For the past week or so, I’ve been a bit sick. Not “woe is me, woe is me, help me push my liver back into my spleen and comfort me with stories of four-legged rainbows or else I’ll cry” sick, more just “post-conference, post-multiple work deadlines, post-final gospel concert, post-friend’s wedding in Sydney, post-discovering my wonderful boss is leaving, post-too-many-Pringles-and-jars-of-peanut-butter” sick. The kind of sick where you look bad enough to be sent home from work, but are okay enough to curl up in bed and read for hours instead of – what was it I said before? – pushing your liver back into your spleen.
Anyway, the point of telling you this is that I was feeling mopey last week when, all of a sudden, a delivery man walked into my office and handed me a box from Canada. A box from the inspiring Ricki, she of the intricate wordsmithery, inventive healthy desserts, and wonderful Wellness Weekends to which I contribute my balls. A box that made me forget being unwell and instead made me feel exhilerated.
Several months ago, I mentioned to Ricki posts that I’d never tried coconut sugar, which she uses regularly in her ACD-friendly recipes. Immediately, Ricki offered to send me a packet. I acquiesced, as long as she gave me her address too.
When the parcel from Ricki arrived at my work, I was beyond speechless. And then I was babbling, because Ricki didn’t just send me a packet of coconut sugar. The amazing, naughty, kind-hearted, makes-my-heart-swell, incredibly generous woman sent me so, so much more.
As my colleague and friend Jenni watched on in excitement, I pulled out the coconut sugar and then a box of vegan, gluten-free, surely-super-healthy chocolate cookies.
“I don’t understand!” I started babbling, “Ricki was only supposed to send fancypants sugar! Just sugar!”
I reached into the box again.
“That’s such a cute tea towel,” Jenni said, picking up the coffee-printed fabric.
“Isn’t it just? But look at this adorable one!”
Ricki, I love this raw granola. It’s intense, and earthy, and not-too-sweet, and growingly-chocolate-y the more you eat it, and nutty, and so unlike anything I’ve ever had before.
(But I shan’t describe Jenni’s face when she tried a piece. Let’s just say she wasn’t expecting the unique flavour of buckwheat.)
“There’s more in there! Keep going!” Jenni exclaimed. I peeked back into the box…
“Maple butter? Maple butter! Oh my golly! This is incredible! I don’t understand, I don’t, it’s too much. Jenni, I don’t know why Ricki… I don’t deserve this, it’s incredible, I’m so, I don’t, I’m just me, I don’t… Ricki is beyond kind, I can’t even… dear golly there’s more in here!”
“Try them on!” Jenni chirped. “Here, give me your phone! Try them on!”
(I may look sick and worn-out in the second photo, but at least I don’t look like a circus-fun-mirror version of Where’s Wally as in the first, and you can see the gorgeous and super-soft mittens and beanie now.)
Ricki, my incredible friend, it’s hard to convey in this blog post the extent of my gratitude for your kindness, because my feelings go beyond words. The thought that you put into these gifts, the extent to which you disregarded the terrors of international postage, your generosity towards me when you’re so respected and well-known that you even make treats for movie stars… I want to give you such a big hug right now. I don’t know how I can ever repay you.
Question Time: Does anyone have delicious coconut sugar recipes I can experiment with?