I don’t know about you, but we thought life would be more serene after Labor Day. Yeah, that hasn’t happened. We’ve had so much going on these last three weeks. Interesting happenings at the cabin; our day jobs seem to somehow be longer and more hectic; the work on Fork To Summit is becoming more involved; the tourists seem to be lingering, and so forth. They haven’t been crummy weeks, just a bit nutsy. Nutsy weeks that we willingly choose to undertake.
Luckily, we decided to start meditating a few weeks ago. Like, “every single day-don’t miss a day no matter what” meditation. It hasn’t been an easy habit to construct. Some challenges we share; some challenges we deal with individually. Frustration with losing focus and letting thoughts pass; frustration with falling asleep; frustration with not being able to put aside ideas about how well we are meditating; frustration with finding 20 minutes to spare, and many other excuses as to why we shouldn’t meditate. Anything worth doing is hard work, right? So, we keep going with our practice, because we’ve already noticed small changes in our levels of peacefulness, focus, and value for the life we have now. But, more about that later.
So, you know how there are those people that claim dessert is their weakness? We are not those people. If that is you, then that is A-OK. Ice cream happens about three times a year; cookies are baked during Christmas; we grate Mexican chocolate into our chili, and we bake our breakfast bars which are kinda-sorta sweet from the bananas. Don’t think this is some soap box moment on sugar, because it’s not. We asked for a cheese wheel (our moms felt differently) as our wedding cake, we have never visited the chocolate bar in our tiny town, and we made these popsicles. We just aren’t dessert people.
As Fork To Summit becomes a bigger part of our life, so does measuring ingredients, expanding our recipe box, and trial and error. Roasted beet and coconut mousse is our first foray into dessert territory. I know what you may be thinking right about now. Beets? Pudding? Beet and coconut pudding? Don’t cringe if you don’t like beets; their color is the only detectable characteristic. We stumbled upon this lovely recipe, and thought a no-bake option would be a painless intro to sweets. Oh, we were wrong. In lieu of cornstarch, arrowroot is typically used to achieve a pudding/mousse consistency. At the time, we were out of arrowroot powder, so we used tapioca starch. We made something that resembled jam. It tasted good; perfectly acceptable for spreading on toast, but the consistency wasn’t something you’d want to eat by the spoonfuls. We ended up buying arrowroot the next day, and we got the consistency typical of a pudding. (If you think jammy sounds interesting, then replace the arrowroot in the recipe with tapioca starch. P.S. let us know how it turns out in the comments section). As Julia Child once said, “No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize”.
To finish the pudding, an Orange-Basil Emulsion adds a citrusy punch, and a balsamic reduction plays against the sweetness of the pudding. If you make the pudding and still want to spread it on some hearty toast, spread away!