On our recent after dinner strolls, Audrey has been asking to walk to the same spot to see a homeless old man. She gives him some of her spending money and whatever coins she could find around the house. Peter has the habit of leaving coins on his nightstand because he doesn’t want them in his pockets. Nowadays, Audrey cleans up Peter’s nightstand everyday.
Last night Audrey was wearing a jacket that had a broken pocket, so she hid the coins in one of her boots as we went out in the light drizzle for our usual walk. When she found the old homeless man, she leaned against the wall next to him and took off her boot to get the money for him. What made the old man truly happy was not only the money that Audrey gave him, but that she smiled and chatted with with him as she took off her boot. As short as the moment was, it was a shared humanity that enriched them both.
In his book Letter to a Hostage, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry recounted how a smile saved his life when he was a journalist covering the Civil War in Spain. He concluded the book with a reflection on the universality and life-giving force of that one simple gesture, the human smile: “Care granted to the sick, welcome offered to the banished, forgiveness itself are worth nothing without a smile enlightening the deed. We communicate in a smile beyond languages, classes, and parties. We are faithful members of the same church, you with your customs, I with mine.”
I am very proud that she has turned out to be a kind and compassionate person. And she always has a warm and sincere smile for everyone.
I adapted the Very Nutty Apple Crisp recipe from:
I replaced all sugars with xylitol and flour with almond flour. I replaced the butter with coconut oil and cut the added fat by half. I also added walnuts and pecan and shaved coconut to make the streusel extra crispy and aromatic. Though I didn’t take the best pictures today, the apple crisp was truly delicious. I consider this a keeper.
Very Healthy and Very Nutty Apple Crisp Ingredients:
6 Granny Smith apples (peeled and cored)
2 to 3 tablespoons Xylitol or sugar (for the apples)
1/2 cup xylitol or brown sugar (for the crisp)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup almond flour (original recipe uses flour)
1/3 cup walnuts (chopped)
1/3 cup pecans (chopped)
1/3 cup shaved coconut (unsweetened)
2 tablespoon coconut oil (original recipe uses 4 tablespoon butter)
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Lightly coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with butter.
Combine the apples, xylitol or sugar, cinnamon, and half of the salt in a large bowl and toss to coat. Place the apple mixture in the prepared baking dish and set aside.
Using the same bowl as for mixing the apples, mix together the xylitol or brown sugar, oats, almond flour, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt until evenly combined. With your fingertips, blend in the coconut oil until small clumps form and the oil is well incorporated, about 2 minutes.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples and bake until the streusel is crispy and the apples are tender, about 50 minutes. Let cool on a rack at least 30 minutes before serving.