My mind is cluttered and full this week; bursting with lists of to-dos, to-mights and to-probably will nots. And for that, I am wordless. Leaving you with a beautiful, thought-provoking letter that Jack Kerouac wrote to his first wife, Edie. It sends feel-good chills up my spine. I hope it does the same for you, too.
• • •
“I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever.
Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It’s a dream already ended. There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.
The world you see is just a movie in your mind.”
Notes: To make the pie crust cookies gluten free, simply replace the flours with a gluten free flour blend and xanthan gum. If you don’t have a vanilla bean on hand, substitute 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Also, you don’t have to add the coconut water to the coconut whipped cream, but I like it to be slightly less dense than what it is without the addition of coconut water. So, do as you wish.
PUMPKIN PIE SUNDAES
6 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp cane sugar
1 small pinch fine sea salt
1/4 cup vegan butter, cold
1-2 tbsp water, ice cold
1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 tbsp cinnamon sugar
Pumpkin spice ice cream
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, cane sugar and salt; stir until combined. Using a pastry cutter, or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal with a few larger chunks. Add the water and mix the crumbles with your hands, just until a dough forms. Pat the dough into a round ball and set aside.
Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Roll out the dough into a large circle, about 1/4″ thick. Using a small cookie cutter (I used leaf shaped cutters), cut the dough and transfer the pieces to the prepared baking sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350˚F for 6-7 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet, then store in an air tight container until ready to use.
Remove the coconut milk from the fridge and scoop out the thick, white layer of fat on top. Reserve 2 teaspoons of the coconut water, then store the remainder for later use (in smoothies), if desired. Using a handheld electric mixer, cream the coconut milk fat, 2 teaspoons of coconut water, powdered sugar and vanilla bean on high speed for 1-2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
To assemble the sundaes, put a few scoops of ice cream into 4-6 bowls. Divide pie pieces between the bowls and top with coconut whipped cream. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon for good measure. Enjoy!
Yield: 4-6 sundaes