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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Where is My America? - and a yummy dessert

This is a post I put up on my FaceBook page today to express some thoughts I had on the 'day after the day after'. 10 November, referring, of course to our presidential election in the U.S.  I was surprised to see that a few of my friends shared it on their pages and since I have been neglectful of this blog, thought I would post it here; possibly someone else will find interest in it.

Since my focus has been on food on this blog, (and since we could all use a little bit of a treat following this difficult week, month, year), I'm sharing a recipe I adapted from The Happy Pear.  I hope you will enjoy both....

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Where is my America? (Warning: long. You might want to go watch a video of cute puppies instead).

Yesterday I spent most of the day reeling from the realization that a man that represents fundamentally everything I hate about the corporate status quo, the male-ego-driven power mongers and the intrinsically unfulfilled sexist bullies of the world, was elected to the most powerful position in our country, if not the world. It felt like a sucker punch, a kick in the deepest part of my heart and I could not help but grieve for something that I felt was within our grasp and yet snatched from us at the last moment.
I was not alone; one of my dearest friends even wore black yesterday, in mourning. Black; yes, that is what it feels like. Dark, no light, no hope.
This morning I am feeling a little bit differently. I am seeing demonstrations across America; a passion brewing that I haven't seen since we protested the Vietnam war or since we burned our bras to symbolize to the then bullies that we women are a force that will not be ignored and we WILL be heard.
Maybe this is what it takes to galvanize change. Maybe we need to put a junk-yard dog of a bully into the highest office and give him the nuclear codes and live with that hanging over our collective heads to get real in this country.
We need change. The powers that be are running our planet into extinction and are failing to do their sworn duties. They continue to cater to their own best interests and look away from the bigger picture.
Out of the ashes that this election has created, perhaps a strong Independent Party will finally emerge. Maybe a true Democratic party will create itself. Maybe those of us who have now been forced to see that perhaps fully 50% of our country is actually racist, sexist and white supremacist, (something we kind of sort of already knew, now didn't we!!!?) will make our little inroads into these archaic ideologies that only serve to demean the people on the other side of the prejudice. (I swear Trump's campaign really wanted to be: Make America White again).
Guess what, Mr. Old Guard White guy, America isn't the America from 1950 and wasn't all that 'great' then either. It's too late to go back. Women have rights. Gays have rights. Our country has always been a melting pot of cultures, genetic diversity and religious freedom. This is a source of strength, not a disease you need to deport or wipe out. There isn't any 'greatness' to go back to.
And you are not the first bully to try to push us around. I got chills when Michelle Obama spoke about how we know you. Yes, we do. There isn't a single one of us who hasn't had to deal with somebody somewhere who decided that they were better equipped to run our lives than we were. No, we aren't going back to the America you want again, where gays hide in closets and women freshen their lipstick and straighten their slips and wait on you hand and foot, spread their legs on command and bow to you.
So, where is my America? It has never been where I have looked for it. It is only there waiting for me to create. To the degree that I can surround myself with those that also believe that the individual matters, that she or he has rights, that personal expression and diversity make us strong.....up until the point where it becomes so divisive that it breaks us down......to surround myself with these visionary individuals and build them up to the best of my ability, while making it CRYSTAL CLEAR to those who would snatch my rights away that NO, THAT IS NOT OKAY, is to create my America, my true family, my strength.
I'm not going to Canada, or Japan or Australia, or even taking a very tempting offer of a place to stay in New Zealand, although the reaching out to me from my international friends over the last 30 hours or so has touched me in such an intimate way; I thank all of you for that loving extension of support. The world cares, and is watching. Because this is a more important issue than geography....this is human rights.....this is women's rights.....this is the freedom FROM tyranny....and that is what America was founded on....not some playground for a bully to get rich on and just use until it is used up.
I'm not leaving because America needs me. It needs you. If all of us that believe the individual matters leave, then who will be here to balance the forces of sexism, discrimination and hatred?
Stay. I know you are hurt. I know you want to leave. I know you want to immerse yourself in a bag of Doritos and double-chocolate rocky road (vegan) ice cream. Go ahead and do what it takes to mend yourself, but I need you to be here now more than ever. Make your voices heard. Let's find a way to work together, yes, even with those who want to cut us off at the knees.....why do we have to take the high road? WHY IS IT ALWAYS THE ONE OPPRESSED THAT HAS TO TAKE THE HIGH ROAD????

Because we can and they can't.

It's a new day and we have been through worse than this. Some of you aren't old enough to remember, but trust me.....this isn't the worst.....come on. We can do it. Show them your strength. Show them your true spirit and your beautiful colors.
With love and determination.
S

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Determination Dessert

I based this off of the Happy Pear's 'Chocolate Lasagne' dessert.  It is 3 layers:  a crust, a filling and a topping.  It goes together fairly quickly, depending on the equipment you have.  I used a small food processor for the crust and pre-soaked the dates to aid the blending process.

Crust:

   large Medjool Dates (approx. 8 soaked in water, save water)
   raw walnuts (1/4 c)
   raw sunflower seeds (1/2 c)
   raw cashews (1/4 c)
   pinch vanilla powder
   (Note:  quantities are estimated as I never measure and I keep adding what I need more of, wet or dry, to get a consistency that will press down well into the bottom of a pie plate, custard cups or decorative muffin tins---nice for making individual servings)
  
   Blend in processor.  Add small amount of date water as needed.  Press into bottom of suitable dish.

Filling:
  
Medjool Dates (approx 2, soaked)
1 T coconut oil
peanut butter (approx 1/2 c - or other nut butter)
1T maple syrup
pinch vanilla powder
1/2 c unsweetened coconut

Blend in processor.  Add date water as needed.  Layer on top of crust.  Place in refrigerator.

Topping:

(Note: pre-chill a can of coconut cream or coconut milk to make this work)

1 can of coconut cream, pre-chilled in refrigerator overnight-scoop out solid portion.
Drizzle of maple syrup
pinch of vanilla powder

Whisk by hand in bowl until fluffy and smooth.

Dollop on top of filling layer.  

Dark Chocolate bar.  Microplane or grate on top of cream.  Keep refrigerated until serving.

{Link to the Happy Pear's more elaborate dessert is here:  https://thehappypear.ie/recipe/ultimate-chocolate-lasagne-vegan}













  

Sue, determined, in Ohio

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