Friday, January 7, 2011

change promise fudge

That's my version of Eat Pray Love.

I haven't even reported back about my liquor infusions, and here I am quitting alcohol! These are basil vodka, plum vodka, cherry vodka, cucumber sake, and elderberry vanilla vodka. Later I made peach and watermelon vodka for a garden party: summer in a jar.

Before the New Year rolled around, we'd already been talking about making big changes in our lives:
  • moving someplace warm
  • finding satisfying work
  • taking classes
  • making TIME
My past lives have included long, glorious evenings that elude me now, evenings that had space for hanging out with friends, long and lazy meals, reading, team sports, walks, wandering in the garden; evenings that were five or so hours long and felt five hours long. I'm determined to get those back.

We'd already made these commitments to change, and then we hit a deer with our car. This experience kicked off another round of thinking about control: what to take control of and direct, and what to let go of because I can't control. Thinking may actually be the wrong word since it became the focus in less than a second during our car accident. Resolutions? Clarity?

I think of my veganism as an example of moving anthills into a line that points to my desired outcome. I can't close down feedlots or slaughterhouses, but I can be completely sure they never see a penny of mine by eschewing animal products repeatedly, throughout every day.

And now the deer. We'd killed someone and could have been seriously hurt ourselves.

I immediately re-commited to our quest for warmth, for ocean, for open time and space. I felt motivated to work on our house so that we'll be able to rent it and move. Seeing the body of the deer we killed torn apart and scattered made me think (among other things) about my body and its fragility. I immediately quit caffeine and alcohol to try and get my migraines under control. I started eating a lot more raw food wanting to shed anything unnecessary, weight and waste, but also streamlining preparation. I feel like I'm seeing a bit more clearly, and I want that to continue.

These are the plums after they've been fished out of the finished vodka. Plum vodka was a clear winner in flavors, but the plums themselves are STRONG. They kind of taste like a seriously alcoholic fruitcake.

A lot of the food I've been eating is so simple that the preps can't really be called recipes. But one raw fudge recipe that a friend shared for Christmas is really a recipe, a magical sweet that makes candy seem ridiculous. This fudge knows important facts:
  • Great things are often simple things.
  • The most important ingredient in sweets is salt.
The recipe is Sarma's of Pure Food and Wine. It came to me via fancy pants designer Matthew Robbins. It takes a couple of minutes to prepare, and one batch goes a long way. I'm told that the paddle on a Kitchen Aid makes mixing a breeze, but a big old spoon did the job just fine.
Raw Freezer Fudge
  • 2 c raw almond butter
  • 1/4 c cocoa powder sifted
  • 1/2 c + 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 heaping T coconut butter
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 t coarse sea salt
It's important to use the best and creamiest almond butter you can get your hands on. If you get one that doesn't have enough oil to be pliant, add extra coconut butter.

Mix thoroughly. Sarma flattens it all into a pan then cuts it into 1 inch cubes. Matthew flattens it into paper candy cups, for single servings. I don't have candy cups, just cupcake size papers, so I roll little balls in my hands, flatten them, and put each one its own cupcake paper. Go pack fudge!
by Wendy MacNaughton