Since I started blogging in 2007 (does that makes me a veteran blogger?) I have come across some truly awful blogs. Blogs whose content is so explicit it makes my toes curl. Blogs that are written so incredibly badly I wish I could find the delete button and put everyone out of the misery.
But the beauty of blogging is that some days you come across brilliant blogs. You hear a fresh, talented voice and it makes your heart sing. I can’t get enough of blogs like that. I sometimes turn into a comments box stalker and read all the back posts, leaving a comment on each one. I imagine the poor besieged blogger rolling their eyes and thinking, ‘God it’s Pig in the Kitchen again leaving smiley comments with lots of exclamation marks’. It’s the truly excellent blogs that make me love blogging and keep me coming back for more.
I can’t remember when I stumbled across Iota’s blog. I do remember reading this post about the differences between American and English enthusiasm levels, and chuckling. She’s a Brit living in the States and she blogs about life, like so many bloggers do. Her writing is witty and intelligent and always a joy to read.
Now I’m a fairly rubbish reader of other blogs and weeks can go by before I get around to visiting. I remember vividly the day when I thought,
‘I know, I’ll pop over and visit Iota I haven't been for ages’.
I remember feeling in a bright mood, ready to leave a faintly silly comment on her blog. What I read brought me up short and brought tears to my eyes, because in the weeks when I had been immersed in my own, carefree life, she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She then went on to take the brave decision to have a double mastectomy to prevent it recurring. And in her unique, Iota Manhattan way, she decided to have a farewell party for her boobs, complete with cake. She has blogged about the whole process, movingly, funnily, breezily, honestly. I think she is remarkable.
I haven’t created this recipe for her in a schmaltzy, feel-the-love, fluffy blogger kind of a way, but because she asked me if I knew of any good, sugar-free recipes. Since her cancer she has revolutionised her diet and in particular is cutting out sugar. She handed me the challenge and after months of not getting around to it (such a good blogging friend), it turned out to be quite easy.
I will leave you with part of what she wrote on December 31st, 2009. I’m hoping 2010 will be 1000% better for her,
‘This year, I’ve faced things I didn’t plan to face just yet. I’ve looked into the jaws of my own mortality, and squared up with two things: how insignificant my life is, and how significant my life is. Both are burdensome truths. I’ve found that the best strategy to deal with them is to look them straight in the eyes, but not for long, and then turn away to get on with the fabulous reality of daily life’.
For you, Iota. Go wild!
Sugar Free Chocolate Brownies for Iota Manhattan
Iota and I both enjoyed this recipe, but alas, only some of our kids did. Well, none of hers liked it and only 2 of mine would eat it. We concluded that they are so completely addicted to refined sugar, this didn't even register on their taste buds as sweet. This would be a good one for toddlers though wouldn't it? Get in there with the healthy stuff for as long as you can before they have their first sugar rush and never look back.
For filling and topping:
90g dried prunes
90g dried apricots
3 medium bananas
100-150ml apple juice
3tbsps rice milk/milk
3 tbsps cocoa powder
For GF with Eggs:
110g dairy free spread
2 tbsps honey/agave nectar/maple syrup (more if you wish)
For egg free, dairy free, gluten free:
For wheat flour & egg free
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