A brilliant woman once quoted the Golden Rule when she told me ‘treat others how you wanted to be treated’. This brilliant woman, well she is my mother. And while I may have spent a large part of my teenage years ignoring her wisdom it somehow managed to manifest itself deep within my subconscious. Over the years I have come to realize that I am alarmingly more similar to my mother than I had once thought, or cared to admit. Her various advice seems to be dislodging from my subconscious at an alarmingly frightening pace and reentering my life-only this time I am more prepared to listen. However, this notion of treating others how I would like to be treated, was one of those rare gems that did manage to resonate deeply within me and continues to be something I strive towards achieving….and it is also the subject of today’s post. Bear with me as I embellish.
The Cookie Project
There is no greater a feeling than taking a bite into a chewy, oven fresh cookie. Feeling the chocolate chip melt in your mouth, savouring the flavor as it disappears into the abyss that is your rumbling stomach.
Now imagine not being able to experience this, based on the simple fact that you don’t have a home, let alone a kitchen stocked up with baking supplies. The reason you don’t have a kitchen? Because you are homeless, for whatever the reason may be, and have been for weeks, months or even years.
Being homeless doesn’t simply mean lacking a roof over your head, it means not being able to take part in the simple joys of life like a home baked cookie, or rolling out of bed into your comfy slippers to sip a cup of coffee while you read the paper.
I don’t (yet) have a sustainable and realistic solution to end both homelessness and poverty, but what I am proposing is creating a small change in your life. A change that could hopefully have a small impact on the life of someone else. I have been thinking about this ‘cookie project’ as I am calling it, for a few months now but have only recently taken this plan into action.
I started this week and for the weeks coming I will make a batch of cookies, muffins, scones and so on, wrap them up and hand them out fresh to three or four homeless individuals in my neighbourhood. While I know this is not life changing for anyone, I know that I would appreciate a home baked delivery every week. My idea is to have this happen on a larger scale, where people around Toronto, and even hopefully other cities, will take on this initiative. It takes little effort or money on your part and can be done on a weekly or monthly basis, whatever works for you. Think of it as your random act of kindness each week.
If you want to go down a healthier route than cookies, here is a muffin recipe I altered from the Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook, and used for my trial run of the cookie project. It is vegan, sugar free and made with whole grains and very little oil. The berries can be substituted for mashed bananas and walnuts (or chocolate chip cookies for those who have a giant sweet tooth like me).
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (I substitute 1/3 of Cup with Wheat Germ, you could also use flax, or almond, coconut flour etc depending on your tastes)
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 Cups unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbls oil (olive oil or whatever you have)
1 Cup mixed berries either frozen or fresh (I use a blend, but you could use only say raspberries if you like)
Mix all dry ingerdients together Mix applesauce and oil, add to dry ingredients, put in a greased muffin pan in 375 degree oven for about 15-18 min