Raw cacao nib cookies
There's a certain level of responsibility that people expect from you as an adult. Even more responsibility when you're an adult in a relationship with another adult. And even more (can you imagine?) when you've been in a relationship with aforementioned adult for five years. FIVE YEARS. You know what I'm talking about. Questions of marriage, and when we're going to settle down and buy a house and make tiny monsters with skinny bodies and blah blah blah I CAN'T HEAR YOU. These questions make me extremely uncomfortable. They make my heart palpate and cause my hands to sweat excessively. These questions are the bane of my existence when all I want to do is fall asleep at night, but my brain keeps trying to figure out our place in this world.
I picture two lives for Thom and I. Him as a professor, me as a stay at home wife. We wear our wedding bands on our right hands because we're both lefties. It confuses people. We have a loft in the city, similar to what we have now, and we share one of those fancy cars that emits fewer pollutants than the ones our neighbors drive. I stay up late helping him grade research papers, and wake up early to prepare a hearty breakfast for the family. Our family. We have a family that consists of more than just the two of us. I do the laundry and go to the grocery store, and iron his shirts while he's away teaching a bunch kids who couldn't care less about the freaking Napoleonic Wars. I bitch about folding laundry for a living. He bitches about the students and their cell phones going off in class. We lay in bed at night and dream about running away and never coming back.
And then there is the running away and never coming back. Eating our way through Italy and climbing to the base of Everest. We go fishing off the Northern coast of Iceland despite my inherent fear of the ocean, and I convince him to swim at the top of Victoria Falls, despite his fear of heights. We don't have a mortgage, or a car payment, or anything else that restricts you to the bounds of a place. We are perpetual wanderers who find comfort in exploring every nook and cranny of this world. Antarctica is no exception. We have backpacks, heavy ones, and only the most important things fit into them - no fancy hair straightening device or bow ties or pumpkin scented candles on this adventure. This world-wandering path is full of uncertainties, but that's just the way we like it - there is no routine, no order, or anything even remotely linear. We take life one step at a time and we are happy. So incredibly happy.
This is the point where I tell you that the former scares the shit out of me. Absolutely, positively keeps me up at night just thinking about it. The latter? It is so us. And right now, it's the clearest it has ever been. I want to spend the rest of my life exploring this massively fascinating and wildly beautiful world. I want to meet people who bend and shape and question everything in which I've ever believed, and I want to do it with Thom. More than having a house or children, I want a backpack weighing heavy on my shoulders and hair that hasn't been washed for days. And you know what? I think he wants the same thing, too.
Notes: If you're not concerned about preserving raw status, you can replace 1 cup of the cashews with 1 cup of rolled oats for a lower fat alternative. I achieved the flat cookie shape by scooping, rolling, then pressing the balls with the back of a spatula. (It's borderline obsessive compulsive and completely unnecessary.) I don't recommend using any nuts other than cashews and almonds; but you can replace the cashews with more almonds, or vice versa. If you have a vanilla bean on hand, scrape the seeds into the mixture the same time you add the nut milk. You won't be sorry.
RAW CACAO NIB COOKIES
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 1/2 cups raw cashew pieces
1/2 cup raw almonds
1-2 tbsp raw nut milk (or water)
3-4 tbsp cacao nibs
Place the dates in a small bowl and cover with water; let soak for 15-20 minutes and set aside. In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the cashews and almonds into a fine meal. Once the dates have finished soaking, discard the soaking water and add the dates to the food processor. Blend for 20-30 seconds, just until the dates have combined. Add the nut milk and blend for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture forms a smooth dough. The longer you blend, the smoother the dough will be. Remove dough from the food processor and mix in cacao nibs.
Using a small cookie scoop, drop the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze until firm, then transfer to an air tight container for storage. Cookies will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator, or several months in the freezer - but they never last that long.
Yield: about 24 cookies