There isn’t a day that goes by in our apartment that a tea kettle isn’t whistling. As a kid, we owned a cast iron kettle that we would put on our wood stove. During the cold months, this is how we rewarmed our baths or made hot chocolate after snow storms. I remember how salt residue would build on its surface and once the sun came out my mom would brush it clean, just in time to be put back to use again.
In Massachusetts, our kettle is giving life to a drawer full of teas. Drawing our friends together over afternoon or late night conversations. It is cleaned every so often and it serves as a meeting place in our lives. On Saturday morning, we stumble out of bed later than we should – or earlier than we would like to – and shuffle around the kettle with cold feet waiting for the comforting whistle and pour of hot water.
This morning, the city is underwater. The rain crept in over the past few days and has pushed us all back inside. Last night, I ran through the rain to my friend’s car and the water was pooling around my ankles – crawling over every inch of dry skin. Warm summer rain is a baptism – I think – a washing out of our bodies.
I have been thinking about the role of fear a lot lately – how it leaves us silenced and isolated, how it hides the most important parts of ourselves, how it leaves us broken and confused. I am meeting the rain today, not with the hope of leaving everything behind, but to expose the parts of myself I am most apt to run from – fear, neurosis, sadness, and the assortment of bad behaviors I have learned over time.
In the kitchen, I am relearning how to be present in my body. Hands wrist deep in coconut flour feeling every wrinkle and crease of skin brush across bowl. The windows are open and the world smells of summer – like my grandmother’s garden in San Jose coughing up tomatoes and apricots – like bitter dark chocolate waiting to be mixed into dough – like home, the kind that I built from my own skin.
Beside me stands the memory of my grandmother showing me how to measure flour, to pour sugar, to mix, to bake, to cool, to store, to garden, to care for myself and others, to build community, to love, to love, to love, to love in the kind of way that isn’t owned by anyone.
— Coconut Plantain Dark Chocolate Cookies —
– 1 large sweet plantain, chopped & mashed
– 1 cup coconut flour
– 1/4 cup unsweetened (organic) applesauce
– 1/4 cup raw sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp pure maple syrup
– 8 tbs almond milk
– 6 pieces finely chopped dark chocolate
– Pinch of salt
Preheat the over to 350° and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Finely chop 6 pieces of dark chocolate, set aside.
In a small bowl mash the sweet plantain until smooth. Add applesauce and raw sugar, mix. Stir in vanilla and maple syrup. In a medium bowl, mix together coconut flour and a pinch of salt. Add the plantain mixture and stir until completely mixed. Slowly add the almond milk one spoonful at a time until you have the proper consistency. The dough should not crumble easily, nor should it stick to your fingers. Scoop a bit up and squeeze it together to check! Mix in your chopped chocolate!
Roll into spoonfuls, place onto prepared baking sheet, and cook for 12 – 15 min. Enjoy with a glass of almond milk (or tea)!