Needless to say, it's a huge loss and shock: a new spin on the world around which we all change our plans. Saving graces: both Tom and Jeanie had had upbeat phone conversations with Luke the night before, and knew he was in good spirits. And I don't know if this is a saving grace or not, but my read is that this actually happened a long time ago, that the way Tom and Jeanie have been living their life for some time already reflects it as fact. Which means, in a way, that he's still here. We all sense that. Tom and Phil down in WA are meeting hordes of people who loved Luke, who were touched by his generous spirit. I've barely gotten to see Jeanie since they left, there's been such an overflow of support from all the many other people in this community who love Tom and Jeanie.
Tom is so glad to have Phil with him--and isn't it a compliment to Phil that he's the first person Tom thought of to call. Encomia of Phil are pouring in from all quarters at the moment, and I hope he hears them, and recognizes how appreciated he is by so many.
I haven't slept since we heard the news, but I think I will tonight. I watched it snow all day and all night yesterday, as I immersed myself in work and reading, and trying to write something...into this morning...
I made a simple dinner for all of us on Wednesday night, the day the news hit. Short notice and busy day, and I wanted to make something sweet to finish with. In this situation, the temptation is to make something overwhelmingly sugary that I wouldn't dream of eating myself, and I did make a batch of Phil's energy bars, which are protein powder, nuts, craisins, oats in a matrix of peanut butter and honey boiled together, partly to be journey food for them. But I decided I also wanted to serve something raw, light, delicious, beautiful, and gentle.
So I made these "Condolence Cupcakes:" they're inspired by Shannonmarie's Lemon Rawtess Cupcakes, although I made them mini and didn't put pretty frosting and piping on top.
3/4 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
zest of one lemon
Blend all these until fine.
1/3 cup date paste or finely chopped dates
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whisk in until well incorporated.
I ground the nuts with the "S" blade of the Cuisinart, but then, for incorporating the dates, I used the little "dough" blade, the plastic "S" shaped one that isn't sharp, to keep the texture fluffy. When it can be formed into a dough, fill the mini cupcake cups with little hollowed-out "cakes," reserving some 'dough' to top them.
For the filling, I used some frosting leftover from our Anniversary Carrot Cake (recipe is there).
Just a little blob of frosting in the hollowed-out cashew-coco-lemon 'dough' (like in the picture above), and then cover it with some reserved 'dough.'
The lemon symbolizes the sadness, wrapped up in sweetness.
Today the snow finally stopped, and when I went downtown my copy of the Georgia Review, featuring a poem by a good friend from the program, no less, had finally arrived. I'd never seen the sky stippled white, gray and blue in quite this way before and had to stop to try and capture it, even though I could feel the marrow of my jaw freezing. Things are looking up.