One of the downsides of being an over-achieving perfectionist is that when you come across something you can’t do, you tend not to cope very well. And I don’t mean “can’t do” in the sense of not being the best (although that itself is hard enough to deal with). No, when I say “can’t do”, I mean actually failing at something, despite repeated attempts to achieve/overcome/master it.
Like the time I took a scuba diving class as a teenager and, instead of teaching me the basics in a wading pool as is general scuba diving protocol, the teacher took me straight out into the ocean.
I don’t want to talk about it.
I don’t want to talk about it.
Suffice to say that, folowing that experience, I decided that I hated water and refused to go swimming for many, many years. Yes, I truly was that upset about not being good at something. (It’s a wonder I didn’t immediately burn my swimmers in a wild moon-dance sacrifice of fire. I would’ve built the fire with the sticks of humiliation.)
Several years ago, I bought chia seeds for the sole purpose of making chia puddings. Three days in a row, I mixed the chia with various amounts of non-dairy milk and sweetener, and three days in a row, the little blighters failed to soak up anything at all.
Even after twelve hours, I had naught but bowls of soy milk within which bobbed crunchy black dots. So, being a good little perfectionist, I cut all thoughts of chia pudding out of my life and dedicated myself to a life of chia in only-smoothies and only-hot-oatmeal. Much better to reject all puddings than have them keep rejecting me.
It worked! The chia seeds thickened up in the soy milk to create a proper pudding, and the richness of cocoa, the sweetness of maple syrup, and the crunch of raw cacao nibs made for a wonderful dessert while watching the Australian Open The West Wing.
Take that, life. I win.
Chocolate Chia Pudding
Adapted slightly from this chia pudding recipe
Serves 1-2, depending on appetite and level of victorious pride
- 1 cup soy milk
- 2-3 tsps cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- generous dash of cinnamon and, if you like spices, a pinch of cardamom and ground ginger
- 2 tb (or 3 tb if you’re using American measurements) chia seeds
- sweetener to taste, such as maple syrup, agave, or stevia
- cacao nibs, to garnish
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy milk, cocoa powder, vanilla, and spices until no lumps remain.
- Stir in the chia seeds and sweetener, then pop in the fridge for a few hours, stirring occasionally if you’re around. If not (I wasn’t), you’ll simply need to do some vigorous stirring at the end to blend up the very-firm chia seed mixture at the bottom of the bowl with the less-firm cocoa milk on top.
- Garnish with cacao nibs and eat with delight, glorying in the fact that you’ve conquered chia pudding but remain dedicated to never putting on a wetsuit again.
- Stupid ocean.
Question Time: What feats are you proud to have achieved the second or third time around? Do you have any chia pudding recipes for me to try?
I’m submitting this to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend.