There's a sense of freedom and ease that comes along with having a couple of completely unscheduled days in a row. Andrew often jokes that I am like a human iphone -- neither of us have cellphones, so I think my brain has become an app which is constantly planning, organizing, and reminding me of what's happening during the week. When appointments and meetings are, when sales end and coupons expire, when Andrew's big tests and assignments are due and what classes I'm teaching. I could rattle it off to you on demand. Thus, my brain gets quite cluttered. Meditation has been a great tool to use to help me stay focused in the here and now -- to appreciate the current moment and not worry or put too much thought into how the rest of the week will turn out.
It was such a surprise when we realized that this past Saturday and Sunday had hardly anything lined up on our calenders. We didn't have to rush away anywhere first thing in the morning, no alarm was set, no arranging of who will take the car or any big projects to tackle. Just an early afternoon orientation at the Portland Food Co-op and a cat play date with our good friend Lindsay on Saturday -- the rest of the time was clear.
|Pepper and Lupin nuzzling noses|
I found these hugs apples at whole foods in a bin marked Northern Spy. As an apple-lover, I feel like these might really be Wolfe-Rivers, as Northern Spies usually have a green hint to them, and aren't this large. In either case, these apples were huge and I couldn't resist getting them. Their size makes them perfect for stuffing.
After cutting out the top part of the core and making sure all of the seeds were removed, I layered gluten free oats with walnuts, and drizzled in 2 teaspoons each of almond milk and pure Maine maple syrup. The apple baked up nicely in only 15 minutes, and was such a delight to eat. The syrup infused into the entire apple, and the oatmeal soaked up the liquid from the apple and milk to become sweet and similar to granola. The walnuts took on a roasted taste and paired perfectly with the syrup and apple.
Andrew and I took our time, lingering and chatting over our food and tea, just eating and being together. It was such a sweet smelling and relaxing morning.
This would also be a healthy alternative to dessert on Thanksgiving -- one or two apples per guest, a gluten free dessert couldn't be easier1 You could also stuff the apple with pre-made granola, or raw buckwheat groats that have been soaked over night.
How ever you enjoy them, do linger and relax and take the time to savor every bite. I hope you find a little peace and moment of free time in the week to come!
Baked Stuffed Apples
- 2 of the largest apples you can find
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup oats (gluten free if necessary)
- 4 teaspoons almond milk
- 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- pinch of cinnamon
Have you had time to linger and relax? What did you do with your free time? If you have had a jam-packed schedule, what would you do to recharge if you were given some leisure time?