As I write this, World AIDS Week has begun. I have dual citizenship with Guelph and Kitchener Waterloo AUDS Service Organizations respectively, so there are a lot of activities for me to be involved in. One of the those I really enjoy doing and look forward to is getting out and doing public speaking.
As I tell my story it changes all the time depending on what I remember to say. Then when I sit down after, I think, ‘damn, I meant to talk about this or that’. Sometimes when I think this might happen, I finish up sooner than planned and ask, “any questions?”
This week we went to a church in Waterloo, Ontario to speak to about 25 mostly elderly folks. Prior to speaking they had one of their own share a story she found about what ended up a sero-discordant family. She didn’t use the terminology but it was refreshing to know they have HIV on their radar. They also have an annual fundraising campaign to raise money for AIDS in Africa.
When we finished telling our stories we opened it up for questions and they came up with some good ones. There were things we talked about that came as a surprise to them. Much of the language they used spoke of AIDS. I told them that we don’t see many AIDS cases here in Canada. I told them we are fighting HIV and the stigma that comes with it. I was able to give some of the stats given in the article written byCATIE's Laurie Edmiston. I was able to talk about PrEP, and a little about being undetectable and how difficult it would be for me to transmit the disease.
For the last couple of years when I’ve listened to local politicians speak at World AIDS Day vigils, they can’t seem to get those three letters, H I V to come out of their mouths. Over and over they just talk about AIDS even after hearing people living with HIV talk about living with HIV. Each time I mention it to the staff at the AIDS Service Organization that it offends me when they talk like that, so they will contact them and educate them as to what we are doing. But as soon as we bring them up to date they get voted out in the next election and we start over. It's like there is a competition to be the most ignorant and uneducated representative.
So on to the perks. When we ended our part of the afternoon’s event, we were presented with gifts from the church group. I got the usual card of thanks but I also received a gift bag.
I waited until I was in the car to look at what was inside; to my surprise it was a large Mason jar filled with the ingredients to make Chewy Brownies. I’m not much of a baker but I looked at the instructions and it looked easy enough, but I would have to wait a few days to make them.
Its Friday night as I write this, and as usual, I am home doing laundry and social media. I thought it would be a perfect time to make these chewy chocolate wonders and enjoy a couple of them with a cup of coffee. They turned out so well I have to share the recipe with you. Spoil yourself.
The recipe: Chewy Brownies
1 2/3 cups of white sugar 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder ¾ cup cocoa
¼ tsp of salt ½ tsp of baking soda
¾ cup of melted butter 2 tbsp of vanilla extract
2 tbsp of water (I used milk) 2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 F, Grease a 13 X 9 baking pan
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and stir. Cream together melted butter, eggs, vanilla and water (I used milk); add to dry mix and stir well. Spread into prepared baking pan. Bake 18 to 25 minutes or until wood toothpick inserted into centre comes out slightly sticky. Let completely cool in the pan. Dust with powdered sugar and ENJOY.