If you are (or were) an English major in university–or even if you know someone who studied English–you are probably familiar with one of the most common themes in literature, “appearance versus reality.” You know the one: it’s the notion that things are not always what they seem to be on the surface, and the way we appear is not always the reality. To wit:
Macbeth. Appearance: Nobleman kills King at wife’s behest, then usurps power and lives a life of riley with wife. Reality: Wife goes slowly crazy with guilt about said murder. And all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten her little hand.
The Matrix. Appearance: Cool dude in shades is tracked relentlessly by deadly, humorless government agents, ostensibly in possession of superpowers. Reality: Unlike the other zillions of human USB ports linked up to a giant computer, this dude is The One.
Charlie Sheen. Appearance: Narcissistic star of mediocre comedy show garners too much success and implodes in waves of cocaine, prostitutes, goddesses, Tiger Blood and zingy retro one-liners. Reality: Very astute marketing ploy.
You see what I mean.
In my case, when it comes to meeting people for the first time, appearances may belie the reality. My outward demeanor may be someone who is comfortable–nay, aloof, even–in social situations, when the reality is that I’m stammering and sweating and feeling entirely “highschool reject” inside. As a result, it can take me a very long time to forge real friendships with people since, as a rule, I say very little for the first oh, five years or so. (Real life example: I worked as a volunteer for my friend Eternal Optimist for five years before I called it quits. If she hadn’t invited me to join her book club, which led to socializing together, which led to a real friendship, we would likely never have spoken again).
Sure, I have made friends with people in a more spontaneous way. When I first encountered my friend Sterlin, for example, it was as if we’d known each other for years. We just had so much in common: both bookworms, both nerds, both yearning for a boyfriend and both in the possession of a wacky sense of humor. It was soul sisters from the first crazy conversation. More often, though, it takes me weeks, months, or years before I establsh true friendships.
And this is why I love blogging so much: you are in regular contact with a core group of people, many with whom you exchange daily or near-daily emails, comments, tweets, Facebook messages, etc. And since I’ve always been more comfortable with the written versus the spoken word, this situation suits me just fine.
It’s also why I was so delighted the first time I spoke with Kim, my cohost in these monthly SOS Kitchen Challenge events. You’ve seen Kim’s blog, haven’t you? It’s full of creative, mouthwatering recipes that you can’t believe she made without any of the ingredients in her “restricted” lists–the list may be lengthy, but that hasn’t stopped Kim from cooking up Grain Free Double Chocolate Cookies, Jicama Collard Slaw with Creamy Dressing, Cashew Pumpkinseed “Cheese,” Cherry Berry Chocolate Layer Cake, or Smoky Dandelion Greens with Spinach and Pine Nuts.
Yes, Kim is a force to be reckoned with! Her bubbly optimism and consistent good nature come across in every blog post. And the first time we spoke on the phone, I felt as if I were talking to a dear friend, or my old roomie from college, or my younger cousin. We chatted easily for almost an hour, sharing information, ideas, food stories, health tips, anecdotes, our blog vision, and more. When we began to plan the SOS Challenge as a joint venture, I knew we were on the same wavelength and didn’t hesitate to jump right in.
Given our similar diets and our affinity for many of the same foods, it made perfect sense that Kim and I would come up with matching recipes as our “savory” installments this month–without having discussed it first! Kim recently posted her adzuki dip and today I’m adding this adzuki sandwich spread to the list. Yes, the recipes are a little different from each other (mine is a bit thicker, and Kim’s adds a bit more spice), but otherwise they appear to be two sides of the same bean.
Just remember, though, that’s only the appearance of things. The reality is that each recipe offers a protein-packed, nutrient-dense and delectable spread for appetizers, sandwiches or wraps. In other words, you should try them both out!
And also. . . .
New Recipe on the DDD Facebook Page!
As I’ve mentioned before, I will occasionally post recipes (as “Notes”) on the Diet, Dessert and Dogs Facebook page. These are often really quick recipes that would otherwise be lost if I waited to write up an entire blog post about them–so I just add a brief note to the fan page and you can access them there. A few days ago, I added this quick and easy soup for a fast and delicious weeknight dinner. The HH and I both loved this Squash and Pecan Soup.
And now, on to the adzuki spread!
Easy Adzuki Sandwich Spread or Savory Filling (ACD Stage 2 and beyond)–adapted from On the Road to Vegetarian Cooking by Anne Lukin
Diet, Dessert and Dogs (http://rickiheller.com)
1 cup (240 ml) cooked adzuki beans
2 Tbsp (30 ml) water or vegetable broth or stock
1 Tbsp (15 ml) miso or tahini (I used miso)
1 small clove garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp (45 ml) sesame seeds (I used a mix of white and black)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) Bragg’s liquid aminos, tamari or soy sauce (use Bragg’s for ACD)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
1 tsp (5 ml) toasted sesame oil
2 green onions, chopped
Place all ingredients except for green onions in the bowl of a food processor and mix until smooth. Add the green onion and pulse just until combined. Store, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. Makes about 1-1/4 cups (300 ml).
Last Year at this Time: “Cheese” Filled, Gluten Free Olive and Onion Bread
Two Years Ago: blog break. . .
Three Years Ago: Ths Iz Not a Blg Entree (Elsie shows her genius at the computer).
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