Man-thing was hard at work this past week marking his students’ exam papers, so naturally that leads to a type of misery infusing his spirit. In such circumstances I don’t want to leave him in a funk of sadness, and I address the problem the only way I know he’ll appreciate: with sugar.Of course, since I don’t actually like processed sugar, I take the natural route, which equals sugar-free, delicious day-time desserts to spoil him and leave him happy. Playing around with food makes me happy, so win-win!
I suspect that winter is doing a number on me psychologically. My body is no longer content with a mostly raw diet, so it’s now clawing at the fridge seeing what can be fried up or boiled on the stove. Heat! It seems such a luxury to be warm, even if one is layered in bundles sitting in front of a heater all afternoon and evening long. We did choose our place, however, based on the fact that it was under a big oak and was all nice and shady/sinister, which suits our reclusive personalities. The downside is, of course, that South African homes aren’t insulated for the cold, and we’ve got a policy of keeping the door open during the day for Gastby, who is spoilt and spends most of his time indoors anyway.
Point being, warmth! Most of the time I steam food these days just to scald my hands holding them over the container, so I figured I could combine that with the glow of the 3-in-1 waffle/snackwich/griller machine I got Man-thing for his birthday. Oh yes, we are that desperate for heat! Also, I finally wanted to try out the griller part of the machine, which is the reason I actually secretly got the 3-in-1 (Man-thing just happens to benefit, but a lot of his presents are things I’d buy for myself – bad wife!). Continue reading
Sometimes I get these urges to do something that doesn’t involve a lot of faffing, and that usually happens when I’m at work, kilometres away from home. I end up texting Man-thing to soak nuts and dried fruit, so that when I get home there’s a scattered array of dishes out stuffed with soggy delights. I don’t mind being a dictator in these moments because I’m sure there’s nothing better than opening up the nut & fruit drawer and just basking in its glory. Or, better yet, being fed the product of such labours as soaking fruit, because Man-things tend to scatter when actual cooking or baking is afoot!
Well, actually, Man-thing is rather sweet about reading aloud to me when I bake, but when I prepare raw food it’s kind of impossible to get a sense of story when the food processor whirrs on and off every few seconds, but the results are always worth it. As much as I love a piece of baked cake, there’s really nothing that gets me as giddy as a raw dessert/snack, because I know there’s no funny business in there – all natural nomness! (Ok, so blackstrap molasses isn’t exactly “whole food”, but I’m indulging a little before I join the Blissful Chef on her no-sugar effort).
So, last Sunday was a pretty big day! I started volunteering at the Be Wise Sterilize shelter for a few weeks now and having the best time ever cleaning litter trays, giving meds, and feeding rascaly cats and kittens. Cats really are my creature of choice when it comes to cuddles and bonding, and all these meows want is love and attention.
The banana fest continues! I still have so many left, but luckily the internet is here to help. Admittedly it doesn’t aid my electricity bill any, after promising myself to be good and make things only once or so a week. I think at some point I need to dedicate a day to bake all sorts of monstrosities that I’ve been desperate to try out and then go donate them at the orphanage where I used to volunteer years ago. I know from experience that babies + crying + poo nappies = desperate need for comfort food, or at least something better than P&J sandwiches. Not that I scoff at the lordly impact of such a fine treat, but babies drive me crazy beyond the point where sandwiches can save me. Still, I went to go learn about babies before my sister was born so that I wouldn’t be an ass and mishandle her, so I owe that place a lot in terms of teaching me patience and building human connections with babies, even though Man-thing and I don’t plan to have any of our own.
So off topic! Today’s feast is a banana blondie, I guess! I’ve been eyeing this deliciously easy and yummy looking recipe from over at Including Cake for a while now, and decided it was time (past time, in fact, judging by how squishy my bananas were!). Some changes were made, but either way the scaffolding of this recipe is a win.
I’ve been sitting with a bag of over-ripe bananas for a while now, and I can’t bring myself to use them in smoothies since I got a box of delicious mangoes that I’ve been keeping in the freezer for that purpose to go with pumpkin. Bananas are fantastic as natural sweeteners in baked goods. They also provide that extra bit of squish and binding that one needs. Supreme in its yumminess! I decided to make some quick brownies to send with Man-thing to my female pals at the archives on campus, as healthy treats. If I bake as much as I did last night and kept it all for myself and Man-thing we would struggle to fit out the door to get more ingredients!
Today I got the biggest surprise at work. My colleague “Marmiet” came into the office with a grin I knew meant something great was going to happen. Lo and behold she opens a bag and takes out a bean sprouter, then not one but three bags of beans for me to play around with! 😀 😀 I am convinced the universe is listening in to my growing list of “must-haves”, since Man-thing and I were crowing about needing to sprout our own after he bought me some delicious sprouted goodies for our weekend away. He even enjoyed them so much that I was not alone in my munching. Wow! When Marmiet says thank you, she really goes all out! I am beyond psyched to start our own little sprouting corner, since I slowly want to shift gears and start making as many things as possible by ourselves – pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, herbs…the list goes on!
I’ve been seeing lovely, big, crisp-edged but soft-middled cookies everywhere that are just taunting the living sin out of me, because they’re either not vegan or are so saturated in refined sugar that the appeal is lost once I read the packaging. I have resolved, however, to make more “normal” cookies this time round, with actual sweetness, but also to try keep them healthy and to incorporate good quality ingredients. Added to that agenda I also scored big time on some super cheap macadamia nut butter (which is usually triple the price!). I figure that transforming the nut butter into actual stuff will reduce the amount available for me to eat right out of the jar with a spoon, which is just asking for trouble. These are a real treat to have in your tea-time snack box or after work with some hot liquid. Put on the kettle, you’ll be eating a long while! 😀