14 August 2014

Nos contra Mundi | Coconut Peanutbutter

Greetings from Colorado!

The Great Sand Dunes, Photo by Gogela

I've been busy accomplishing things since April of which I am proud, in no particular order:

  • Moved across the country
  • Flew on a plane unsupervised
  • Found a new apartment in a beautiful, quirky old house
  • Powering through Beachbody INSANITY again and exercising each day
  • Living with my sweetie and establishing an equitable household division of labour
  • Reconnecting with former coworkers and old friends
  • Overcoming bulimia for real (with the weight gain pattern to prove it)
  • Creatively writing again and receiving novel ideas consistently for the first time in two years of writers' block

While accomplishing these things and reorganising my life, TC and I were encouraging each other that life would be better when we were more independent together and out of DC. I was looking for a Latin motto punchier than Non illegitimus carborundum. I found Nos contra mundi. Using my rudimentary Latin skillz, I lengthened the phrase into: Deus nobiscum. Nos contra mundi. "God is with us. It's us against the world."

Don't do it, whatever your goals are, for the people who would love to see you fail. They could care less about your success for various reasons (the most charitable of which is that they have low self-esteem due to childhood trauma; the least charitable is that they are simply assholes who get off on schadenfreude).

Throughout this process, I ran dry on blogging. While I still took pictures of most of what I ate, I rarely even posted it to Instagram. I still made tasty vegan and gluten-free food because, duh, if I want to eat, I have to make it myself. Now, now, dear readers, I have more time, because my sweetie can cook for me any time! And he does!

Snow at almost 11, 000 feet

From May 'til now, I've been looking through old stuff. First, there was the sorting of the stuff to go and the stuff to stay. Then, there was the archival processing, digitization, and destruction of old paperwork. Next, clothes--too small, too ugly, too many memories. Later, the photos from 2013 I moved to my external hard drive. Following, categorizing work emails and creating filters. Most recently, the old blog posts.

Now we have webbernets in our apartment and I have been re-publishing Gothic Granola under the author Quelle von Toten (that's "source of the dead," auf Deutsch). Oh Blogger, why must you make me do this the difficult way?

Because it's a long, hard road out of hell.

I've been editing and prettying up the old posts, improving SEO and readability. The theme of the blog will probably continue to change pretty regularly. I am, after all, twenty-three years old and a round, dynamic character, and I'd like my blog to reflect that. This blog has been my major creative output since 2011 and I'd like to keep it that way.

Shinobi, our friend's curious cat

Before I left Maryland, I made coconut peanut butter. I am a huge fan of Earth Balance's Coconut Peanut Butter, in either creamy or crunchy.

In December 2012, I bought a 7-lb bag of roasted peanuts from Costco, then Ownie Mom bought me another bag for Christmas. By December 2013, I still had about 5 lbs of peanuts.

I shelled them all, in a few concentrated sessions, late December-early January 2014.

Finally, in April, I decided to use them up and make coconut peanut butter. Minus the palm oil, I made it the same as Earth Balance: peanuts, coconut oil, agave, and salt. Mama D majorly approved of this nut butter and was excited I left her half a protein powder container of it. This recipe is based on approximations and memories, so use your judgement. If you want creamier pb, process longer and use more oil. Less creamy, do the opposite. This recipe makes a lot!

Coconut Peanut Butter

5 lbs de-shelled, roasted peanuts
2-3 cups coconut oil, melted
1- 2 cups agave nectar
1 tablespoon sea salt

In a food processor or blender, blitz some of the peanuts until crumbly. Add some of the coconut oil, agave, and salt. Blitz until desired texture is achieved. Repeat. By "some," I mean, estimate the capacity of your machine's work bowl and go from there. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator because the nut butter will be a goopy mess otherwise. Unless you like that sort of thing. In which case, store wherever but make sure it doesn't go rancid.

That spoonful. That is the only picture of coconut peanut butter that remains, next to salad dressing cake.

Parting Shots:

 The secret to my high-altitude baking success: psyllium husk!

I finally used my spiralizer and I will spiralise anything in my path.

 Black bean brownies & zucchini bread = high altitude baking fails. But I learned!
 Great Sand Dunes

I don't have a better picture of me yet in motorcycle gear.

 Spinach cube.

 TC made me cappucino.

LEGO dream house!

Pants and Pomely enjoying GLAM water in the new apartment.
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