“The holiday season is already upon us; our hearts are filled with love, delicious food gracing our tables and for a few fortunate ones, the cupboards are stacked with thoughtful presents gifted by the loved ones. I say to Sara, it’s so easy to get lost in the consumerism and chaos of it all. Let’s start our 2017 by stealing a few moments to reflect on the year gone by to count our blessings… one at a time!”
On the first day of December, Sara and I like to make our “Blessing Tree”. It is really simple to make and has become something of a tradition now. At the beginning of the month we fill up the tree with the “blessing pebbles”. And during the month, each time she recognizes or remembers a blessing from the year gone by, she writes it down on a brown paper tag and then replaces the “pebble” on the tree with her tag – and of course, she gets to eat the pebble in return! By the end of the month, all the pebbles are gone and the tree is filled with reminder of all the fortunate moments she has had this year, those that she is thankful for and those that have made her year more meaningful and richer. On New Year’s Eve, we eventually read these gratitude notes together and reflect with thankfulness. Stay blessed and stay happy!
The following are a few of the many things that Sara is thankful for this year:
- a class teacher who is the kindest
- a new friend who she dearly loves
- grandparents who are coming to visit her soon
- a craft cupboard which is full of glittery stuff
- mum’s roast chicken and potatoes!
The Blessing Tree…
Makes 30 Pebbles
You will need
For the Dark Chocolate Tropical Pebbles
- 100 gms dark chocolate bar
- chopped dried fruits – papaya, pineapple and coconut
For the Milk Chocolate Nut Pebbles
- 100 gm milk chocolate bar
- dried nuts – pistachio slivers and flaked almonds
For the White Chocolate Sweet and Sour pebbles
- 100 gm white chocolate bar tamarind sweets
- chilli flakes
- baking parchment paper
- tiny transparent wrappers to put the chocolates
- strings to tie them around
- brown paper tags to write on
- a wrought-iron tree
- For each of the pebbles; chop and then simply melt the chocolate bar in a double boiler (keep stirring till it melts completely).
- Spoon the melted chocolate on to a large baking tray lined with a baking parchment paper in the shape of a circle about 3-4 mm thick. You can even use a silicone macaron sheet or a muffin case to make this.
- Sprinkle the respective toppings for each of the chocolates (Feel free to use different combinations, if you like).
- Leave the pebbles in the fridge till they are all set. Wrap each pebble using transparent wrappers and tie a string around them so you can hang them.
- Add the paper tags and a pen and your blessing tree is ready!
You can use a dried twig or branches. Or a jewellery hanger or a jar to make a blessing jar. And finally, don’t forget to count your blessings!
[This story has been created exclusively for FoodeMag dxb]