Happy belated Thanksgiving. Happy Christmas season. Happy recipes for chocolaty goodness.
He talked of Christmas and giving and how it has become a holiday of consumption – it is not a new occurrence, just watch A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965).
Of course we won’t stop giving gifts as a part of the season. But we should become more thoughtful with our gifts and time. Considering the season is based in joy, hope, peace, and love, the message was incredibly relevant. He created an acronym to challenge some of our Christmas attitudes and traditions: GIFT.
G for gifting. Gifting in a way that is more simple and educated. Simplicity can come in many different ways. You could try and do just one gift. You could follow the “want, need, wear read” mantra. Make your gifts. Whatever makes your gifting simpler. Educated refers to educating ourselves before making purchases. There are so many items made with exploitation of workers, materials, etc. Become a conscious consumer.
I for intersession. We should take this time – and any time of the year – as a time to think of, pray for, or meditate on struggles, brokenness, and pain. We should feel empathy in this season as well as joy. Mourn with those who mourn. Consider events across the globe. We are all citizens of the world, brothers and sisters in humanity.
F for family. Family extension. Most agree the holidays are absolutely a time to be with and appreciate family. But this calls us to extend our family further. Do nice things for strangers. Be kind to all people. Live life looking outward.
T for time. Using your time to be with people. Help people. Volunteer. Put your phone or computer down and strike up a conversation with someone you do not know, or spend quality time with those you do know and love. Be present. And if some task is stressing you out – maybe forgo it to keep yourself (and those around you) sane.
I really have no transition into the recipes other than it is also the time of the year to eat decadent desserts. One is healthy and one is absolutely not healthy but they are both delicious. This was inspired by the Kinfolk book of recipes and stories. This book was the inspiration for this blog. I did some minor alterations to the recipe from the book. It yields a thick, creamy, rich mousse that is full of flavor and packed with really good-for-you ingredients.
Spiced Chocolate Mousse that is somehow vegan
2 tbls cocoa powder
1 banana – frozen and then coarsely chopped
¼ cup of almonds (soaked in water for 10 minutes to soften)
2 tbls honey
a few think slices of ginger (or a pinch of ground ginger)
large pinch of ground cayenne pepper
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
cold water as needed
Drain the almonds. Combine all ingredients (except the water) in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add a tablespoon of water at a time to loosen the mousse if it is too thick. Taste and adjust the spices depending on your preference.
Play around with the ingredients. Add grade B maple syrup instead of honey. Use cashews, pistachios or sunflower seeds instead of almonds. Add nutmeg or other favorite spices. This is a great base for experimentation!
I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving.