If there’s anything I’ve learned over the years, it’s
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listen to your gut, and this past week it whispered, “Reach out, maybe it’s time.”
Three hours of highway lay ahead “Name that tune” he used to say when we were in the car, playing the first few lines of the song.
Does he know this is the same iPod with his playlists from years ago? The songs he loved. Does he know I play them when I miss him?
I wonder if his hair is long or short
Does he remember his summertime buzz-cuts in the kitchen?
Does he know it’s a greeting he gives to no one else on earth?
Lucy pressed his nose to the front door’s glass the morning I left. A few meows for good-bye
Does he know how personable our cat is, because of the hours he spent playing with him when he was little?
How long had it been since we’d last parted ways? How can nearly two years pass so quickly?
Does he know I simply want to sit with him and be in his presence and talk to him with words, if only for a few hours?
Does he know I wish I could change the past? Somehow make it different in just about every way? Though I instinctively know our journey (for reasons bigger than ourselves) was meant to be unconventional?
Does he know I tried for all those years? With everything I had
I took a deep breath as I knocked on the door
Does he know I love him, so very much?
We walked and talked that afternoon
He showed me the things in his every day that makes him happy. Their cat named Pancake, the apple tree from which he picks an afternoon snack, the beautiful flower gardens on his way to work, the path along the Mississippi river that he walks in the evenings
And one of the most beautiful trees I’ve ever stood beneath (his favorite). It’s in a forest, off the beaten path
We headed to the car, as the sun began to set. A breeze from the river was a welcome relief from the heat. “I’d like to ask, will you let me be a part of your life? Even if it’s in the smallest of ways? I don’t want to assume, and realize it would be a gift. You can say no, and I’ll still love you .. “
I’d made treats for the class I taught that morning and left them in the fridge. My mind was a million miles away. They made a wonderful travel snack, and dessert for our neighborhood party the next evening.
The bars are simple to make. Full of energy-packed ingredients, and taste amazing. They’re rich, chewy, crunchy, sweet, and salty. Decadent and energizing, rich with a complementing punch from fresh ginger.
A recipe I’m pretty confident you’re going to love. Nice for a small dessert or an afternoon snack
Any nut butter will work great, along with any combination of seeds and nuts. Puffed millet can be found at your local health food store. It can also be replaced with puffed quinoa, regular rolled oats, puffed amaranth, or more nuts and seeds.
(A daily moment of gratitude: Today I’m thankful for new beginnings)
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~ Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
Nut, Millet + Chocolate Power Bars
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 15 fresh soft dates, pitted
- 1 cup nut butter
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
- ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup puffed millet (or puffed quinoa)
- a handful raw almonds or any other nut you prefer
- a pinch sea salt flakes optional
- 3.5 oz dark chocolate bar 70%, coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup unsweetened coconut, toasted
- Melt coconut oil in a medium-size saucepan on low/medium heat.
- Add the almonds and pumpkin seeds to the bowl of a food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times until they're roughly chopped. (Alternately, you can chop them by hand)
- Transfer to a small bowl and set aside
- Add the dates to the bowl of a food processor and pulse 10-15 times (alternatively, mash the dates with a fork)
- Add the processed dates, along with the nut butter and freshly grated ginger, to a medium-sized saucepan over low to medium heat
- Stir the date mix until it comes together, lower the heat, and cook for a couple of few minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Add the puffed millet, along with the chopped seeds and nuts. Taste and add sea salt if needed (depending on how salty the nut butter is)
- Line a 9 x 9" baking dish (or equivalent) with parchment paper and scoop the batter into it. Using the palm of your hands, press everything together tightly.
- Put the bars into the fridge or freezer while preparing the chocolate topping.
- Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler. Pour the melted chocolate over the bars, using a spatula to distribute it evenly.
- Sprinkle with toasted coconut and put the bars back into the fridge or freezer until they're cold and firm
- You can store the bars in the freezer, and they will last for months or in the fridge if you plan on eating them within a few days. We prefer having them in the freezer and eating them just slightly thawed but still chilled.