Its gloomy here, and while I usually love that type of weather, it feels a bit too cold for my taste. Holidays are a weird time of year, they conjure up so many different emotions and yet I don’t think that we are all honest about how they make us feel. Let’s get real here for a minute. Families can be messy. Holidays can be stressful. There can be pressure, hurt, fears, and insecurities. We want to give perfect gifts, be the perfect hostess, make the perfect turkey, and all for what?
Don’t get me wrong, I get trapped here too, and frankly I’m in the thick of it. My husband and I have been married for three years, and this is the first year of the holidays with our son. Last year he was a week old at Christmas, and I hardly remember what that day was like. And so I find myself this year longing to make our own traditions and am hopeful for what these next few months bring.
Oh, and I’m always crying. Not really, always, but enough to mention it. Because Chip is turning ONE next month and I can’t figure out where this year went. Because I realized that when I was in high school, college, and grad school, there was always a deadline of finals, of the quarter system that signaled the ending of a season and the beginning of a new one.
And even when I was an editor of a magazine we existed and thrived on deadlines. My time spent in the marketing field was the same: seasons, sales goals, and social media campaigns. Now, I am in a world that is so far from these deadlines, that I find that I am stopping dead in my tracks.
Because my world now is no longer defined by these types of deadlines. It’s by first steps, finger foods, sleeping through the night, a new tooth, a smile, a tear, play dates, holidays, birthdays, and
These deadlines are much less stressful, yet they take a whole different toll on your heart. These deadlines cause my heart to grow fuller, my joy to be more infinite and for the first time to feel like I am really, actually living.
Don’t get me wrong, there are hard days and there are rough days and even harder nights. But even the hard times are the best times, and as this year is quickly ending and the holidays are so very fast approaching, I am choked up, trying to take it all in, and doing my best to find the right words to put what it’s like to watch someone grow up.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
And I’ve taken up yoga for this very purpose.
And I take breaks in the day and make things like a Pear and Pepper Latte. I just sit, and I reflect, and I Thank, and I marvel.
I treat myself so that I am rested. I get rid of distractions.
And I relish in not being too busy.
Because deadlines can pass directly over our heads and in the world of words, marketing, money, and finance, we can always make new ones. But in this life, the life that involves our loved ones, people, humanity, we can’t make new deadlines.
When they pass, they pass.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Sip. Enjoy. Reflect. Repeat.
Pear and Pepper Latte
Yield: half a dozen cups of coffee
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15
Total Time: 20 minutes (only the first time)
By latte, I mean cafe au lait. I like coffee better, but just substitute espresso if you'd like a true latte. And this is a Bonnie the Baker original.
A pot of your favorite coffee, brewed
1/2 ripe pear
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3-10 white and black pepper kernels
milk if you so desire
1 loose leaf tea infuser
Brew your favor pot of coffee
While brewing, or perhaps right before depending on how fresh you like to pour your joe, slice the 1/2 pear (remove seeds) and place in a small saucepan with 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and let boil for about 5-10 minutes, allowing syrup to thicken and sugar to dissolve completely. (If you want extreme pear flavor, then use a whole pear in this same sugar water ratio.)
Remove from heat.
Place pepper kernels into tea infuser. I like mine super peppery because I love that kid of stuff. But I would start small and increase for strength, you don't want to be overcome with the pepper flavor if you are unsure about it.
Pour coffee into favorite mug, and scoop as many tablespoons of pear syrup into mug while coffee is still hot, and stir. The more Place tea infuser with pepper kernels into hot coffee and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Again, start small here, you can always steep more for a stronger pepper flavor. Remove tea infuser, add milk or cream as usual.
Put left over syrup into a mason jar or left over peach jar (pictured) and then store at room rep for up to two weeks. If you go to re-use and it's become hard, use a double broiler to heat it up again.