Swimming with the Sharks

Blueberry and Apricot Crumble with oats and almonds. As silky velvet as the night sky!

Blueberry and Apricot Crumble with oats and almonds. As silky velvet as the night sky!

This is an emotional time for the world. There is so much going on and so little clarity on where it came from and when it is going to end. Guns, BrExit, Mass Violence, Lone Killings, Refugees....

Everyday, there is more crime and higher profile drama, it seems we don't even have the time to mourn one crisis before the next wave bludgers you with even more grief. If you are spiritual, how do you send strength to the grieving, while being buffeted with another set of losses and potential attack ever closer to home? It seems we are adding and adding to an ever lengthening list of people to keep in mind in our prayers.

Perhaps, this is that time of the cycle. Perhaps, this is the same that happens with every major global cycle. Maybe now is not what the time of the World Wars was but in many ways it feels the same. People attacking people for ideologies deeply ingrained or felt and not shared by others. Ok, there are no 'deliberate' concentration camps and mass executions, but ask the Syrian refugees, they may have a different view. 

This too shall pass!

In all of this, I am searching for a silver lining, which must be there! And, I think I found it. I ardently hope I am right about it. Because, maybe then, we can walk through this tunnel even if it does not make any sense right now. After every major historically bloody crusade, there is has been a long period of peace and promise of collaboration. My history is rusty, but I am fairly certain that the dissolution of the Dark Ages and Henry the VIII first marriage was followed by so much less church driven crimes against humanity. Likewise, WW I and II were catastrophic in many ways but we had 50 years of restorative growth after that.

So, here is my hope. That the accelerating pace of violence is reaching the peak and soon, very soon, we will tumble in to the period of relief, reflection and worldly restoration. Yes, that is what I will hold on to and believe in, because nothing else makes sense..

blueberry apricot gluten free crumble
blueberry apricot gluten free crumble

Now, let me tell you a Florida story! Don't worry, I am sticking with something light for the rest of the post. I am in an optimistic mood!

I was in Fort Lauderdale last week, the same time that Orlando went into a state of shock. We were a small party of girls who came from NYC in search of sun and waves. We got little of first and a lot of the second. For the time we were there, Florida was a moody b**tch tempting us with gorgeous blue skies in the early am and dousing us with furious showers and crackling lighting and thunder as soon as we got to the beach {never mind that it took us a couple of hours to pack up and walk the 3 blocks to the beach!}.

I am in an optimistic mood!

But we were resolute. We counted the time between the crack of thunder and streak of lightning in the distant horizon and convinced ourselves it was too far away to rob us off our fun. We had packed a cooler of alcohol and we were determined to polish it off while beaching on the sand, even if it was wet. 

Plus, if you have never done it, I highly recommend huddling under beach umbrella in a brief squall and watching the the rain drops dancing on the surface of the ocean. It is magical, and a jeweled sight!

Then, in line with my callout above, the storm passed and sun faintly broke through. We took that as a sign, rejoiced and broke the waves with our rubber floaties and tubes. It was a peaceful afternoon.

The next day was more of the same, with a twist. As usual, we were huddling under the 'brellas when one of the girls spotted an ominous dark shape floating close to shore. We ran shrieking and excited. Soon, we saw it gently flip and the fin stick up in a 90* triangular wedge...

[Yes it was a shark!!!!]

We obviously were equals parts thrilled and awed. Whoever thought you would spot one so close to the shore, it was literally a couple of feet away from us!

/* As it happens, this is not uncommon. Basic googling after the drama had died down and we were back in NYC, threw up the fact that thousands of black tip sharks reside just off the coast of Florida in the Summer months. And, these not so Jaws but of the family variety are rather shy of humans and run away from us more than us from them. Nevertheless, it all was good for a bit of excitement... */

And, it threw a spanner in our ocean swimming day dreams. But, it's ok, we swapped the big body of water for a day at the pool with young down-South hotties, followed by a round of drinks later in the night at a mafia bar where we were so not welcome! Still, we managed to eavesdrop on the conversations of their 'women' who were suffering from lack of hot water but no lack of fine gifts!

All in all, it was party only Florida can throw.... #notmissingalligators

We did go back to the ocean in the night and swam a wee bit. Sharks apparently don't shore in the night. They prefer dawn and dusk, in case you are wondering...

So, next time you are in the state, come prepared for surprises and pack a nice bottle of something strong, just to be sure.... You never know when you may need it!

blueberry + apricot gluten free crumble

Blueberry + Apricot Mini Crumbles

Gluten Free With Oat and Almond Crumble

{inspired from this older recipe; makes 4 minis}

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

4 ripe apricots, chopped fine

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup slivered, blanched almonds

2 T honey

4 T cold butter

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Divide the fruit into little bowls. If using frozen blueberries, just add them in chunks into the molds; no need to thaw them.

In a small bowl, rub together the oats and butter. Add the almonds and honey and make a mealy mix. Divide evenly on top of the fruits and press gently.

Bake for 20 minutes until you see the berries bubbling on the side and the almonds are browned. Serve warm.