"Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table." -William Shakespeare

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ritual and Repetition

God bless the days when I am up just a bit before the little people.  Tea, the first of an endless series of cups, some spiritual reading, some laundry, a breath of peace.  Then, the day!

Prayers.  Hot porridge and fresh fruit.  Homemade cashew milk and tea.  Always more tea, if not fresh hot cocoa with coconut froth
Then three little people lisping their poetry.  We always have a poem going.  Then stories, numbers big or small, and pictures.  Bible or atrium work.  Maybe a nature walk through the park.

It is our morning.  It is precious to me and it is the daily bread of the souls under my care, not to mention my own.  I learn with them, every day- fall, winter, spring, summer.  The afternoon is busy, inevitably busy with running hither and thither, attending to this and that- more laundry- plus legos and dolls and bicycles on a good day.  Dinner, games, sometimes more busyness before the darkness falls.  Then, the night:

Bread with honey around the table (and maybe more tea!) before warm lavender baths.  Tooth brushing, pajamas, stories and stories and stories.  And prayers to bookend the day.  And if I'm lucky, it will then be rest.

My days can be dully repetitious when my spirit is heavy.  But when my spirit is light, the days are full of nourishing ritual.  As an adult, it is all in how I choose to see it.  But to my children, the rituals themselves carry them when I cannot.

Dairy-free Hot Cocoa with Coconut Froth
1/2 c milk substitute (we use homemade raw cashew milk)
1 heaping Tb raw cacao powder
1 heaping teaspoon coconut oil
tiny pinch sea salt (or my favorite, Real Salt)
dash stevia extract or big dash green stevia herb powder
optional: dash cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Place in blender and add 1/2c boiling water.  Blend on high speed till super-frothy, about 1 minute in a regular blender or 20-30 seconds in a high-speed blender.
Lots of froth!
For kids who've been good. Really good.

The coconut oil makes the froth in this non-dairy recipe.  The cheapest place to buy good, raw coconut oil is Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, using Subscribe and Save.  You can also just whisk this in a cup, but it won't froth.  If you leave out the coconut oil, the cocoa will be ok, but will taste slightly flat and lacking in depth.  This also makes a GREAT substitute for coffee.  Raw cacao is much less stimulating than processed cocoa and tastes richer.  Giving up coffee can be constipating, many people don't realize, and raw cacao combats this pesky problem very effectively.  It is a great treat for a constipated little one as well! 

Homemade Cashew Milk
heaping 1/2 c raw cashews soaked 20 minutes- 2 hours in
2c filtered water

Process in blender on high till smooth- 1-2 minutes.

1/8 t sea salt
1t blackstrap or 2 t old-fashioned molasses
1t vanilla
optional: dash stevia extract or herb

Process an aditional minute or two.  Chill or serve warm with a cinnamon stick for stirring and froth-licking.

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