Life's what happens while you're making plans - a chocolate hazelnut spread to sweeten your mouth
I had plans. I had many, many plans. For this blog, this month, I had tons of plans. I have a folder filled with images and their respective recipes that I just know won't see the light of day before we hit January. I had thought of posting three times a week this month, because it's Decemeber, and it's Christmas time, and so on and so on. But like the saying goes, life is what happens while you're making plans, and so life happened. I had too much on my plate, curiously, because I wanted to have my novel out this month, of course. But also because I suddenly learned that I could have the option for printed copies on my novels as well as the digital format. And that, my friends, is something of a dream to me. I immediately began researching how to do it and how to get it out there.
Let's just say it hasn't been an easy process. I'm the kind of person wh may take a while to jump up on a decision - not that deciding I do want to have the possibility for paperback editions has taken me much time to ponder - but when I do, I want things to happen like straight away. And they never do, of course. The thing writing has provide me mostly with is a few lessons on how to exercise my patience. I am not a patient person, not at all. But it is the one thing I strive to work on bettering, year after year. I must learn this lesson in life, along with a couple of others, to be pateint, to let everything take its time, to not stress when something does not come about as soon as I want it to. This has led me to focus more on living in the moment, savouring the moment, enjoying the process. Which is a very good thing, actually. So I'm focusing still on being patient and letting things take their time.
And because I do not want to be focusing on one particular thing alone, I try to spread myself a little too thin perhaps, but it's the way it goes. I want to publish a few posts still this month that focus on the season at hand, I want to share a couple of homemade gifts still, if you're having to deal with last minute presents that are quick to get done and yummy to share. I also want to share my recipes for Marta's table - next week I'll do a double take on it - with this month's ingredient which happens to be one of my favourites to cook with and eat. I want all that and I want to finish writing the first draft for the second volume on my series. I'm pages away from ending it. I'm also eager to dive into the last volume and get it written, as my head is full of ideas! I want to do so much, and still I long to sit down and enjoy my family. We'll be taking a little break next week, away, if we can manage it, but I'll still be posting. I only hope I spend a lot more time playing board games with my son - Santa's told me he's getting a couple of new, exciting games this Christmas and I can't wait to play them! - than I do sitting down writing...
But when inspiration hits, there's nothing to do but sit down and write. Like this last Sunday. I don't know what came over me, but there was a lot I had to put out there in my novel. I usually write a chapter, part of a chapter per day. Yesterday I typed down three chapters. And big ones, as it is. Normally, I always read each chapter after I write it and edit some parts of it, turning my first draft into an immediate second draft. I haven't touched those three chapters. I haven't re-read them at all. And I know I won't before I finish up the rest of it. My husband was left to do the housework alone, all I did was dust and vacuum and make the beds before I got hit by the muses. He made cookies and he cleaned up the bathroom and he solved a few domestic glitches too. Because I was completely out of it. And it was the best feeling in the world, knowing you share your life with someone who encourages you to do what you really love doing, someone who allows you to pursue your dreams and your muses, someone who understands you would not be happy any other way and so wants you to be happy. I have no words, really, to express my gratitude to my husband for all this. There's no money in it, in what I do, there's hardly any recognition from the world in general as to my work, but he couldn't care less. And that is beyond amazing.
So, and to celebrate this season in which I always feel particularly grateful to the two men in my life, I wanted to share this delicious hazelnut chocolate spread. It goes beyond well on a slice of homemade bread...
- 2 tbsp walnut or hazelnut oil
- 1 cup hazelnuts, peeled (my cup is roughly 200 ml)
- 180 gr dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt