I am in a slump. I don’t feel like working, cleaning, baking, packing my bags to go on a trip to see people I really want to see or anything else remotely productive. As I was flipping through the radio stations in my car yesterday, I heard DJs talking, ironically, about slumps. Their conversation centered around how the suggestions given to someone in a slump often involve the idea to just push through it. The DJs were convinced this is terrible advice. They believed sometimes you’ve just got to sit in it and let it pass.
Outside of work, the only thing I have been pretty consistent about during my slump is getting my butt to yoga. Tonight marked my sixty-second yoga class since November 1. Actually, it was my sixty-fifth class since October 29, but that is little more than a technicality. Suffice it to say, I am sick and tired of asana.
As I was stuck in a yoga studio for weeks on end, I wanted to get outside and go for a run. Oh, all right. It was a stroll in the sunshine more so than a kick-butt run I craved. For the past five months, I have paid my bills by writing nearly every day. I started this blog as much to exercise my writing muscle as I did to plow through a stack of recipes, so I no longer look forward to writing blog posts as much as I once did.
In case you had not yet noticed, the ever elusive butterfly in my life is finding a sense of balance. When we commit to balance, we often find we can lighten the load more so than we thought in one area while at the same time taking on more in others. I need to figure this out.
I had no idea what I was going to write for this post until I sat down and starting pecking out words, but a new theme of balance and a continuing theme of light seems to be taking hold. My heart still feels a little heavy, yet these cookies are as light as air. The photo of those baked-in air pockets up there come from my third attempt at meringue cookies, so they were also an exercise in patience.
This recipe for Candy Cane Kisses came from one of the prettiest cookbooks I have ever seen, Masala Farm. Its pages were full of color, and I liked the short stories found throughout the book. It was just overall nice. The original recipe suggested adding one teaspoon of pulverized dried lavender to the meringues in place of the peppermint when baking outside of prime candy cane season.
Some believe the world will end tomorrow. Which is already today in some parts of the world (as I write, it’s just after 3 p.m. in Sydney). I would like to bring up two very good points I have heard (though I don’t remember where) about this theory. 1). If the Mayans were so good at predicting the end of the world, then why couldn’t they predict the collapse of their own civilization? 2). The Mayan calendar fails to take into account leap years, so technically, the world should have ended sometime in October.
Regardless, what we can all agree on according to the calendar is tomorrow marks the darkest (shortest) day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Most of us will also likely agree the darkest day came a week early this year. After the dark, the days must get light again. Enjoy.
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cram of tartar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons crushed peppermint
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- In the bowl of stand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.
- Add the vanilla, cream of tartar and salt to the egg whites and increase speed to high.
- Beat until soft peaks form, then add in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. (If you fail to add the sugar slowly, you will end up with a very grainy cookie.)
- When the egg whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks, use a rubber spatula to very gently fold in the peppermint and chocolate chips.
- Place dollops of meringue onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake at 250 F until the tops begin to crack, about 45 to 50 minutes.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on wire racks.