Simple pleasures

Tag: postaday

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happiness

by tableofcolors

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Granola bar for solitary moments

by tableofcolors

WordPress posts on a regular basis different kinds of writing and photo challenges to give blog writers inspiration to look at topics from a slightly different angle. This weeks photo challenge was Solitary. Here’s my take.

I’ve grown up with lots of people around me and I really enjoy being with others. I have noticed though that the more hectic life gets I start to feel the need for my own personal solitary time. Some of us would like to have more solitary time and there are others who have too much solitary time in their lives. Maybe their kids have flown the nest and they wish that their grandkids would occassionaly come an fill up the silence with the pitter patter of their feet.

Our life at the moment is full of the sounds of running footsteps, giggles, squeals and sometimes someone cries when they fall. It seems like soltitude is very hard to find in this situation. Really it is not that far away. It is right outside the door. We live in the middle of the field a little ways from the residential area. There is wheat growing on one side and barley on the other.

Now that fall is in full swing, it is a busy time of accomplishment. School begins for the kids, there are art classes to take, friends to meet, meetings to attend and more. On the other hand it is a time of soltitude. The birds are gathering to fly south, the leaves will soon float to the ground leaving the trees barren. And we are in the middle of the field, a place where there are no street lights. In the fall before the snow falls, the evenings are dark and the sky is immense, full of stars.

I was chatting with my hairdresser and she told me that one of her favorite memories from her childhood is grabbing the Donald Duck comic book from the mailbox and enjoying the quietness of the house before everyone else comes rushing home. Donald Duck has a special place in the hearts of Finns(as does Tex Willer, a spaghetti cowboy, but we’ll leave that story for another time). Wednesdays in Finland are Donald Duck days. I notice our oldest daughters really enjoy the chance to spend a little quiet time by themselves. The house is silent, there is a fresh new Donald Duck comic book in the mailbox and a snack ready on the table.

This granola bar is intended for those little moments of soltitude. It has chocolate on both ends so that you don’t have to make the hard decision of whether to eat the chocolate first or last.

Homemade energy bars

These are delicious snacks that are chock full of healthy ingredients. The dried fig gives the bar a chewy texture.

Homemade energy bars with figs, cranberries and walnuts

50 g/1.8 oz butter
generous 1/2 dl/1/4 c canola oil (cold pressed oil works great)
1/2 dl/little under 1/4 c sugar
1 dl/ little under 1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 dl/ little under 1/4 c honey
3/4 dl / 1/3 c molasses
Boil the sugars, honey, butter, oil, salt and spices until the sugar has melted and is not granulated.
Take off the heat.
Mix in a separate bowl the following ingredients.
4.5 dl /2 c oatmeal
1 dl / slightly under 1/2 c wheat bran
1 dl / slightly under 1/2 c flour
1 dl /slightly under 1/2 c whole wheat flour
70 g/ 2.5 oz of chopped walnuts
100 g/3.5 oz of chopped dried figs
50 g/1.8 oz of dried cranberries
1/2 tsp salt
Combine the still warm molasses mixture with the dry ingredients and stir. Spread on a lined 9x13inch(23x33cm) pan and bake in the oven at 175C/350F for 8 to 9 minutes. Let cool for bit and cut into bars. When completely cool dip both ends of the bars in melted dark chocolate.

a lone branch

Enjoy in soltitude with a good comic book and a glass of milk.

The photos of the sky and the lone branch are by my sweetheart.