To look around, "round" is the shape of the week. Early in the week, gorgeous, big, fluffy, round snowflakes fell and for several moments, there was a winter wonderland all around us. Then, not-so-gorgeous, big, sloppy, round rain drops fell. For the rest of the week, icy slush has been all around us, its dreary messiness brightened up by delightful round-bellied snowmen in neighbors' yards.
Like I said in an earlier post, I love snow, especially the big flaked kind. So many wonderful memories swirl around snow...of our snowmen (one we kept part of in the freezer for three years), of "real'' snow cones sweetened with maple syrup, of sledding on my stomach, skiing on my back, ice skating on my ankles and making snow angels as soon as there was enough snow to spread into wings. As a kid, whatever I lacked in winter athleticism, I made up for in "free-form" winter enthusiasm. My dad was an avid winter sportsmen and he introduced me to all his favorite sports and tried to pass on his skills. I must admit ( and I am sure he knew) that my favorite part of our ski or skating adventures together was the after...warming icy toes and frozen noses in front of the fire! As a mom, I also love the memories of bundling up our babies with layers and layers of snow clothes until they were fluffy, round, snow-suited cuties and then, trying to pile those human "snow balls" onto sleds and flying saucers. When they were babies, we lived less than a mile from Lake Erie and the "lake effect" had us around snow and rain for many, many months of the year. They were round little bundles a lot! Now, our babies are adults and our round-bellied pups offer their own doggie twist on snowbaby cuteness. Love it...and I could go on and on, but I am going in circles...
Back to earth...Valentine's Day is right around the corner and I promised a "healthy" treat. This recipe is from my friend Ann and it is quite versatile. You can roll these delicious little balls in sesame seeds or coconut or dip them in melted unsweetened dark chocolate. Although I haven't done this yet, I bet you can substitute almond or cashew butter for the peanut butter, and other dried fruits or dark chocolate bits for the raisins. Snow or no snow, have fun playing around with these. With just a little imagination, you will have a whole "candy" box full.
Valentine "Butter" Balls
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (stir well if there is oil in the jar)
1/3 cup local honey
1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dry milk
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup wheat germ or All Bran cereal
Mix all until well combined and then shape into balls. Keep in 'fridge for snacking.