A Writer

When I was younger, I thought I’d be a writer when I grew up. It wasn’t just a dream that I yearned for or a goal that I aspired to. It was almost more of a feeling; when I imagined myself as an adult, I imagined a writer. It was the natural extension of all the reading and daydreaming and thinking that I did. I loved words, and I was fascinated by my favorite authors – I wondered where they got their ideas, what their lives were like, and how their stories unfolded in their minds. I also placed myself among them, like we were in some secret club that they didn’t know about.

But writing isn’t some secret clubhouse that literary-minded, introspective kids are shuttled into when they grow up. It takes intention and a lot of commitment. And I haven’t given it that.

I’ve been thinking lately about that feeling I used to have about becoming a writer, and I’ve been feeling a pull to get back into it, with more intention and commitment.

Although I didn’t become a novelist, I love my current career, and I’m inspired by the endless potential I have to help people in real, tangible ways. Maybe I’ve been thinking about writing lately because my job is inherently about other people, and I relish the idea of taking on the deeply personal endeavor of writing something.

So I’ll start with the path of least resistance and use this space, while I work towards writing something more than a blog post.

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One Citizen’s Thoughts On Protest

Last weekend white supremacist groups planned to descend on the Bay Area. My thoughts around the protests in San Francisco and Berkeley are full of contradictions.

Standing by and letting neo-Nazi domestic terrorists hold uncontested rallies and control the narrative is unacceptable. But these groups actively seek out a fight to help promote their propaganda…so should we readily step in as their foil?

Protesters who use violence to oppose hate groups make it too easy for outsiders to discount the thousands who protest peacefully. Their actions shift the narrative and distract from the cause they are fighting. And yet, arguing that violence perpetrated in the name of white supremacy is the same as violence committed in the fight against that evil is a false equivalency. Our society needs to find ways of grappling with that nuance.

Holding an alternative, positive event could be empowering, especially for marginalized and non-marginalized groups to come together and affirm their values, to feel safe and accepted and understood. But when we proclaim that white supremacists don’t belong in the Bay Area because here we stand for equal rights and gender equality, for love over hate, do we risk undermining the inequalities and injustices that remain embedded in our society, even here? (Check out some beautiful sites from Saturday’s protests.)

I am grateful that so many throughout this country have stood up against neo-Nazis and white supremacists. It’s what most of us would not only hope for, but expect. It is what we should demand. But what we should also demand, that is much more difficult to achieve, is a unified voice speaking out against all the discrimination and injustice that we live with every single day, when there are no Nazis marching outside our doors. Standing up to Nazis is the easy part (for most of us). How do we acknowledge, understand, and change the insidious racism, sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Islam, homophobia that lurks within the very structure of our society? How do we unify against hate when it’s not a person heiling Hitler in our city, but a structure, a mindset, a bias?

One may seem infinitely scarier at its face, but the other impacts the course of millions of people’s lives every single day.

 

Added disclaimer: There are many who are much more versed in the history and continued efforts of fighting for civil rights. I don’t know the answers, but I’ll continue to engage with the questions and try to learn, in order to do my part.

Spiced Hot Cocoa Truffles (video)

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I’m reviving another recipe for my home-baked gifting video series. This time I’m scrapping the original recipe and starting from scratch.

These truffles are delicious on their own, but you can also drop them into a hot cup of milk or water to make hot chocolate! Have you ever had a classic chocolate truffle, with a smooth shell on the outside and a creamy, soft center? These are basically like the center of the truffle by itself. They’re firm enough to stay together, but easily meltable for your next hot cocoa craving. I add some cinnamon and cayenne, both in the truffle itself and also in the coating, for an irresistible kick.

If you’re gifting these, pile them up in a cute mug, and you have the perfect wintertime gift!

Watch the step-by-step video below, at Coffee With Adi!

Spiced Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa Truffles
Adapted from techniques in Bittersweet, by Alice Medrich

Note: You can easily scale this recipe up or down – just keep the proportions of chocolate to cream the same.

6 ounces Dark Chocolate 60-64% cacao (or 7 ounces of 55-60% chocolate, or bittersweet or semisweet chocolate that’s unspecified)
A pinch of salt
3 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper, divided
6 ounces Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder for dipping

  1.  Use the heel of a chef’s knife to cut your chocolate into small pieces. Place the chocolate into a medium heatproof bowl. Add 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cayenne, and a pinch of salt.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the cream to a low boil. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir gently with a rubber spatula just until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture becomes smooth.
  3. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.
  4. When you’re ready to form the truffles: Line a baking pan with parchment paper, tin foil, or wax paper. On a dinner plate combine 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon cayenne. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the cold chocolate and quickly roll it between your hands to form a ball. Roll the ball in the cocoa spice mixture to coat, and place onto the prepared baking pan.
  5. Place the baking pan into the fridge or freezer. Once the truffles are chilled, you can stack and cover them for storage. Store the truffles in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks or the freezer for about 3 months.

To make hot cocoa: Thaw the truffle slightly if it was in the freezer. Heat up a mug of milk or water, drop in a truffle, and stir until melted. Sip, relax, enjoy.