The strange thing about change is that it makes you so much more aware of your surroundings. For the last few months, I have slogged to work in the snow through my neighbourhood with the weight of a thousand groans. Now that the weather is nicer, things seem a little different and everyone's spirits are a little higher. And now that the big move is coming up soon, I am starting to think about what I will be missing. Just like things start to bloom in spring, it seems like everything is starting to come together.
On the weekend, the weather was beautiful and it seemed like the whole city had forgotten that it had been cooped up inside for the past few months. We went for brunch at one of my favourite places in London: The Bag Lady. It is an adorable cafe full of vintage trinkets, coffee shop charm and homey food. It was so nice to sit and look out of a sunny window with a cappuccino and watch the world go by. Even though this place has existed for as long as I have been here, it seemed like one of those "why don't I do this more often?" feelings. There are things I won't miss at all and some things I will always treasure. When you have been somewhere for so long, you tend to get stuck in the everyday sights and routines that become somewhat ordinary.
Another thing about spring is that there is so much more colour. You can actually start to appreciate things, like wearing shoes instead of boots, walking outside instead of driving and having that little bit of extra light in the evenings. That burst of colour also shows up in springtime food. Last year for Easter, I made Peeps kebabs by putting Peeps and pieces of fruit on sticks in various patterns, as well as Peeps pavlovas. This year, I massacred some Peeps by melting them down to make Rice Krispies squares. Many Peeps were harmed in the making of these squares. They are a touch sweeter than normal Rice Krispies squares and end up turning a nice, pastel pink colour.
Peeps Rice Krispies Squares2 1/2 cups Peeps Marshmallow candies (approximately 2 packages)
2 1/2 cups white marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1/4 cup butter
Directions:Lightly grease a 9x9 baking pan. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the Peeps and melt until some chunks of colour still remain. Add the mini marshmallows. Take the mixture off of the heat and add the Rice Krispies cereal. Press the mixture down with a spatula or your hands and let them cool before cutting into squares.
The other squares I made are a combination of two recipes (Easter Chocolate Oat Squares and Confetti Bars) that I found and lie exactly in the middle between the two when it comes to their "healthy" status. This recipe is also fun because you get to smash the mini eggs into tiny bits. Place the Mini Eggs into a Ziploc bag and smash them with a rolling pin or hammer. It's almost as fun as melting down the Peeps. Yes, for some reason I enjoyed that--it's the little things. The squares are sticky, gooey and soft, so you may have to form them slightly into squares with your hands. I call them "upside down" squares because once you cut and take them out of the pan they actually look better presented upside down.
Upside down Mini Egg marshmallow squares
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup of Mini Eggs
2 cups marshmallows
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350F. In a stand mixer or bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and then fold in the smashed Mini Eggs and marshmallows. Place the mixture into a greased baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the marshmallow has been slightly browned. Let cool in the fridge for about an hour before cutting into squares.
To change also means to "transform" or "become something else." Maybe changing my surroundings will also change me or maybe I will be more appreciative of the things I have to now start over. I know at least that I grow with each passing season whether I'm standing still or constantly moving. Sometimes it feels like all of a sudden that everything is flipped upside down.