The thing you're doing right now that seems so terribly important
Instead, please stop and give someone you love a big hug. Call a friend and tell them his much they mean to you. Put a note in the mail to remind your parents they're good ones. Tell your sweet husband how glad you are to be a We.
Life is so .. very .. short
A month has passed, since a fun lunch with a great group of Iowa food bloggers. Over the past year I've loved following them from afar, seeing their faces in pictures, reading about vacations, weddings, children, families, projects around their house, and (of course) what they've been eating for dinner.
Admittedly, meeting someone in person after you've been a follower of their blog, and they of yours, is initially a terribly odd exchange. There's always a pause, followed by a moment or two or reconciling all of the things we already know about each other against the person standing in front of us.
She's taller than I imagined. That's what her voice sounds like. There's that great sense of humor; it always shines through in her writing. She carries herself in such a beautiful way.
We spent a few hours getting to know each other, often touching on the parts of ourselves we don't write about online. I got to hear more about their kids, careers, favorite cookbooks, their journey to Iowa, and why they started blogging. I couldn't help but think; it's not often that you sit with a group of people who truly share similar interests.
Our husbands laughed as they compared notes. Wait(!) you too? I thought I was the only one who stared into the fridge asking, “Honey, are we good to eat anything in here? You've taken pictures of everything you want to, right? “
Us? Such topics as how to find time to blog when you have a full-time career or are at home caring for little ones all day. One of my favorites? Lighting, especially in the short days of winter. “Oh my gosh, you too!? If it's a sunny day, I run home from work at lunchtime to take pictures of tonight's dinner.”
We hugged as we parted ways that afternoon, many of us came strangers, and left friends. Though our relationships would again fall back into the virtual realm, we promised to meet again soon. Next time, our group picture will hopefully include flip-flops instead of snow boots.
Sadly, one of us won't be able to attend, passing away this morning in a car accident on an icy Iowa highway. Her name, Amy Elizabeth Hild. She was 27 years old, with a dog named Patches, and engaged to be married in May
Her blog – Modern Rural Living.
I wish I'd had a chance to know her better in person. Another reminder about how easily we forget how precious our lives are
“Seize the day. What’s important to you? What do you really care about? Pursue that, forget the rest” ~ Brittany Maynard
That afternoon she tucked away her a small container of chocolate cupcakes, gave a big smile and a wave as she headed out the door. They looked and smelled heavenly.
I offer my version, a gluten-free chocolate avocado cake that's incredibly moist and fudge-like. Naturally sweetened, and also quite dense. A little will take you a long way.
A note about taste. Let the cupcakes (or cake) cool completely before serving. When it's warm, it pulls the familiar flavor of avocados. After it has cooled, the taste will have dissipated
ps: A few other articles about Amy; they're so beautifully written
Amy Hild remembered for her enthusiasm and kindness by The Globe Gazette
A Beautiful Spirit, by Beth Ann at Its Just Life
Remembering Amy, by Donna Hup at donnahup.com (her beautiful post includes links to many other tributes)
~ Adapted from Vegetarian Times
Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp fine grain sea salt
- 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
- 1 cup maple syrup
- ¾ cup almond milk (or any other nut milk)
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Glaze (optional)
- ¼ block soft silken tofu (from 14-oz. container), drained and patted dry
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ⅛ tsp fine grain sea salt
- 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
- Preheat oven to 350° F and prepare the muffin pan
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until combined.
- Add the avocado to the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth.
- Add the maple syrup, nut milk, oil, and vanilla. Blend until creamy.
- Add the avocado mix to the bowl with the flour mix and stir to combine.
- Spoon batter into prepared cupcake cups. Bake 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with some crumbs attached.
- To the bowl of the food processor add the tofu, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt. Process until smooth
- Add chocolate to tofu mixture and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
- Dip tops of cupcakes into the glaze, pulling them straight up from the glaze to form peaks