There has been a tug-of-war of sorts between the seasons lately.
As it approaches the time for winter to take her curtsey and walk off the stage, she holds on tightly, trying desperately not to go.
There are days that it seems winter has given up the fight, and we wake up to the blistering hot sun that is evidence of spring’s eminent arrival – everywhere on the street you see people smiling, their faces happy under the heat and vitamin D from the much-missed sunshine; girls toss away their long trench coats and tall boots for tank tops, denim skirts and light dresses; boys don their burmudas and flip flops.
Then, just when we start celebrating and crossing our fingers for the toasty, warm weather to continue, we are then brought back to reality – one night it can be hot and humid, and the next morning, we arise to heavy winds and grey skies, and suddenly winter is back in full force, declaring her continued reign, daring us to defy what nature has planned. We dig out our sweaters and thick jackets again, wrap our necks well with woolen scarves and slip on our gloves.
This game continues; a tug in the direction of spring and then winter pulls back again, but as the days become longer and brighter, there are signs of spring everywhere.
It’s no longer dark at 6.30pm when I leave the office; I have a few more minutes to enjoy the day outside than I used to. Shop windows are now screaming the sale of discounted dark-colored winter clothing on one side, and flaunting the brighter and more vibrant spring/summer collections on the other. Even the sunsets seem less dramatic and sad, and have started leaning towards more golden, beautiful tones.
IN THE WAITING, WE BECOME
Perhaps it is just my imagination, perhaps it is just all in my mind.
But this transition from winter to spring, like the transition between any two very different phases in life – the time in between – is both cold and warm, difficult yet easy, and for me that is simply charming.
It’s a period filled with anticipation, hope and excitement; as much as uncertainty, wonder, and the occasional doubts and questions.
In her latest monthly newsletter, Nicole from Eat This Poem talked about the in-between moments, the time sandwiched between two different chapters of our lives.
Right at the top of the newsletter, superimposed on a glorious panoramic picture of the sunset in rolling hills, was the quote by Jeff Goins –
“In the waiting, we become”.
Words of wisdom, which were to unfold his thesis, which basically aims to say that since we spend most of life waiting, it’s time for us to start living for those in-between moments instead of only for the next big thing.
So while I wait for spring to come and for the warmth of the new season to flood the city; while we search for a new apartment to rent and to understand the full meaning of independence; while I peer into the blurry future and wonder which continent I’ll be on next year, where I’ll build my next home, I’m content living for the current moments.
Shifting in between houses and continents and countries; roles and thoughts; cold, chilly nights and warm breezy afternoons, I take a long, deep breath and try to enjoy the present.
Oh, and did I tell you, that in these in-between moments, I cook a lot too?
CHOCOLATE AVOCADO MOUSSE
In between decadence and healthy choices, there’s always safety in moderation, but a little swing to either side once in a while also brings enormous pleasure.
Not too long ago, when my sister Valerie was still here in Buenos Aires, I experimented with a recipe that involved a whole bar of chocolate, chopped into small bits and then blended together with creamy, ripe avocados.
A toss of milk and a quick sprinkle of sugar later, I had a rich, thick brown mousse in front of me. With roughly chopped nuts as the garnish, we were set to go.
Probably one of the easiest and fastest desserts to make – this rich, creamy mousse is thick with the rich taste of chocolate and and the texture of blended avocados.
A dessert in the waiting, for the in-between moments, for the before and the after, and even for the now.
1) 100g chocolate bar (I used milk chocolate, but you could also use dark chocolate)
2) 2 ripe avocados
3) ½ cup of milk
4) 2-3 tablespoons of sugar (or as much as you like)
5) 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped nuts of your choice (optional; for garnish – you can use almonds, walnuts, peanuts, whatever suits your fancy)
1) Chop up the chocolate bar into as small pieces as possible
2) Peel, de-seed and roughly cut avocados into cubes
3) In a blender, add the pieces of chocolate and avocados and pulse very well until all the chocolate has melted and there are no more chunks of chocolate (if you prefer, you can leave the small chunks of chocolate for more texture)
4) Add milk a bit at a time, for a creamier, thicker mixture, lesser milk; for a smoother, more liquid texture, more milk, pulsing slowly
5) When you have finally achieved the desired texture, add in sugar to taste
6) Chill for at least two hours in the refrigerator before serving
7) Garnish with chopped nuts and serve