In between the raindrops on the rhododendrons and the barely-open lilac buds,
in between the anguished news out of Boston and the tunes out of Nashville,
in between the lighting of the altar candle
and the choosing of a pen for journaling,
in between the conversation with a sister who had a rough night
and the stack of bills waiting to be paid,
in between the memory of grief and the expectation of more to come,
in between the shuffling of the cards and the tea kettle ready to boil . . .
There is the wooden board and the glass bowls,
the chopping of the dates and cashews,
the tart taste of cherries and the purity of dark chocolate.
There is the considering of hazelnuts as the source of all wisdom,
the stickiness of the hands, and the washing up afterwards.
The glistening soap bubbles, the ragged sponge,
the warmth of the water, the quiet hush.
There is the window opened just a crack, and the robin’s song wafting in.
There is this here and now.
And there is chocolate.
Recipe: Cherry Chocolate Cashew Bars
I love cherry chocolate Larabars, but I’m allergic to almonds, so I decided to make my own. I think you could probably use any combination of nuts and dried fruits you like. I use all organic ingredients, and raw nuts instead of roasted ones. The ingredients are expensive but one Larabar costs about $2, so I think it’s worth it. I love having one or two of these in my purse when I’m out and about. Then I know I’ll always have something on hand to eat that is yummy and allergy-free.
You will need:
- About a cup of raw cashews
- 8-10 Medjool dates, pitted
- About a half cup, more or less, of dried cherries
- A generous handful of dark chocolate chips (I bought organic, vegan ones as I’m allergic to dairy)
- About a third to a half cup of hazelnuts (or pecans, or walnuts, or …)
- Sea salt to taste (optional)
You can either chop and mix by hand, or use a food processor.
First chop the cashews finely, but don’t process them into powder.
Chop the dates and add them in until a paste begins to form.
Add in the chopped cherries, then the chocolate and the hazelnuts.
Add a little salt to taste.
Add a little water if it’s not sticking together, but not too much.
Roll the mixture into small balls or pat it into a layer and cut into bars.
Wrap in waxed paper and store in a jar or bag in your fridge or freezer.