So, I’ve been thinking a lot lately. It’s a bit of an important time for me. You see, in a year I’ll be somewhere very different than where I am. About two and a half years ago, Jesse and I made a deal and a promise to each other. I had moved away from Portland, to a training facility in Elizabeth City North Carolina. I was going to be there for six months, and I didn’t know where in the world I would end up afterwards. Jesse and I hadn’t known each other for very long; a couple of months, give or take. However, we thought that we might have something important together. We thought we might have something between us that could last 6 months of separation, followed by 3 years of long distance talks, texts, and letters.
Well, it has been 2 and a half years, and I’m writing this a little less than a year out from my moving date, back to Portland OR. It is a momentous moment for me, and also a momentous moment for everyone else in the United States too. As you should know, in a few days Donald Trump takes office. For a great many of us, it is a time of great change and great fear. Just as I look forward and plan for this amazing, culmination of all Jesse’s and my hopes and dreams, I am looking towards and planning for a United States very different from the one I know and love today. I am attending the women’s march on inauguration day in San Francisco. I look at the news as it comes, deal with it as best I can, and know that the next four years is going to be a battle. If you care anything about education, discrimination, the environment, compassion, and peace on earth… well, I hope you take action and show you care in the near future.
In preparation for both futures, the good and the bad, I recently found my nose deep in a cook book entitled “have your cake and vegan too”, by Kris Holechek (yes, no caps). Ironically, Holechek lives in Eugene, Oregon, not too far away from Portland. In this book, Holechek has written 50 recipes for cakes, none of which include vegan egg replacer (icky) or other processed gunk. She does reference margarine, but I think I can substitute coconut oil for that without too much difficulty. While I do believe in taking action (like protesting) I also feel the need to create something constructive in all this craziness. I remember fondly cooking with my parents, and the love and unity that used to create for us. I want Jesse and us to do that for our kids, and cook not just healthy food together, but decadent food like pastries and pies and cakes. Sometimes the world isn’t so sweet, but enjoying something handmade and sweet together, can make it a little better. It has become my goal to get good at paleo and vegan cakes cakes. In this way, maybe I can be better prepared for all of the upcoming changes going forward. Therefore, I am introducing the concept of first cake Friday. Every first Friday of the month, I want to bake a new and more complicated vegan cake. I am going to start this month (a little belatedly) with a basic vegan yellow cake with chocolate frosting. My friends are coming over to try it. I will let you know how it goes.
We certainly live in interesting times, do we not? Whatever your beliefs, may I suggest for this week a good book, some cruelty free cake, a sense of humor, and someone you love to share all those wonderful things with.
This Week In Updates: Making Vegan Cake
So yes, the receipt is for more than $50 this week, but that is because I was getting supplies for my first vegan cake ever! In the future, yes, I am going to make it completely on budget, but this week fell into my party/social/friends fund budget. In regards to the cake, it held together and was not mush. How does that works without eggs? I have absolutely no fucking idea. As my friend Sally said,
“What are vegan cakes made of? Hopes and dreams.”
Well my vegan hopes and dreams came out tasting okay, but feeling more like Frisbees. The frosting, which I made mainly from vegan dark chocolate chips, a little soy milk, and coconut oil (and no electric mixer! I like to hand beat everything!) was really good. I think for the cake, I just got the chemistry of the baking powder and vinegar wrong. I started mixing things, and my apartment was so cold that the coconut oil started congealing right in the bowl! Thus, I had to just throw everything in right away. Next First Cake Friday, we are going to try this again, but be a little more careful with the timing. And maybe not make an entire cake. I have half a cake in my freezer right now. There goes all my low sugar healthy eating plans….
The Recipe: Vegan Molasses Cranberry Oat Cookies
Since the vegan cake didn’t turn out, here is a dessert that not only is tasty, but pretty healthy for you too! Completely gluten free, you can make your own oat flour by grinding out thick cut oats in the blender. Substitute almond flour for the oat flour if you want more of a protein kick with your cookies.
- 3 cups oat flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 Tbs black strap molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup ground fresh cranberries
- 4 tbs melted coconut oil
- Set oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix all ingredients together and put spoon fulls onto a greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or less for softer cookies. Remember, there are no eggs so you can make them as soft as you want!