Not all the things that make life feel alive are the big things. Often they are the in between bits, the extras that rarely star in our life-tales, but I think can be the pixie dust that sparks the flights that do.
There are the little things that make little moments a little sweeter…
the beauty of ballerina feet on pointe
the abandon of Mila chasing butterfly shadows
the feel of clean sheets
the sheen of tempered chocolate
the spray painted ‘listen’ bird
the heart swirled into the foam of a latte
the water-proof part of mascara
the crispy top of macaroni and cheese
the first bite
the red heart on the sidewalk
the white of whipped egg whites
the smell of turkey dinner
the bubbles in champagne
the word ‘Paris’
And there are the things that make the day shine a little brighter …
the cool dive into open water
the sweat from hard work
the macarons that come out of the oven with feet
the unexpected kindness from a stranger
the afternoon nap in the rays of sunshine
the morning with pancakes,
the ride with the windows down
the triple pirouette
the first sprout of green
the word “grace”
the wave into traffic in a jam
the songs Ben sings
the perfect outfit
the night circus
The Night Circus is about taking these types of things and conjuring them into reality in tents amidst a much bigger and beautiful story. I loved this book for all of its delights and flights. I chose it for my book club.
And since I am a bit nerdy, ok, really nerdy, I created food from the circus for my club. The requisite popcorn was there. The caramel apple made an appearance (but was inside-out). And the chocolate mice came out to star in the show.
Chocolate Cherry Mice
14 cherries (I got the last of the BC cherries, but now maraschino are probably the only option)
14 Hershey kisses – frozen
6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
2 tsp shortening
1 oz. white chocolate, chopped
Go through the almonds to find 14 pairs of ‘ears’ – pick almonds that are similar in size. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate and the shortening over a water bath. Once melted allow to cool 2 minutes.
Hold each cherry by the stem (the tail) and dip to cover completely in chocolate. Set on a parchment lined baking sheet. Using a spoon, dip each kiss in chocolate and set on same baking sheet. Once all 14 ‘bodies’ and ‘heads’ are covered in chocolate, place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
The remaining chocolate should still be malleable. On the flat side of the Hershey kiss, place a drop of chocolate, secure the ears to this and then press against a cherry to join. Place in the fridge for another 30 minutes to harden.
Melt the white chocolate in a little bowl in the microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each time, until smooth. Allow to cool for about a minute. Dip each mouse nose just slightly into the chocolate and place back in the fridge.
Take out of the fridge 15 minutes before serving.