A few things have changed. Now I eat mango on top of my cornmeal pancakes instead of berries. In Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, homemade almond-cashew butter always went on underneath. I arrived in Brazil with two jars of Brooklyn Larder almond butter to get the job done. They were gone within two weeks. So the immediate challenge in Brazil was not the language, not housing, not getting around, but what to do without almond butter. Simply not an option.
There happened to be a blender in the farmhouse, so I decided that I was gonna just have to make do with almond sprinkles—I wish now that I had called it almond pixie dust. So pixie dust it was. I roasted the almonds and we made dust inside as the dust flew around outside.
When it was time for the next batch I put a small amount of almonds in the bottom of the blender. Part of me said, “There is a little swirly knife in the bottom—why can’t I have almond butter god dammit?” But nothing. From dust you began and to dust you shall return. So I added the rest of the almonds and resigned myself to almond pixie dust.
And then a wonky noise like someone talking underwater happened and I thought, “I’m gonna burn this damn blender’s motor out! I thought about switching it off but then Mr. Blender regained his footing and I peered in the top and saw that a small miracle had happened: Almond Butter.
I suppose at breaking point, if I move through it, transformations take place and something delicious can happen.