Concision is a problem for me, as you can tell from the title. All those words for a small treat. Still, it’s a helluva tasty treat, so I guess that makes it ok. Man-thing and I decided to go out on a date of sorts today, since we were getting pretty bored of being so married. He decided to take me to an utterly amazing kitchen goodies shop where I had to exercise supreme control – plates, different shiny baking implements, wonderful flutey glasses, frills and ruffles and oh my goodness. Every time I try convince myself I’m a tough woman of the world I somehow find myself in situations where I turn into a cardboard cut-out of a playhouse lady.
I only walked out there with a new springform cake thingy and a wide flipper for my chickpea pancakes (since I can’t make normal pancakes, it seems *huff*), and was feeling very proud but very sorely tempted to walk right back in. We trailed down a way and I put a birthday voucher from my bestest aunt to good use and bought myself a hand immersion blender! Silky smooth soups ahoy! At the same shop there were these knockoff Le Creuset mini pots and casserole dishes, and one was heart-shaped, so Man-thing immediately piped up and said I should get it, because what if I would want to take a photo with maybe a rose on the side, all girly like? I immediately scoffed and berated him (in a most diplomatic manner) for his lack of understanding of my gender-neutral personality and chose a lovely blue pot because it was pretty (and to prove a point? hush hush).
Of course, I got home, decided I wanted chocolate, and ended up taking these photos. He didn’t say anything about my arrangement, but just imagine a preening smirk as the background noise.
Ingredients: (makes a tray or so – 12 bites – can be more if you’re less sloppy and don’t bounce around in excitement)
Avocado chocolate sauce: (this actually formed the frosting for the cake I served to friends yesterday – modified based on this recipe on Mix it Up)
- 1/2 cup avocado, mashed
- 1/4 cup cacao/cocoa powder
- 1/8 -1/4 cup agave
- 1/2 cup soy yoghurt, plain or flavoured (I used wot no dairy?)
- tiny splash of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
Cashew cream filling:
I used the recipe from the inspiring Emily over at This Rawsome Life – since this was the frosting for my birthday cake! That’s right – two frostings/icings = one yummy single-serve indulgent dessert 🙂
- Simply whip out a clean ice-tray and pour 1/3 fill with the choco-avo, then 1/3 of the cashew cream, and then top it off with more chocolate.
I didn’t bother to completely coat the cashew cream in chocolate and make a “cup”, as it were, because I wanted the layers to be apparent from the get-go, but Oh.So.Delicious. Seriously. Decadent, shockingly healthy, velvety smoothness with that spicy twitch and rawr. What better post-lunch nibble or after-dinner sate-er? I’m sure a few years back I would’ve chucked the rose and filled the jug with the mixed icing and gone at it with a spoon, but one ice-cube is more than sufficient to hit the spot. 🙂
At some point in my life all doctors I came into contact with warned and pleaded with me to change my lifestyle, because I was eating myself into what could eventually become diabetes. Part of the side-effects would be (and were already showing) an increase in testosterone, or that I would start to lose my hair, for example. I don’t know which was more devastating – to realize that the reason I acted, felt and projected so masculine wasn’t because it was the only “style” that suited me (in terms of clothes, sizes, all that) and instead was something very real and “chemical’ happening in my body, but that my hair – the one and only thing people could seem to find to complement me on – would vanish into a scraggly rats’ nest with the possibility of a growing bald spot. I admit being caught between extreme vanity and a re-evaluation of my self as a shade of genders rather rocked my consciousness back on its heels for a time, and it took a while to lean forward, ready to take action. Sometimes, even when I was feeling rather “girly” or delicate, I couldn’t really act on that, because my self-image saw that somehow as too ridiculous – this huge, hefty, sweating and baggy-panted creature trying to be coy or flirt. How I dressed and what I said was purely dictated by what wouldn’t inconvenience the eyesight of others, or wouldn’t make them feel uncomfortable.
By acknowledging a more delicate side, I also thought it made me weaker – a bigger target. Other things, like pink trinkets lying around the abode, also felt out of place, as if even in my own home I couldn’t find a space for us to co-exist as samples of two radically different ideals. All this is why, walking hand-in-hand with my husband, the man brave enough to see past all that (although admittedly I did lose 35kg by then!) and understand my insecurities for what they were, is so special and utterly magical. I can ooh and aah along with the best of them over dainty tea-cups and delicate sugar spoons. It’s ridiculous and silly but I love it (in small doses) because I feel I’ve let myself try and enter these worlds for brief moments and to revel in the fact that I am not absurd or that I am actually allowed to feel an affinity with my constructed or primordial gender, no matter how I look or think.
Along with the above, I have a policy on indulgence. It must happen. Too many friends and family bemoan the holiday pounds and make ready to “start afresh” on some horrifying crash-course of starvation or some highly regimented plan that is lacking in consistency with regard to veg, protein, or even common sense. I want to shake all these people and tell them to live a lifestyle, not a diet, and that, in my life there is a time for chocolate cashew ice cubes, and so too should there be such a time in their lives. Preferably a few times a week. Or daily, whatever.
I may not be an ideal, or a woman, as some may term it, or even a great human being, but I exist to give love and to do what I can to make others appreciate themselves. If that means having to tap into the glees of sisterpant giddiness or by acknowledging that I have a softer side that can get hurt, I’m self-assured now to let that happen. Trying to be kind and understanding the capacity for hurt in others has been truly astounding for helping me re-form relationships and engage in new ones. Acknowledging the human in others is seeing it in yourself – no-one can be perfect, but we can all strive to do our best, and do good. Man-thing and I were watching the series Wonders of the Universe by Prof Brian Cox, and after watching the second episode on stars and how they eventually die, my first thought was that I couldn’t believe I was living in a time or place where we are conscious of how comparatively insignificant we are, and thereby so utterly special, and yet we as a species continue to subjugate other creatures and cohabitants of our precious planet to torture, death and to a fate so void of acknowledgement that it is ultimately for Man’s pleasure and sense of privilege.
That’s why when I treat myself to an avo-infused spicy cashew bite, I feel bliss on so many levels: on my palate, in my heart, and in my conscience. I don’t want to inflict myself on other human beings, and even less so on creatures who cannot speak for themselves in a way that humans will accept. If you watch enough video clips you’ll see enough signs – body language, gutting sounds – all never-ending echoes of distress. I just think of my siblings and watching them grow up and slowly getting the hang of speech and sociability (well, my 15+ month old brother may be excused on some points), and just knowing that they are protected (though humans slaughter and torture each other just as easily) but the “food” on their plate was not…well, I am torn. For the moment I can only educate myself, those around me who are interested, and live a lifestyle that hopefully appears natural (because it is!). Being saturated in testosterone and being unable to walk a kilometer without stopping for a “refreshing snack” was not natural, nor was the self-loathing and confusion regarding who I was supposed to be for myself and for others.
That’s why I find such joy in veganism, and all the baking and cooking and what not that goes with it – many people that I know associate food with some form of emotion, or with an aspect or image of themselves. I want to be able to create foods that make people positive and happy to consume it, without bringing themselves down (for whatever reasons).
Whoops…I did mention I have problems with concision! Here, have a flower! 🙂