Cheers to the furrows on our brow
To each hard won victory
Cheers to the losses that grew us up
Killed our pride and filled our cup...
Cheers to the friendships well worn in
That time nor distance alter
Here's to the sleepers we'll see again
Fine company in memoriam...
Cheers to the passing of our youth
And the death of lust not wonder
A toast to the lessons not yet learned
And to the trials that will teach them...
Open your mouth and sing out your song
Life is short as the day is long
I can't leave you my body but I'll leave you a tune
This is my legacy
Cheers to you
(Brooke Fraser - Here's to You)
The other week we had a gathering with some of our oldest and dearest friends, in a place we used to live (Auckland).
It was nothing special. We didn't dress the house up, light any candles, slow cook a leg of lamb for 12 hours or send invitations. I certainly didn't wear my grandma's pearls.
It was informal and "unimpressive". And by that i don't mean it was lame, because it was frickin' awesome.
Happily chaotic. That's what it was.
People arrived in their own good time, bringing themselves or something to contribute to the meal of the evening (oven-baked nachos), kids in tow, if they had any. There were embraces and bubbling conversations and relaxed silences. There were friends seated on couches, deep in conversation; there were friends milling in the kitchen, tossing banter around without offence. Kids careered around, giggling and wreaking havoc and inspiring joyful laughter in onlookers.
I looked around this gathering and I felt a warm glow. I felt a sense of home. Peace. Acceptance. Love.
I felt appreciation for these people.
Not all our closest and dearest were present. Not even most. But these are some of our oldest friends, and I felt a deep appreciation for the shared stories we have.
So if you are an old friend of mine, thank you. Thank you for knowing me. Thank you for being part of my story and letting me be part of yours. Thanks for the good and bad memories. Thanks for both learning with me and teaching me things.
Here's to old friends.
Here's to you.
This is a creamy, fresh, delicious treat or snack. I keep the sugar (fruit and maple syrup) as low as possible, and I don't feel remotely bad about giving this to my 16 month old every day. In fact, when she is going through a fussy eating phase, I give her things that I know she will eat (anything with peanut butter in it, my healthy slices, low sugar bliss/protein balls, cheese, fermented oats, yoghurt...) and I'm confident that one piece of this slice is almost a square meal. It has excellent quality fats, carbohydrates, protein and micronutrients. It has some added sweetener though, so if you are feeding a child under 12 months, omit the maple syrup.
Raw Apple & Walnut Slice
GF / GF / DF / SF
Makes 12-16 pieces using a large loaf tin
For the base:
1C walnut pieces (140g)
1C dessicated coconut
1/2C dried dates (packed) (*see note in method)
1/4C sultanas (packed)
For the top:
1C cashew pieces, soaked & drained (**see note in method)
1C dessicated coconut
1 organic apple, skin on, cored & quartered
3T pure maple syrup
Juice of 1/2 a juicy lime (or lemon)
Extra walnut pieces, roughly crushed
1. **To soften cashew pieces, you have two options. Either soak in cold water for 2 hours, or in boiling/very hot water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. (*Note: if your food processor or blender is not very strong, you may wish to do this with the dates too, or use the more expensive medjool dates).
2. Place all ingredients for the base into a high powered blender or food processor and blend until a smooth consistency is reached.
3. Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Scoop the base-layer mixture into prepared loaf tin and press into the tin to create an even layer. Quickly wipe the blender clean with a paper towel.
4. Fat from the walnuts will come to the surface of the base layer. We don't want to waste that delicious flavour or healthy nutrients, so tilt the tin over the blender to pour the liquid fat back into the blender. It will be blended into the top layer.
5. Place the completed bottom layer into the freezer to set.
6. Put all ingredients to make the top into the blender and whizz until a smooth consistency is reached, stopping to push mixture down as necessary,
7. Remove loaf tin from the freezer and scoop the top-layer mixture into the tin, spreading it evenly.
8. Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, pushing them lightly into the top layer. Place in the freezer for three hours to set.
9. Keep slice at room temperature for 5 minutes before slicing with a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.