nanaimo recipe

Hello, readers.

Here is a somewhat vegan, totally gluten-free, not too sweet variation on a canadian classic1 called, NANAIMO BARS, what I concocted with the help and suggestions of a friendly Canadian lady person.

Nanaimo bars being a three-layered stack of delicious equal parts crumbly, creamy, and chocolatey.


a recipe for nanaimo


LAYER 1: the crumbly bottom


1 egg

~230g butter/coconut butter2

90g cocoa powder3

250g oat biscuits

200g shredded coconut

100g chopped nuts

  1. Heat the fat in a pan with the cocoa. Melt.
  2. Remove from the heat.
  3. Slowly beat the egg into the cocoa/fat mixture. Place back on stove. Cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Remove from heat. Mix in the crumbs/coconut/nuts mixture (one could add dried fruit if one wanted).
  5. Press into pan what lined with parchment paper and greased.


LAYER 2: the creamy, sweet middle


2–5tbsp almond butter (instead of custard)4
180g–230g fat
some amount of maple syrup as sweetener

  1. Cream everything together into a creamy thing.
  2. Spread on top of the chilled crumbly layer.
  3. Chill for another 30 minutes to an hour.

IMG_3601 IMG_3607

LAYER 3: the chocolatey top


4 oz dark chocolate
~1/2–1 tbsp fat

  1. Heat the fat in a double boiler with the chocolate. Melt.
  2. Remove from the heat.
  3. Top the middle layer
  4. Chill.
  5. For at least half an hour.
  6. Eat.


Happy fooding, readers.



  1. Note: I halved all of these ingredients except for, well, the egg, which I didn’t. Also. You could make this totally vegan by substituting some egg-replacement and using vegan butter or just going full-on with the coconut oil/butter []
  2. As noted above, feel free to substitute more coconut butter/oil for the butter and see how it goes []
  3. Totally used carob powder cause had it on hand []
  4. A lot of nanaimo recipes call for whole milk, or cream, plus some custard to thicken it all up. I went straight for something already thick and creamy. []

why are there so many clowns here

Hello, readers.

I’m writing this on a particularly cold and grey Tuesday afternoon in London. Over against the exposed brick wall, cloaked in dim light, two men–one young, dark of head, dressed all in black and one older, silver of head, dressed all in flannel–discuss things over a glistening computer screen the way one supposes that on the dark afternoons of some other century, people discussed things over candlelight. Across from me, a woman eats her coffee with a spoon. I’ve heard of this but have never chanced to witness it. Oh! There she goes again. Mug held up like a bowl. Spoon scooped through and up, then slipped between her lips. People. Fascinating creatures.

Of late, there has been much talk in our flat–and in pubs, and restaurants, and the occasional cafe on some dark afternoon–about how, over time, I might experience many more Tuesdays in London without having to resort to hiding with the toshers. We’ll work it out, I’m sure. It’s simply a matter of time and effort. Applying for a visa does have the unintended effect, though, of making one feel like a criminal. Possibly, that’s silly. It’s very possible, after all, that this effect is not at all unintentional.

Recently, a small gathering of lovely people gathered at our flat to eat a ridiculous amount of food and discuss important things such as clowns. This was a past Friday evening. It wasn’t December yet. Nor was it particularly cold. Nor were there women eating their coffee with spoons. It was a different time. A simpler time, in which friends appeared with wine and dressing and brownies and corn bread and quinoa salads and sushi. Yes. Sushi. People. Fascinating creatures.

We sat around the living room, on couch and chair and floor. We ate and we discussed. Old friends and new. All together, and in our own, smaller clumps of conversation. We learned things about each other and about the world. Among other things, some of those things we learned were:

  1. As mentioned, clown eggs. Apparently, it was, possible is, traditional, in order to make sure no two clowns stole the face of another, for one to visit the room filled with clown eggs and compare and design one’s own face and place it upon a egg such that future clowns will see all of the old eggs, as well as your egg, and no two eggs will be the same. This particular slice of the conversation began with one member of our group describing their travels through London and spying a great many clowns filing out of a building and he wondered, ‘Why are there so many clowns here?’
  2. In Japan, this sort of thing happens. This sort of thing being ‘radio taiso’. ‘Radio taiso’ being the sort of thing where people wake up really early and gather together, in body or spirit, turn on the radio, and exercise.
  3. Shipping. Some people did not know what it meant to ship people together. Some of these people will never again hear the shipping news in quite the same way again.

Happy Tuesday, readers.