Joy, it can come from touching the soft fur of your pet, taking a lick of a drippy ice cream cone and simply feeling a breeze on a warm day.
But lately, for me, joy has been siphoned away. In the last few days a bluff near my parents’ home in San Diego collapsed and caused devastation to people on the beach. This weekend another person shot bullets into an innocent crowd, twice in one day’s time. Twice in twenty-four hours. How can that be?
And day after day I ache for the children sitting in prisons in our country because their parents wanted a better life for them. And now they have been stripped away of their loved ones and all semblance of normalcy.
There is no joy for all those suffering, and I find it callous to still find joy in the lovely mundane things that used to be joyful. How can we find joy when our country has become a symbol of sadness? How can those who say they are religious close their eyes to the sorrows of these children and continue to support this crazy person who claims to be the leader of the “free” world? How can one find joy when the rights and money of the NRA are weighted so much more than the victims’ cries, survivors’ horrors and the fact that our children go to school and practice active shooter drills?
A recipe is ridiculous to share at this point. And yet, when I’m truly down and out, I still bake. If even for a moment it takes me out of my head. And I end up with something soft, sweet and comforting. A moment of joy is all that I ask for at this point. No, I’m not depressed. I’m simply allowing myself to feel what weighs on my mind. If we don’t feel, then we will be complacent and will just put one foot in front of the other. And at times like these, that is the very last thing any of us with a heart and a soul should be able to do. That is how evil numbs us.
Please consider donating to any of the following organizations or to your favorite candidate who can help change the sorrows our country is perpetrating. Please choose to make a difference; don’t sit on the sidelines. Volunteer for a cause, make your voice heard.
RAICES – Your gift supports their mission to help separated families, detained families, unaccompanied minors, and others who are seeking asylum in the United States.
Moms Demand Action. With a chapter in every state, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is the biggest grassroots organization of moms working together to reduce gun violence.
I did actually post a recipe here as mundane as that is on a day like today. They did bring joy to my office mates and to my tastebuds even if my mind isn’t following suit…
Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 11 muffins – I just couldn’t get 12 out of this batter.
Takes about 20 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes of baking time.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup coconut cream (found in a canned version next to coconut milk cans) or coconut milk will work too.
1/2 cup Canola oil
1/4 cup of melted unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds to top muffins before baking.
To make the muffins: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour through sugar.
In a separate bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together eggs, coconut cream/milk and Canola oil. Stir liquid mixture into flour mixture, just moistening. Don’t over mix. Add melted buter and extracts and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and coconut and combine. Using a medium-sized ice cream scoop, scoop batter into prepared liners, filling 3/4 full. Top each muffin with a sprinkling of sliced almonds. Bake for approximately 15 minutes and then turn oven down to 350 degrees F. Bake for another five minutes or until muffins are very slightly browning and barely firm to the touch. Let cool to firm up more.