmers in Mexico to grow the seed. In California, healthfood stores carry chia. I like the crunch in oatmeal, on salads and, especially, in cookies.
Would Louise and Rob give me some chia seeds? They would.
I checked the cookie sheets in this rental house. Yes.
A mixer and mixing bowl? Yes.
Flour, sugar, salt…Yes (more…)