“It is all too much…”
For three months, the world has been in various stages of shutdown due to the pandemic. Bubbling tensions of hundreds of years of injustice is rising to the surface again. People we have known and loved have died, and the only comfort we can give to the families is through virtual funerals. Our family life has been upturned by an ongoing health issue. My brother and many people we know are worried that they will lose their businesses. Relatives and friends have lost their jobs altogether. People we care about have been exposed to and/or contracted the virus. We have not seen family and friends in person for months due to travel bans. For the first time in 25 years, I am back in that stage of applying and interviewing for jobs – just as jobs have become scarcer.
The other day, one of my children made the comment that “It is all too much.” I understood what she meant. At times, life can feel overwhelming. These are situations which we have little control over so they cause much stress, worry, and anxiety. We like to be in control. We want to be able to “do” something, to fix the problems. When we can do nothing, it leaves us floundering.
So, I find myself doing all the routine things. Making my bed in the morning. Mowing the grass when it is high. Gardening. Cleaning. Cooking.
As I continue with my routines, I pray. I pray for all that I mentioned above. I pray for the people I know. I pray for the people I do not know. I pray for our state, our country, our world. I pray and ask, “Is there anything I can do at all?”
And I realize I can continue to love my children. I can lend support to my friends and strangers as I am able. I can attend social justice gatherings in my town. I can remember that every time one person takes a stand for good, others will join, and amazing things can happen.
And I can share with you my thoughts and my recipes: For those days when maybe you need a little lift, try this vegan, gluten free chocolate-chocolate chip-zucchini cake the children and I made the other day. Comfort food which you can feel good about eating.
Vegan, Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake
2 tbsp ground flax seed
6 tbsp hot water
2 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend
1 cup coconut sugar (if allergic, use golden monk fruit sweetener or truvia-sugar blend)
1/4 cup Hershey Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup plant-based oil (extra light olive oil, safflower oil, avocado oil, melted coconut oil, etc…)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup dairy free milk (oat, soy, flax, etc…)
2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 11 x 15 pan with parchment paper.
- Mix the ground flax seed with the hot water and set aside to gel, stirring every once in a while.
- Mix together the flour with the coconut sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.
- Mix the flax seed gel with the oil, vanilla, and milk. Add the grated zucchini.
- Stir in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and blend until well-mixed. Batter will be thick.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, turning halfway through. The cake will be done when it is puffed, pulling away from the sides and firm to the touch.
- Put the pan on a wire cooling rack to cool. It is delicious warm and gooey from the oven, and just as good when it is cooled.