Thursday, April 20, 2017

Rites of Spring and Dark Chocolate Bean Cake

   I've been busy with spring cleaning, touching up the walls with paint to cover dirty hand, and even footprints, and discovering what was under the bed all this time. It's work for a hearty and patient soul, especially if you don't have any daughters to help with the task. I get through it with humor. 

   At the same time, Little Mister has caught fishing fever. Oh, it is bad, and if Dad isn't available to take him, well maybe Mom can bait the hooks and hold the rod. One morning, I dutifully got the equipment and drove us over to the state park, fully prepared to stand on the dock and have my bait repeatedly stolen. Never has one of our mother-son fishing attempts netted even a single sardine. Wouldn't you know, that was all about to change? I ended up reeling in a decent sized pickerel that flopped all over the dock while I got up the nerve to grab it and get hook out of its mouth. Then I was faced with the added complication that I didn't bother to bring a bucket or any container to put the fish. I walked towards the parking lot grasping a lively and squirming fish in both hands, seeking a plastic bag from the courtesy trash bag station. A bewildered man in his truck looked up and beheld the unusual scene before he quickly looked down again and went back to playing with his phone. I almost didn't blame him. Who would want to get involved with this? Maybe he stopped what he was doing once and got involved with some crazy woman carrying around a live fish and it went badly for all involved. I chose to extend charity.

   The Mister brought home an old metal row boat with wooden oars from his dad's farm. There was a lot of excitement over this humble little boat. I heard about it repeatedly, even when I was in the shower. 
Knock knock knock, at the bathroom door. Oh no, what's wrong! 
"Moooommm!!!! MOM!"
"What IS it?"
"Did you know Dad said we could keep the boat all summer?"
Ah, annoyance mixed with relief. But wait, there's more.
"Mom! I'm hungry!"
"Mom!"
"Mom, it's not actually nice to say 'Go away!'" 

   You know I will be asking for my famous uninterrupted shower Mother's Day gift again.

   I was casually browsing an article that had ideas on how to get children to eat healthier foods. It had a lot of the same popular ideas most of us have already heard, such as having your child help grow vegetables in the garden which, as the theory goes, would make them want to eat what they grew. Now, I'm fortunate that Little Mister isn't a terribly picky eater, but like most children, he does have his limits. He also loves to grow summer squash, eggplant, and spinach, all for the novelty of doing so. He's great at harvesting them so they will feed other people. When I started seeing recipes for chocolate desserts that featured beans instead of flour, I thought it would be fun to see if that would really work. 

It does: "This is good. Very good!" -Little Mister, age 5

The icing is up to you.




Dark Chocolate Bean Cake

1 can white or northern kidney beans, mashed by hand or ground in a food processor
6 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. concentrated stevia powder, OR stevia-based sweetener equivalent to 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey

Blend all ingredients well in a mixer, then add:

1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Blend well and pour into a prepared 9x13 inch pan. The batter will be very thin, and at this point you will wonder, do I need flour? No, no you do not. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. 



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