Tis the season of ever darkening days, of twinkle lights and velvet and pine. Where the rest of the world seems to be speeding up for the holidays, I feel deeply aware of the slowness of things. Nature is sinking its energy earthward. Bare trees shake in cold wind. The evergreens bask in their newfound elbow room. All manner of small creatures tuck into sleep exceedingly early.
And I, following suit, find myself marking my hours with introverted things.
Mostly self-care related things. When I wake up I take a warm christmas-y scented balm (clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, cayenne) and massage my always-sore neck and jaw (I have TMJ). I do some relaxed yoga in bed, warming and opening up my chest, neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, spine. Then I meditate. I’m at 10 minutes a day right now. I also sit and write for a while, every day.
I find, like the pine, that my days seem to have more elbow room. As I settle into a daily practice of self-care and writing, I feel a spaciousness growing within myself. Like the clearing away of bright foliage, the emptiness allows more light to reach the forest floor. And so, new poems and insights sigh in the glow of awareness. And I am more present as I sip my coffee, as I stir turmeric into a bowl of sugared pecans.
In this season of buy and host and rush, I encourage you to take some time for yourself. It’s busy, I know. Technically, I’m busy too. But taking 10 minutes of self-care time actually creates more space for you to enjoy the rush. Take some time to go for a walk in a park you’ve never been to. Take some time to slowly sip tea… and sketch the tea cup. Take some time to wander aimlessly through a chocolate shop, buying yourself a beautiful truffle.
Take some time to breath, and to wonder, and to wander. Just 10 minutes. And hey maybe that 10 minutes will stretch out into 15 minutes, or an hour. Maybe you need some more space than you realize.
Now, on to these coconut sugar pecans!
You all know about candied pecans right? In Virginia, I see them at fairs, farmers markets, sports events and shopping malls. They’re ubiquitous. But with that caramel, butter and toasted pecan scent wafting around the candied pecan kiosk, it’s easy to see why. They’re crack… in nut form! Completely addictive, sugar-laden and finger-licking delicious!
Of course there’s a lot amiss regarding the traditional version. Namely, immense amounts of refined sugar! So much that they set the teeth on edge. So, despite the enticing allure of that heavenly smell, I haven’t touched a sugared pecan in years.
My version is also crack in nut form! But, since they’re only lightly sweetened with coconut sugar you can inhale them until your heart’s content! I’ve added turmeric for a secret healthy anti-inflammatory boost. And cinnamon because wait why am i explaining cinnamon we all know cinnamon is the tits.
These coconut sugar pecans are caramelized, buttery, toasty, crunchy and warmly spiced. You only need 6 ingredients. And they take just 6 minutes to bake up!
Moan-inducingly delicious by the handful. And they add a wonderful crunch to salads. I like piling them on top of smoothie bowls. And they add a bit of whimsy to a holiday cheese board!
They also make for a great DIY holiday gift! Toss them in a big jar, pop a ribbon on that bad boy and your cousin’s ex boyfriend will be like damn that bitty is thoughtful!