To Narnia and Back


Sometimes you want to say just that “F*** it”! I’m going to Narnia! Or whatever else magical world that resonates with you and takes you on a journey of dreams, hopes and imagination.
And on Tuesday I did just that. I left New York for one night and took a trip to Narnia. I’m quite a frequent visitor to this fairy land, it’s my favorite vacation spot, whether short or long, the trips are necessary to recharge your spirit, to test your dreams, or simply rest in a blissful void of stillness where the only energy expenditure is going towards your own breath and a heartbeat.
But this particular Tuesday I took a prisoner with me. He tried to object and to fight it off, but his hands were bound, and his head was heavy from all the intoxicating spirits I filled his glass with up to a brim. In a merciless movement I pushed his body right off the cliff and into an abyss of darkness, but before any scream sound could escape his mouth, a magical coast of Narnia revealed itself while a gentle wind pushed the boat underneath us and brought us up right to the shore.
The sky was dark but full of warmly lit stars illuminating the way and seducing with their glow to leave the world behind and enter deep into Narnia land and never look back. The path was open and right into the magic orchid where every tree was heavy with ripe miracle berries. And thus we drugged ourselves with miracle fruit, and everything we tasted that night became sweet as sugar and intoxicating.
And when the orchid cleared, a hidden river magically appeared pulling us into its current flow, making us feel precariously close to both perishing in this deep water and floating freely on top of the smooth surface. And when the wild turbulence hit us right in the face, there was nothing else to do but to go deep under, the only way to stay alive is to swim through it, leaving us energized and completely spent in an entangled way that only Narnia brings.
Next came the field of delicate flowers with a gentle scent and silky to the touch. With a soft caress they lull you into sleep, and when your body is so tired from the journey, and your mind is so heavy with everything that runs through in a worldly land, you dive into weightless sleep with just a thought of feeling happy. And if reality breaks through this drugged dream, the flowers will lull you back to sleep again with sweet nothings whisper, and no matter how much you fight to get up and run, your blood is still, and the heartbeat is slow taking you back to the dream state as if knowing that it’s what the body and soul need at this time to fuel fully and to feed the spirit within.
When the skies gave way to a dim winter Sun, and the magical land was receding, the prisoner finally got his voice back and pleaded loudly for his prompt return. It was time to go back, the dream land path was closing, and the time warp was merging into concrete minutes ticking away, pulling us back into reality. As the Sun has risen, I untied his hands and removed his binds to let him go and enter the world again. What he didn’t know is that I slipped a flower petal inside his coat, and if he ever finds it, for that moment, the time will stand still again, and he’ll see himself back in the dream field feeling happy in that minute memory.
As I walked away, facing whatever the day will bring, I knew that the door to Narnia land is always open and waiting for the next chance I choose to gently push it in and take a step inside my own imagination.
What’s Cooking This Week
If you enjoyed my little creative tale, then you will definitely enjoy this week’s recipe. It’s magical and dreamy and will remind you of the holidays that now seem so far in the past at the end of 2013. Zimtsterne are traditional German cookies served during Christmas time that are full of warm holiday spirit and are a protein dense treat you won’t mind indulging in.
Zimtsterne – German Cinnamon Stars
Makes 10-12 large star cookies:
3 cups of hazelnut (or almond) flour
1/2 cup of egg whites (about 4 eggs)
2 cups of powdered sugar plus more for dusting
2 tspoons of cinnamon
2 tspoons of grated lemon zest
A pinch of salt
Sliced almonds for garnish
White sugar crystals
In a large bowl beat egg whites till foamy then beat again until soft peaks appear. Gradually add sugar and beat until the mixture is stiff. Set aside about 1/2 cup of egg mixture. In a separate bowl mix together nut flour, lemon zest and cinnamon.
Gradually combine egg whites with the flour mixture to form a sticky dough. It’s best if you first leave the dough in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Dust a piece of parchment paper with powdered sugar and gently knead the dough to pull it together. Roll it to about 1/4 inch thick and using a star cookie cutter cut the cookies out.
Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, glaze with some of the reserved egg mixture and garnish with almond slices.
Bake in a pre-heated oven to 320F degree for about 15-20 minutes or until the tops are harden. Sprinkle sugar crystals on top.
You can escape to dreamy Narnia land any time of the day with a cup of tea and a couple of Zimtsterne on a side.