Another clown tour. Tiring rehearsals and exhausting performances. A big thrill and tremendous amount of joy.
This time, we are supported by the Swiss Embassy to perform for children around Lebanon in selected locations. We began last week and we did five days in a row following one last full day of rehearsals a day before. Our first week was in the Bekaa. Our daily trip had a breakfast stop in the morning and late lunch stop and evaluation on the way back.
Our morning stop was at a dairy shop for labneh and white cheese sandwiches while we change to our clown costumes IN THE SHOP with every person staring at what is happening. Funky colorful clothes, red noses and makeup filled the space along with music and sounds from our instruments. It was a kick of energy to start the day.
This week, our performances were in the Syrian refugees camp in the Bekaa. We performed in the schools built from plywood planks, decorated to create a cheerful ambience. We set up our “stage” in the courtyard and we start the show. Like Tinker Bell, we need applause to survive and keep going. The children’s participation, anticipation, and laughter is an appropriate feedback that we are doing a good job. And we have been doing well.
That’s for the emotional and psychological part. For the physical part, we had to buy so many bottles of water to battle the dehydration from performing for an hour or so in the sun for each show. To get an energy boost from good nutritious sources, I packed some energy balls I made and took them out right when we needed them. Made from dates, nuts, oats, and nutritious seeds, these balls where what we needed before, after, or in between the performances. They were so addictive and good yet they had no sugar, no added fats, not added flavorings. Make them ahead of time and store them in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for a longer period.
Date and Nuts Power Balls
Makes around 75 balls
- 900g ground dates
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1 tbsp golden flaxseed
- 1 tbsp brown flaxseed
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp rock salt
- 1/4 cup apple molasses (or any liquid sweetener)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup warm water
- Dissected coconuts and/or cocoa powder for rolling
- Heat the oven to 180ºc and toast the oats, almonds, and cashew, turning frequently to toast evenly until toasted then set aside to cool
- Cut the dates into cubes and place in the food processor with some warm water and apple molasses to soften them. Blend until it forms a thick paste
- In a spice grinder, pulse the seeds, flax and chia, with the salt and cinnamon until they are powdered and add them to the date mix
- Add the oats and half the nuts to the dates and pulse until combined. Add the other half and pulse to roughly chop the nuts and mix them into the dates
- Place the coconut and cocoa butter in separate bowl and set aside. Place a bowl of cold water next to you as you start rolling the mix
- Roll a ping-pong-sized ball and toss it in either coconut or cocoa powder (or both if you want) to coat. Arrange in a tray and repeat until the whole batch is done. Give yourself some energy to keep you rolling by “tasting” the outcome. Two or three balls might o the trick 😋