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. However, it is so easy to get lost in the consumerism and chaos of it all. So, before we begin 2017 and make new beginnings Sara and I like to steal a few moments to reflect on the year gone by to count our blessings.
On the first of December, she and I like to make something we like to call 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 full of the fortunate moments she has had this year, those that she is thankful for and have made her year more meaningful and richer. We like to read these gratitude notes together on New Year’s Eve.
Sara says she is thankful for her:
- class teacher for she is the kindest
- new friend who she dearly loves
- grandparents who are coming to visit her soon
- craft cupboard which is full of glittery stuff
- mum’s roast chicken and potatoes!
Here’s how you can make one:
Dark Chocolate Tropical, Milk Chocolate Nut, and White Chocolate Sweet & Sour pebbles
The Blessing Tree (Makes 30 pebbles)
You will need:
- For the dark chocolate tropical pebbles :
- A 100 gram dark chocolate bar and chopped dried fruits like papaya, pineapple and coconut
- For the milk chocolate nut pebbles:
- A 100 gram milk chocolate bar and dried nuts like pistachio slivers and flaked almonds
- For the white chocolate sweet and sour pebbles:
- A 100 gram white chocolate bar and tamarind sweets, chilli flakes and paprika
- Baking parchment paper
- Tiny transparent wrappers to put the chocolates
- Strings to tie them around
- Brown paper tags to write on
- A pen
- Finally, a tree (or a jar so you can make a blessing jar)
- For the 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 it 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!
Stay Blessed and Stay happy!
Images: All recipes and photographs originally created exclusively for FoodeMag and updated here later.