Vegan Chai Turtles

February 3, 2010

Its been a tough week, I tell ya.

I am sure that I’m not the only person out there that feels that way.

As modern beings, we don’t really want to admit that our progress, or ability to accomplish are impeded by our bodies, or minds, or the weather, or, ya know, stuff. If you’ve got a iPhone (and perhaps partnerships with FedEx, your favorite credit card company, and a cappuccino dispenser)  you should be able to operate with the efficiency of an independent well-oiled machine supermachine!!! GO!

But the truth is that our beings ARE impacted by outside elements. When the weather is lousy our evolutionary miracle brains think its time to hibernate. When we fight with our partners, we feel sadness and that impacts our bodies and our spirits. Getting angry at the little old lady whom should have had her drivers’ license taken away when she lost her eye sight, shouting profanities in her direction sends out an energy that can dampen spirits in the car and out. Redemption? Call these inputs what you will, in yoga we call this karma.

So, we need karma-correction. Pick me ups. We need others to raise our spirits. We need to let go of our negative energy, forgive ourselves a bit for being human. Even when we haven’t necessarily done anything SPECIFIC that warrants a backtracking, collecting good karma, optimism, the sense that we are supported and supportive in a community helps us to stay even keel when the boat starts to tip. Think of karma like a little piggy bank; when we take out of the bank, we have to replenish or else there is nothing left over for the rainy day trip to the movies, or that so-cute pair of boots that we bought on a whim.

As a collective, our culture calls this kind of “good love bank” community service. We “do community service.” Shouldn’t it just be a way of spending time? If we were always putting into the bank, wouldn’t there be more of a cushion for when life sends the rain our way? Also, “community service” lends an air that the service is being done OUTSIDE of ourselves. As if we weren’t reaping benefit. Well, my friends, I have a whole new way of defining community service today — one that I hope benefits my fellow citizens, and certainly saved my soul on this rainy Wednesday.

Vegan Chai Caramels. Yep. Its true.
I announced these puppies live over my Twitter feed last night and instantly, digital smiles lit up across the nation, across the world, and showed their faces on my (iPhone) screen. (See!!! Productivity!) “Social media network!” you might scoff. But these individuals, connected to me, are as much of a community as my neighbors are, sometimes more as we share and perpetuate good ideas, drawing together a broad broad world in small ways. Creating global community around caramel and chocolate. Isn’t that grand?!

I promised the recipe to my community, and promised myself that I would set out today to develop it. Good news for me – I still have all my creative juices flowing after feeling nearly drown by rain and the buzz of work on the computer today. Arfy. It is a small service; to myself, to spread a smile to others, and to my close neighbors whom will benefit with these little mounds of deliciousness on their doorsteps in the morning.

I think its important to do our part everyday. Some days we have more energy + intention than others to share but so long as intention is there, it seems its a cycle that will perpetuate, and keep us all moving, no matter what comes. Maybe it is “community service,” or maybe its just a lifestyle – not sure. But I DO want to know what you think of the turtles!!
AND, what’s your good deed for the day?

**Recipe notes: You can either infuse the coconut milk with the tea bags intact, or rip them open and dump the contents into the pot, straining the tea out before making the caramel. Personal preference – one less step if you steep longer and use the tea bags intact. 😀

The key to the deliciousness in these babies is to control the caramel – we want SOFT! Pulling the caramel off the heat a few minutes early is better than a few minutes too late.

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