My head rests upon a soft pillow my body cradled by my warm sleeping bag. A low rumbling slowly turns into loud thunder. It wakes me. I stare up at the sky from my wall less tent. Pouring rain, the bright flashes of lightning and the low murmur of thunder. I count until I hear the thunder again waging how close the lightning is. The water trickles down through the oak tree branches and splatters against the tent. I stare up at the vast sky filled with lightning and angry clouds. I love you I love you I love you; I say.
My feet hit against the asphalt road. Contentiously one in front of the other. The air is cool, the sun trickles through the trees overhead. A family of deer is startled and run out across the road in front of me. My breathing gets heavier, I feel the pressure on my lungs. I keep pushing. Silence and my feet smacking the pavement, my breaths in and out, the rustling of squirrels and the voice in my head that says: I love you I love you I love you.
The sun sets and the waves gently roll in onto the pebble filled beach. The hum of far off boats and crashing waves somehow jive with the way my body sways with the cold crisp salty water that encompasses my body. Little shrimp nibble on my toes and water swims in and out of my ears, giving me a sensational feeling of being limitless and free. Floating with everything; yet nothing all around me. I love you I love you I love you; I say.
Dusk one of my favorite times of the day. The sky is orange and darkening by the minute. Fireflies appear and disappear, crickets having loud musical conversations. Staring out into the horizon the warm sand squashing between my toes, feeling internally warm from the days experiences, interactions, and warm sun that bathed my skin all day. I love you, I love you, I love you; I say.
The light of the fire flickers and puts off that perfect aroma that makes a million memories flash by. The loud crashing waves are all that can be heard. I lay in the cold sand making sand angels, staring up at the dark night sky with the sprinkling of stars. I turn my head to look out at sea to see the small orange glowing light bobbing up and down in the rough ocean. A ship out to see, expansive and never ending. I stare back up at the dreamy night sky and squeeze sand between my fingers: I love you I love you I love you; I say.
As my post a few months before this one referenced I stated it had been a year of highs and lows for me. I had no
idea when writing that post that I hadn’t yet experienced something so truthfully scary and life changing. I have never been so scared for my life and it’s sad that we all seem to have to go through something so scary that we truly appreciate things after it. I wake up everyday now blessed to be alive. I catch myself watching a bird fly overhead and under my breath I say I love you I love you I love you. Not directed at anyone or anything in particular, just this life that I get to live. Don’t get me wrong I still have days where I’m grumpy and I’m not always murmuring those words but I do catch myself a lot more reminding myself the privilege I have to be alive.
This summer I got to spend my days at a great camp. I got to spend my days on the private beach and sleep in a wall less tent in the forest where I could stare up at the night sky and fall asleep counting the twinkling stars. My tent mates were amazing. One was from Scotland, one from Whales, and the other from New York. The conversations late at night when we were delirious had us laughing like I have never laughed before. I was the business manger but it is like no other office job. I got to wear wacky outfits for different themes yet still having major responsibilities. I got to be me. I’m more me than I have ever been in my life. I love this place, I love this life, I love it all and I just want to soak it all in.
These cream puffs are my classic recipe I always make but with a Nutella cream that I could eat on it’s own. This is super quick and easy and so worth it!
Pate a choux
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white
1.Bring butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from sides and a film forms on bottom of pan, about 3 minutes.
2.Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until slightly cooled, about 1 minute. Raise speed to medium; add whole eggs, 1 at a time, until a soft peak forms when batter is touched with your finger. If peak does not form, lightly beat remaining egg white, and mix it into batter a little at a time until it does.
1 Jar of Nutella
1 cup of whipping cream
1.Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or with nonstick baking mats, such as Silpats. Transfer pate a choux to a pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch plain tip and pipe puffs to fit in flour circles. Smooth peaks with a moistened finger, rounding tops to ensure even rising. Freeze pastry puffs on baking sheets until firm, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds.
3.Bake puffs until pale golden brown all over, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets on wire racks. Puffs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature overnight.
4.Put heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into nutella. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Insert tip into bottom of each puff, and fill. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cream puffs are best eaten within a few hours; refrigerate in an airtight container.