The Holiday time is often brimming with emotion, where anxiety, cheerfulness and the grey areas are entwined with each other. There will be some who have happy memories of Christmases past, while others face a painful time to endeavour. We all have memories and experiences in our lives that make us who we are.
Often when we are in a bad place we are so consumed with our troubles, hardships and sorrow that we tend to overlook the “bright side of life” delving into our misery more. It is important to tend to the troubles and grief, taking time to heal. This is what makes us stronger. But it is even more vital to get out of the dark vault, where self-pity, negativity and pessimism reside.
I am currently reading Rumi and to quote him:
"The wound is the place where the Light enters you."
I’ve been turning it in my head ever since. It struck a strong note in me. I dislike showing my vulnerable side and often mask this as a weakness. Over the course of this year however, I have opened up and allowed people to see some of the hurt and vulnerability I have felt. I recently saw Rumi’s quote on Pinterest and it hit me then and there. It is fine to have weaknesses and be wounded but it is even more important to open up and allow the people in your life to pull you out of the dark and show you the Light. The pain felt, subsides a lot easier if it is shared and leaning on the loved ones in our lives brings us closer and makes the happy - happier and the sweet - sweeter. It allows for positive emotions: love, tenderness and kindness to enter and cure. And it feels good to be able to share, bond and connect.
It puts all that is good, gratifying and positive into perspective again.
A happy and certainly a sweeter part of last week was spending a day with my lovely friend Sandy of Confiture de Vivre. Being one of the cherished people in my life, Sandy has allowed me to express my thoughts and emotions freely with her without judgement. I feel my positive energy and inspiration flow freely in her company. We definitely feed off each others creativity and … we laugh a lot. So as I packed my camera gear and ingredients for the day ahead I knew this would be a little therapy session for me.
We’re planning a food photography and styling workshop again next year together, teaming up with Simone of Simone’s Kitchen once again. After the great time we had in Amsterdam and Weimar we have to get together in 2014 again. More about the workshop next year - promise!
Photo by Sandy Neumann
Sandy and I spent a few hours putting the pieces together and securing a stunning location here in Germany for the workshop. That gave me wings as we moved into the kitchen and began taking out ingredients for our baking session. Each of us had chosen a sweet treat for Christmas and we wanted to work on it together. Baking, styling and shooting - all the while listening to Michael Bublé’s Christmas album. If that does not make one happy what does?
Both Sandy & I are spoiling you today! It is after all almost Christmas. If your taste buds have not been tantalized by the last few sweet posts I think the post today will appeal to your palate. There is sugar and spice, pastry and succulent fruit and many things nice. Should you still want more, head on over to Sandy’s blog as she is counts down to Christmas with “13 Desserts for Christmas” (in German) over the next few days. Her Pommes en Cage and my Spekulatius Spiced Madeleines are part of the countdown.
Madeleines are delicate French pastries that, in my opinion, are the perfect little treats when you want to spoil someone special. They may not flaunt with intricate sugar work or flatter with crispy meringue shells sandwiching a complex filling, but they do share a big dose of affection with their light and moist genoise sponge and golden biscuit edge.
My madeleines come with season’s greetings, infused with spekulatius (speculoos) spices, which have all the warming flavours of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and anise seed. Add to that the zingy zest of oranges and you have a blend of exceptional flavours encased in divine sponge pastry. They make great homemade gifts for friends and family ... a little thank you presented in the lovely lace basket. Isn't it gorgeous? It's from Sabine Wittig's shop, where you'll find not only the basket but other exclusive gift ideas too.
Have yourself a grand Holiday! Spread your love, kindness and joy as special gifts with your loved and cherished ones. Let them lean on you and open up to them, allowing the Light to enter – we all need to heal a little!
If you are still looking for more Christmas surprises check out the Holiday Edition of FoodieCrush Magazine it is jammed packed with festive ideas from Foodies around the globe. In the feature "Around the World in 6 Desserts" you'll find traditional holiday sweets shared by lovely fellow food bloggers in Serbia, Croatia, Poland, Mexico, South USA and Germany. That's where you're treated to my favorite German Christmas treat and I tell you a little about Christmas at our place. Read all about it!
You'll also find a great list shared by food bloggers: 43 "Must Eat" Foods For The Holidays Shared By Your Favorite Bloggers Over on Tony Rulli's blog. Some great ideas there! Lastly if you are still looking for ideas do not miss out on my Christmas recipes: you'll find everything from Beef Wellington and apple glazed duck breasts to a luscious chocolate Buch de Noel, desserts, cookies and Christmas cakes.
Wishing you a safe and positive start to 2014. I am taking a break for the rest of the year and I certainly hope you have enjoyed my sweet and savory posts throughout the year. I’ll be back in the new year, with a fresh start and a clean slate – doesn’t that sound awesome? See you all then … same place …
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
You might like these Christmas treats from WFLH:
|Spiced Advocaat Custard||Lebkuchen Spice Macarons with Quince Jam and Candied Ginger||Chocolate & Coconut French Yule Log|
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