Presently based in Mexico City, my daughter endured the terrifying experience of an earthquake. Standing in a queue on nightclub stairwell (where most twenty-somethings living on the other side of the world from home should be) the quake hit. Fearing its likely collapse, she had the presence of mind to push herself and those ahead of her off the stairs and into the club – where they safely waited it out.
Although she was physically unscathed, the experience has remained within her protective recesses. The nights are very hot in Mexico and for maximum sleeping comfort the minimum in sleeping attire is required. Never sure now when the next tremor may strike, she keeps a pair of pants within arm’s reach next to her bed should she need to evacuate to the street in the wee hours. Affectionately termed her ”earthquake pants” they provide the security she currently needs to sleep well through unsettling circumstances.
And today I thought, we all need earthquake pants, something or someone we know we can reach for when life trembles. I am lucky. I have some very sound quake strides that have supported me, so I urge you to think about what are yours. For many the fabric is woven from religion, a parent, a partner or a social network. Whatever guise your pants may be, cherish them and keep them close.
I hope I am the earthquake pants for my children.
Maybe you also have a pair fashioned from the strongest material available, but have not yet discovered them or have forgotten they are there, folded securely within you. These are the pants that you slide into when the fault lines of life shift and separate beneath you. Their warp and weft threads are tightly bound by the inner strength of your human spirit – and nothing, not even a shift in the physical earth will ever separate them.
If you are experiencing or have endured your own personal instability, this is a lovely piece to help restore calm.
And here is the recipe for this brownie, with all of its cracks, splits and crevices.
Cranberry and Mixed Nut Brownie
125g dark chocolate
275g caster sugar
75g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
small handful of dried cranberries
150g mixed unsalted nuts, chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees (fan-forced).
- Grease and line a slice tin with baking paper overhanging the sides.
- Place chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl and melt over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir constantly and cool for a few minutes once melted.
- Beat eggs and sugar.
- Blend this mixture with the chocolate mixture and fold through all of the dry ingredients.
- Pour into lined tin and bake for around 30 minutes.
- Once completely cold, slice into portions, which if you have no will power to withstand, like me, share out or place in the freezer for a rough day.