You know that moment you sift through your mail and see an envelope with a hand-written address, and inside is a hand-written letter to you?
Such a captivating method of communication. The way it used to be.
Email, text messaging, and all sorts of other methods of sending some sort of message to anyone anywhere in the world have monopolized the communication of the twenty-first century, bringing the human population to drift away from what hand-written communication was, and into digital communication.
It's come to the point that since communicating is so easy at any time of day instantaneously, less thought, sincerity, and earnestness go into a message being sent.
The anticipation and excitement of receiving that message in your mailbox in the front yard has transitioned into dread when you open your email inbox on the computer.
When using paper stationary, pen, and stamps was the primary method of sending a message, mailboxes were not inundated with spam and inappropriate virus-infested scams, they served the purpose of housing your letters going out or coming in.
Letter writing takes purpose and sincerity, and while my beau was overseas, it was our primary form of communication.
For that ten months, I received no more than a small handful of precious phone calls at odd hours, from strange numbers and satellite phones, without knowing when the next would be.
But the letters; I re-read them again and again.
While I was away at college and he was on the other side of the world, my favorite days were those when I would come home from class and have a letter or small MRE package in my mailbox (some of the MRE packaging was designed to be used as post mail).
Getting messages and updates from from him halfway around the planet were comforting, and would brighten my days so greatly-words don't quite capture it.
So, when a friend I acquainted on Instagram was looking for summertime penpals, I leapt at the opportunity to craft hand-written letters and receive her lovely correspondence.
Coconut Almond Kind Bars
makes a 9x13" pan
-2 cups whole almonds
-2 cups flaked coconut
-1/2 cup puffed millet
-1/2 cup maple syrup + 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick liner. Line 9x13" pan with parchment paper.
2. Spread almonds evenly on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and place in a large mixing bowl.
3. Spread flaked coconut evenly on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven 6-8 minutes, watch closely as it can burn quickly. Remove from oven and add to large mixing bowl. Add puffed millet and throroughly combine.
4. Combine maple syrup and brown rice syrup in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often, until candy thermometer reads 260F (hard ball stage). Remove from heat immediately. Stir in vanilla and salt. Pour over mixing bowl ingredients and quickly incorporating until thoroughly coated.
5. Working quickly, pour mixture into prepared pan and evenly spread. Cool at least 20 minutes. Using parchment paper, lift out of pan and place on cutting board. Cut into bars and allow to cool completely before transferring into airtight container with parchment paper between layers or individually wrapping each bar for on-the-go.
adapted from this recipe by The Yummy Life
-almonds: pecans, cashews, whatever you'd like-they won't be as similar to the almond coconut bars you can get in the store, but they will be delicious either way!
-puffed millet: puffed grain or rice crisp cereal
-maple syrup: brown rice syrup, honey
-brown rice syrup: honey
-additional nuts, seeds or dried fruit