Monday, September 21, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake


In 2002 I went to San Francisco by myself to attend Ladyfest Bay Area. I'd been to the first ever Ladyfest in Olympia Washington two years earlier and had no much fun that I was eager to recreate the experience. It didn't occur to me that going to San Francisco might be a totally different experience than going to Olympia. In Olympia, for instance, almost every person you saw was there for Ladyfest. Our hotel was packed with punk rock girls from all over the world, all united with the common goal of soaking up as much music as was humanly possible in the span of one long weekend. In San Francisco, I ended up in a hostel surrounded by young tourists who couldn't wait to get to Alcatraz. It made me feel freakish and alone. Of course, it didn't help that I'd arrived two days before the festival actually began. I didn't have a hope of meeting some like-minded ladies until 48 hours into my vacation. And when you are bummed out, far from home, and sleeping in a room full of loud Australian girls, 48 hours can seem like a really long time.

I had two comforting experiences in those 48 hours that made me think that maybe the trip would be all right after all. First, I went to City Lights Books. Then I had a vegan chocolate peanut butter shake at a small cafe nearby. The visit to the bookstore was life-altering, mind blowing, and heart wrenching, just like I thought it would be. The chocolate peanut butter shake was simple, comforting, and satisfying. I remember them both fondly. I can't instantly transport myself back to City Lights, but I can certainly recreate what I consumed while I read the books I'd bought there. I don't know why it's taken me so long to do it.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake

1 frozen banana
1 heaping tbsp of peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
3/4 cup vanilla soy or almond milk

Blend it!

Makes one shake.

Some Notes:

-This recipe is easy and surprisingly healthy, considering how junky and delicious it tastes. I didn't add any sweeteners because I find that the bananas are sweet enough. I'd recommend making it and tasting it prior to adding any extra sweetener because I really don't think it needs it unless you are one of those people who likes her food to be face-bendingly sweet.

-Weirdly, when I was feeling freakish and alone in the San Francisco hostel, I was just around the corner from the Man of Science! He was living in San Francisco at the time and his apartment was in the same sketchy Tenderloin neighbourhood where my hostel was. Too bad we didn't actually meet until 2007 in the less exciting neighbourhoods of Ottawa.

-I didn't end up needing soy shakes for comfort for long. As soon as the festival started I met a bunch of girls and ended up hanging out with three of them for the rest of my trip. We saw tons of great rock shows (The Gossip, The Bangs, Tribe 8...), ate burritos, shopped for records, and went to see the dreadlocked, punky-looking strippers at the first unionized strip club in the USA. It was a great trip.



T said...

Mmm, my roomates and I used to call this a "chocolate elvis."

Traveling by yourself can be terrifying and exuberating, I'm learning all the time. Sounds like it ended up being a good memory though! <<<3 the gossip!

The Voracious Vegan said...

Other than the first 2 days which were a bit of a bummer, your trip sounds AMAZING! I love reminiscing with food and this shake looks like just the thing to jog your memory! Just looked at the website for City Lights bookstore and I am SO wishing I could be there right now....there aren't any bookstores here AT ALL so I have to do all my book shopping on amazon and it is definitely NOT as fulfilling as being surrounded by shelves and shelves of glorious books. And can anything beat the smell of a bookstore? Well, other than a chocolate peanut butter shake!?!

Tara said...

I went to San Francisco by myself in 2002 as well, but I didn't go to a cool music festival. That shake looks so simple and amazing! I immediately went to the freezer to see if I had any frozen bananas, but alas, I do not.

A said...

Oh I love these!! I get one at the smoothie bar at my gym that is similar! They can even make it vegan for me (with soy milk). It really is life-altering, mind blowing, and heart wrenching!!! :D

Hilary said...

Oh, yes. That looks so good. And healthy to boot.

I was reading your other blog the other day when I realized from the references to Aylmer and The Black Sheep Inn that you're in Ottawa (I don't know why I thought you lived in Vancouver? I think you LOOK like you live in Van :) Anyway, I'm from Ottawa! I'm headed home for a long overdue trip on Friday. Can't wait.

J. said...

T: Chocolate Elvis! Awesome!

VV:When I was little and lived in Riyadh my family lamented the lack of bookstores too! We would stock up like crazy whenever we travelled and I think I read everything the compound library had!

Hilary: Ottawa! Who knew! One more random thing we had in common. Are you in town for a while? Perhaps we could meet for tea and baked goods.


HayMarket8 said...

That is such a cool picture of your chocolate shake! How fun!

Cindy said...

I am officially obsessed; I've been drinking these for breakfast almost daily this last week. Thanks for posting the recipe. :-)