It’s Christmas time. Lights and music everywhere. Sparkling children’s eyes in front of the store windows, where stuffed animals go skiing or bake cookies. The trees are decorated with colorful ornaments and blinking lights. The streets smell like cinnamon and wine. It is a busy time. A chilly time. A special time. We remember friends, we didn’t see for a long time, send them a Christmas card or a message on the phone, hoping to see them again, before this year ends. I feel like this time is so very different from the rest of the year. I feel like people are nicer, even though busier than usual. Maybe it is because we have been taught that this is a peaceful time and we live what we have been told as kids. Maybe it is because we are looking forward to those couple of days and in our minds we are already there, despite of what the calendar says. Maybe it is just illusion and we are simply more patient towards each other. Or maybe.. it is just me, thinking that people are different. Whatever it is, Christmas time is sure a little magical. The lights, the smells, the music put us into a mood, as if we escaped into a different world. And in this different world, Christmas miracles are sure possible. Small ones usually.. hidden ones.. very subtle ones. We need to look closely and recognize them as such. We need to be able to embrace the possibility that miracles can happen, so they would show. Last but not least, we might need to redefine the meaning of miracles. It can be the rain that starts right after you got home, dry and clean. It might be the friend’s call, the moment you start to feel alone. It might be the book about how to fix your bike, falling from the shelf, after realizing that your lights are broken and you have no idea how to fix it. It can be your little niece, who just surprises you with a very smart comment 🙂 . All those things are everyday miracles, we just need to see them. My Christmas miracle happened this week. Two weeks before I was working at the check outs of my store, when I realized that my ring is missing. It must have fallen into one of my customer’s shopping bags. I was hoping, whoever took it home, would soon find it and bring it back. I told my mom to please go to church and pray for this ring to get back to me. It was very important for me and with my parents being very religious, I was just asking for any help I could possibly get. I promised to myself that if I would get it back, I would donate money. I felt a little like Frodo.. missing my precious ring (It is the right time, isn’t it? With the next Hobbit coming up…) A week later I gave up hope that this ring would ever show up. This is when my coworker, wearing a big smile on her face,told me about a phone call she had earlier that day. The customer who found this ring called the store and said she would return it in the following days. Now, I am wearing the ring on another finger.. just to make sure I wouldn’t lose it again 😉 Anyway, whatever helped to bring the ring back, it is a miracle for me. I am very thankful to the woman who bothered coming back to the store to return what I missed… and I really missed it. I searched the finger for the ring every now and then, just to realize that it is missing. Thanks to a very good person, my mom’s prayers and maybe my promise, I have something back, that is so close to my heart 🙂
Talking about my mom, she is the reason I could try a new recipe again. Actually, the recipe is just made up, but I wanted to try something new and was glad that she and a friend of our family came to visit. I spent the entire sunday in the kitchen, preparing cake pops (I am a proud owner of a cake pop machine now 😉 ), candy and cake. I will post pictures and recipes for cake pops some other time.. I still need to figure out the best recipe. Today I would like to share with you the cake I made. I used a basic sponge cake (since I don’t have an oven, I baked it at a friend’s place a couple of days earlier and put it into the refrigerator) and cut it in three layers. On the first layer I put apricots on the outer edge and mixed berries in the middle.
For the cream, I used the following:
1 package (200g) vegan heavy cream (it is sweeter and lighter than the usual one)
1 package vanilla sugar
300 – 500g soy yoghurt
1-2 packages gelatine (depending on the consistency of the yoghurt and how much yoghurt you are using)
1. prepare the gelatine following the instructions on the package
2. whip the cream with the vanilla sugar
3. in another bowl mix the yoghurt with the sugar
4. heat the gelatine until fluid. Add a tablespoon of the yoghurt to the gelatine and mix it. Pour the gelatine into the rest of the yoghurt.
5. add the cream
6. let rest in the fridge until it starts to thicken
I used only 300g of yoghurt and 75g sugar, because I had a small cake. I still needed a little more than one package of gelatine, just to give you an idea. If you want to make it entirely vegan, use a vegan sponge cake and agar-agar instead of gelatine. I just didn’t need to do this, because my guests were not vegan, but I wanted to try out the mixture with the vegan cream. I put the cream on top of the fruits and covered it with another layer of cake, which I prepared the same way as the bottom one. On top of the third layer, I just spread the rest of the cream. On the sides and to smooth out the top, I used another vegan whip cream.
Both my guests had two pieces and took all the rest home. Because the cake did not contain any dairy, I was happy to join my guests and tried one piece. I can say: approved!
I hope you encounter small and big Christmas miracles. If not, bake something good and just take in the smell of a cake in the oven.. isn’t that just miraculous?