Saturday, June 26, 2010

Protest Fuel

When I started this blog during March break, I had said to myself that I would try to keep it just about food. No focus on work, or school or politics or anything else. It would be about food. It would be fun and engaging and a good way for me to learn more about cooking, mixing flavours, and experimenting in the kitchen in general. And it has. I've had so much fun taking photos: arranging books in the background, running out onto the balcony to catch that last glimpse of natural sunlight, taking a bite before taking the picture, getting up close and personal with the food. Yes, fun and engaging it has definitely been. But you know, sometimes, you can't keep politics out of anything, and you know what? It can be a good thing.

It's like when we were told to keep politics out of the classroom. Impossible. Impossible, when you have students who read papers in different languages from around the world and come to school wanting to discuss their discontent with world leaders. Impossible when they see violence in their own backyards and need a way to vent and cope. Impossible when they're seeing money being used to cater a school function and they have to work with broken pencils and ripped up textbooks, and when they have to pay large amounts of money to go on field trips. Impossible, when they hear about money going into education, but have to drink expired milk because that's what our nutrition program can afford. Impossible, when they are kept inside for 3 days in a row because the school board is afraid that they'll see a protest for social and environmental justice in their neighbourhood park and actually want to join in. But that's a good thing. I smile inside when I realize that the students I teach are 100 times more aware about the world then I was at their age. It makes me believe that they are going to grow up and continue the fight to change the world and make it better.

I was never good at discussing theories of politics with fancy words. I was never really a good academic. I made it through my university years by listening and reading, and trying as best as I could to develop informed opinions about the world. But I was never really good at arguing about it. Let's face it. I'm not going to be one of those super-smart people that will contribute to ground-breaking theories, or who will do research that no one has dared to do before, or who will somehow write something that will change the face of who we view knowledge. That's not me -- though I admire with all my might those who I know will do so (yeah, gigglejuice, I'm talking to YOU :). That being said, I think that contributing to a common goal is something I can still participate in. What does that mean to me? Actually discussing the G20 with students, when everyone else brushes it off. Telling them about the real reason they are stuck inside the school for lunch and recess when everyone else just says "that's the way it has to be." And participating in the organized demonstration to show the powers of the world that education and human rights and environmental protection and all the other issues that are always swept to the back of the room need to be addressed. Taking part in a movement because, no we don't really expect them to engage in respectful dialogue with us, we just want to keep the movement alive because sometimes, that's a victory in itself.

So what does any good protest-goer need? A banner, a group of friends to stick with, smart protest gear, and nutritious snacks. Enter: Peanut butter cocoa granola and oatmeal honey thyme biscuits. Ok, so this post isn't all that focused on food .. oh well. Sometimes, fun stuff needs to take a back seat. Here are the recipes.

Peanut-butter-cocoa-KEEP EDUCATION PUBLIC-Granola

basic measurements from Everybody Likes Sandwiches: hearty, wholesome, crisp and great for sharing under an awning as the police rush by

2 cups of oats
2 tablespoons of good quality cocoa powder
1/4 cup of whole almonds
3/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1.5 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of maple syrup

1. Combine the oats, cocoa powder and almonds in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat the peanut butter, honey and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat just until everything gets melt-y and combined. Pour over the oat mixture. Add the applesauce and stir to combine.

3. Spread the mixture out onto a cookie sheet. Using a spatula, break it up into little clumps. Bake in a 300 degree oven, turning twice, for about 30 minutes or until the granola gets nice and crisp.

4. Cool overnight and store in a ziplock bag to share with your activist friends.

Oatmeal-honey-thyme-NO BLOOD FOR OIL-biscuits
basic measurements from Bread and Honey: lightly sweet, lovely thyme flavour, nutty, wholesome, butter-free and a great pick-me-up when the protest gets to be anti-climactic

1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
a pinch of salt
1.5 tablespoons of canola oil
2.5 tablespoons of honey
5 sprigs of thyme
1/4 cup of skim milk
1/4 cup of plain yogurt

1. Sift the flours, baking soda and powder together in a large bowl. Add the oatmeal and salt and mix to combine.

2. Add the thyme, oil, honey, milk and yogurt and stir gently until just combine. Don't over mix!

3. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a cookie sheet and bake in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the biscuits get golden brown and fragrant. Makes about 9 little biscuits.


  1. This is what democracy looks like... great pics. Thanks for the nourishing protest snacks... definitely a bright spot that day : )

  2. whose streets? our streets! :)