I am back from Montreal. Hey.
For the four-ish weeks I spent there - away from home, Jack, Dante and Blender - I remembered a lot of important stuff about myself, and realized some new things. It was a whirlwind of experiences, people, places, emotions, tastes, colours, smells. I felt overwhelmed most of the time but what else is new. I often feel overwhelmed living in my particular world because I usually think [too] extensively about everything that is happening around me (and not around me). So being in a new place WITH the same over-thinking brain took it to the next level. Meditation was more difficult than normal, probably because of this. I went on a lot of walks by myself so I could have time to ponder who I am, what I want, my relationship with the external universe, and that kind of thing. I had some pretty intense and excellent discussions with my friend's roommates; we talked about the difficulties of navigating the current world in relation to gender, race, class, location, education, etc. Besides classism, I am generally optimistic about where we are going. Obviously - or maybe not that obviously - most human groups are still routinely oppressed by societal and political structures in place, but we are on the right trail; we're just at the beginning of the hike.
When I read dystopian novels like 1984 or Brave New World and watch movies like Mad Max or the one with the mocking jay thing; I can't help but think we are already living in these worlds. From the start of "civilization" where populations began to need a kind of government, it's been a balancing act between security and freedom. On one side of things we have absolute security but no freedom (think of We by Yevgeny Zamyatin) and on the other end we've got total freedom but zero security (maybe something like Lord of The Flies or Hobbes' state of nature). Where are we in this balance now? I fear we've given up more of our freedom than we think. We are not taught to ask questions, to critically analyze our external - and internal - world. This is not accidental. I'd argue it's intentional. That scares me and makes me feel hopeless when I think hard about it.
This post got really dark and I apologize for that. But I am not going to cut all this text away and simply write about how yummy this tart is. (But FYI: it's freaking DELICIOUS.) I need to say these things - whether you think I am a nutty conspiracy theorist and stop subscribing to my blog, or whether you get really excited because you agree - I need to say these things for my own mental health. Otherwise I'll keep getting stressed out because the thoughts remain inside my head. I think it's important to recognize, no matter what you believe, that we are not living in a neutral, innocent or naive world. We are living in a particular universe that is controlled largely by certain communities for their own benefit. Everything is political. Systemically, many human groups remain oppressed and ignored today and so their repressed, important voices and experiences being heard or having an influence on society is nearly impossible. We should not allow those who control us to continue keeping the wool over our eyes. We need to grab it out of their hands and with open eyes face the reality of the current human globe. Let's move forward considering ALL persons, and work in whatever avenues we can within our means, to eradicate corruption, systemic oppression, broken capitalism and the ever-increasing wage gap. Let's focus on building a world wherein ALL beings experience justice, safety and freedom.
And for the sake of all goodness, let's make a world where we can all eat these tarts if we feel like it. They are creamy, rich, sensual and based around whole food ingredients. Nothing is sexier than whipped coconut cream. Period.
OREO-ISH TARTS: VANILLA WHIPPED COCO CREAM with CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUST
Chocolate cookie crust:
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup cacao powder
Scant 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch himalayan salt
Vanilla whipped coco cream:
1 can full fat coconut milk, left in the fridge overnight
1/4 cup coconut sugar, ground into powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean seeds
To make the cookie crust: grind the cashews into flour, then throw the cashew flour into a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients until you have a doughy mixture that holds its shape. Set aside a scant 1/4 cup of this mixture for the cookie crumble. Press the remaining dough into tart tins or whatever shape you like and put in the fridge for an hour or more so they harden up.
To make the cookie crumble: roll out the dough you set aside, then leave it in the oven at its lowest temperature until it gets crispy. This may take 2-3 hours. Or use your dehydrator. Then chop it up into cookie pieces. Note: I only left mine in the oven for an hour so it didn't get crispy, but I used it anyway. It's all good.
To make the coco cream: follow these directions, whipping in the rest of the ingredients along the way. Scoop the whipped coco cream into the cookie crusts. Sprinkle on the cookie pieces and enjoy!
ADAPTIONS: you can use any nut instead of cashews; you can use cocoa or carob powder instead of cacao; you can use dates instead of flax seeds; you can use any other sweetener instead of maple syrup; you can use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean seeds.
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