Happy Halloween Eve. I have a recipe and a story and maybe something sort of… thought provoking for you. I am basically just including the recipe because it is tasty, easy and because I think you should try it.
But first- the story and thought provocation.
A few months ago, I was biking through my neighbourhood- was a nice summer day and I was about to head out to dinner or something with family. On my way home, I passed a prostitute- there are many in this area, so this was nothing unusual to see. But the wind was blowing a bit and her dress kind of… puffed out right in front of her and I wasn’t, like, staring at her or anything but I caught this “poof” out of the corner of my eye and my brain automatically froze and raced at hyper speed all at once and I got a crushing feeling in my throat. Was she pregnant?
Ok- I said to myself. Ok let’s just calm down and try to help this lady at least somewhat. Sex work is complicated stuff, and while I don’t claim to understand it entirely, I feel like a lady in this women’s circumstances is having a rough time of things. I didn’t think through logistics or whatever, because my main thought was “Don’t freak out and start crying while asking this woman if you can get her anything. Just don’t. It will not be helpful. Just calm down and ask her if you can get her some food.”
So I biked over to her and pretended to feel super a-ok and was like, “Hi there- how’s your day going?”
She was really soft spoken and offered me a semi toothless smile. “I’m ok.” Perhaps thinking, why is this teenage cyclist talking to me…? (I’m older than I look.)
“Hey, so, um… can I get you something to eat?” frantically going through the rolladex of what I had in my fridge a couple of blocks away.
“Oh yeah haven’t eaten yet.”
It was 5pm.
“OK! I havelentilsoupdoyoulikelentilsoup? I can bring it to you right now.”
“Um… it’s ok.”
Oh, right. Lentils. Teeth. Chewing.
“Ok well I have applesauce it is actually apple and mango sauce I made it yesterday it’s really good. And I’ll figure out some more stuff.”
“Oh ok thank you.”
… you are very powerful and able to create change.
So I got home and found some foods a person without teeth could eat and loaded them up in a bag and went back. But she was gone! I wasn’t giving up that easy, though. The last time this happened, the lady I had been speaking with had just gone to a soup kitchen that had gotten food in so she was gone for a bit. But I had to get going so I biked around the neighbourhood to look for her and after a while, circled back to where we met, and fortunately she had gotten back.
She seemed super happy with the food and we bonded over how we both always carry utensils with us wherever we go. Then I said bye and left to meet my family who were waiting in the car.
The point of this story is not to showcase that I did something nice nor that I freak out easily when I get worried about a lady and a potential baby nor to just tell you about what I did last summer (because if it were, I would’ve included an in depth account of this greens powder I got that has drastically changed my energy levels for the better.). And quite frankly, whatever I do to help others at this point in my life absolutely pales in comparison what so many other people do- so in that respect, it is pretty ridiculous to brag about giving somebody applesauce. Not that that wasn’t helpful, but still, really? I have friends who work with the homeless day in and day out and I am in complete awe of what they do. Pretty incredible.
The point is, there is need everywhere. And it can be really, really simple to help somebody out. Even through lifestyle, we actually can. So you see that you are very powerful and able to create change. But with lifestyle, I find it is easy for me to just say “Well, I’m vegan and donate to a few charities each month and mostly bike places so I’m pretty sure I’m good.” However, there is more that can be done, always. I’m not recommending burnout from completely running on empty, but an extra step here and there can actually be super invigorating for you as well. It is kind of like it is meant to be- people feel better when they do good for others. That deep kind of happiness and bliss. It is meant to be. The key is to know that every bit counts.
Anyway, I decided that I wanted to make some food for homeless people and super low income people in my neighbourhood or who come to my neighbourhood and that is what I did on Wednesday or Thursday (this week, like every other, is a blur). So Silver Hills was kind enough to donate lots of bread and Jiva Organics donated peanut butter and from this I made a lot of peanut butter and peanut butter chocolate spread sandwiches. And then we dropped them off to an organization the next morning to be distributed to whoever needs them. And that was that- and it was really easy so I am just encouraging you to go volunteer at your local soup kitchen or offer a homeless person a coffee or a sandwich or something. It’s unbelievable how much need is right in this city- such an intense dichotomy. People who have wound up on the streets, usually due to mental illness, are just blocks away from high end fashion boutiques. Kind of blows my mind that this is going on but it mostly makes me feel pretty sick and like I should make at least a bit of a positive difference.
Here’s the recipe- I hope you like it. You could use any nut butter you would like for this, though if you use almond, maybe don’t use as much almond milk because almond butter tends to be runnier anyway.
100 g of some really good chocolate
75 g of your favourite nut or seed butter
1/4 C of plant milk (almond or soy for example)
1 T of coconut nectar or maple syrup
Heat up the milk and pour it over the chocolate, so that it is warm enough to melt the chocolate if left covered for a few minutes (which is what you should do). Ok so the chocolate is covered by the milk and then you put a plate on top of the bowl or whatever it is in, then, after a few minutes, check in- is it melted? I hope so. Otherwise, warm it up a bit (hair dryer method can be used). Then, stir in your nut/seed butter and coconut nectar or maple syrup and spread on whatever you would like. It does not look as good the next day but it is still super tasty.
Hope you have a good day and go do something nice for somebody who needs it. May even be somebody you already know.
xo emma of Zimt