Earlier this week, I was still recovering from the swine flu but dragged myself to my office only to find it had been cleaned out. Feeling nauseous anyway, I sat down in my boss’ office and numbly listened to her words. So sorry…it’s the economy…you did a great job…no funding for your position…blah blah blah. Huh? did my job just dump me with the “it’s not you, it’s me” break-up speech?
So instead of a morning of dull research and nursing a cup of tea wondering if I was well enough to be in the office that day, I was packing a box of my personal items and officially joined the 9.6% of the New York City population counted as unemployed. The rest of the day was kind-of a blur. I recall a tremendous outpouring of support and suggestions. Friends sent job postings and made suggestions for networking opportunities. My boyfriend came home early from work to find me in his sunny kitchen hammering away on my laptop looking for job leads.
What a way to start the New Year! Soon the anxiety soon began to creep in. How long can I afford my rent? Where will I live? Just the day before I was planning a trip to Tucson to see my sister and her new baby due this fall. Can I afford it now? My boyfriend and I had been planning on going to Sukkahfest – is that the best use of my (now much more) limited resources?
That and so many more questions were swirling around in my head. But I found myself in my comfort zone, my (boyfriend’s) kitchen and hungry for dinner. Since I had been sick we were pretty low on groceries, but there were enough odds and ends to pull together some pasta, a basil-kale-chicken stock-raw cashew pesto (with a clove of fresh garlic, it was incredible). But the real comfort food were the black bean brownies.
I had first tasted a friend’s black bean brownies at a Shabbat pot-luck. I asked for the recipe but she brushed me off saying I only needed to Google for a recipe. A few weeks later I found myself cooking for a crowd, which included vegans, so I attempted the friend’s sage advice and found this recipe for vegan black bean brownies. I baked the brownies in greased muffin tins and what came out were soft and chewy delicious chocolaty goodness. I tried them again a week later, but forgot the oats. Bad idea – they need the gluten in the oats to stick together.
So the other night, even though I was feeling shocked, scared, anxious, happy, sad and all sorts of other emotions, a warm batch of these chewy chocolate delights (with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream) and sitting on the couch with my boyfriend made everything just a little bit better.