Wednesday, May 15, 2013
My life is a raw, three layer disaster
This is the right lifestyle for me and I thought it would last, and I was very excited.
I was messing around online, lost somewhere on Facebook, which incidentally has become a form of consensual torture, when I came across a recipe for raw, vegan peanut butter and jelly bars.
They looked fantastic. For three nights I lay awake in my bed fantasizing about them. On the fourth day I decided to go for it.
They say you ought to do one thing every day that scares you, and I've decided that for me, once a week is good enough, and this would be my thing.
So I made a shopping list, and I even remembered to bring it, which made me feel very put together and on top of things. At Whole Foods I bought what amounted to a savagely expensive deconstructed coconut. I bought coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut meat, coconut flakes, coconut nectar, coconut water, coconut milk, and on top of that I bought just a whole coconut. Later on I had to google how to slaughter it.
I hadn't been paying too much attention when I'd jotted down the ingredients in my kitchen that morning, but now that I was on the front lines I started to feel a little dazed. Besides the dizzying panoply of coconut, the bars also called for 34 whole dates. That felt like a lot. But I bought them.
I bought everything, reasoning that since I'd gone raw, I'd need all that stuff in the pantry anyway. Absolutely the only thing in my cart was ingredients for the dessert, and as I edged towards the check out line I could detect disaster in the air. The ingredients added up to 85 dollars, so the check out man said "your total is 85 dollars!" Cheerfully, as if it was okay to spend that much on a single afternoon of baking. Not even baking.
I've become good at playing very cool in the grip of catastrophe, so I slid my card with a little "sure sure no problem" smile, but inside my head I was a ten year old flying over the handlebars of her bike, feet kicking madly in the air, arms akimbo.
I'm not sure how it began but everything has gone completely off of the tracks.
It was far too late to back out. I went home and I constructed the thing, and it turns out that the one recipe used nearly everything I bought, with nothing but a few cups of raw cacao and some coconut oil leftover. But I did end up with massive, massive amount of raw peanut butter and jelly bars, so that's good, until I ate a piece and discovered I'd just created the world's most calorically dense substance on the planet, and I wouldn't need to eat again for five weeks.
So I just stood there, and stared down at the pan in awe and bewilderment. What have I done? These bars are worth 85 dollars. This is my cell phone bill. This is 3/4 of the plane ticket to Santa Fe that I didn't buy. This is three pieces of a trad rack I could be quietly accumulating so that one day I can be in the Patagonia catalog and die a fulfilled woman. This is my life in a raw, three tiered disaster.
This is essentially a well disguised coconut.
Pride and common decency kept me from scraping it into the compost, lethargy kept me from utilizing the freezer; I had no choice but to take it on the road. My dessert and I, a traveling sideshow. I brought it from house to house, I fed it to my friends and I watched their reactions. They were decidedly mixed, ranging from the forced and determinately cheerful, all the way to the neutral, the bluntly apprehensive and those who vocalized regret upon first bite.
And in the end, I did end up in my kitchen, alone in wool socks, scraping it all into the compost bin, gritting my teeth and repeating to myself that we all make mistakes, we all mistakes, we all make mistakes.