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Apricot walnut truffles and other acts of love

February 12, 2012

Here’s what I’ve noticed about these kids lately. How the world conforms to their beliefs instead of the other way around. It’s like that great quote by Erich Heller: Be careful how you interpret the world; it is like that. 

Which for Rose means there are flying ponies, which is also the animal she most wants to be. Also, being an individual boils down to what your favorite color is. And there is a sticker for every occasion, every single one: for getting out of the bath and helping your Daddy shave and weekend mornings and saying sorry. For Col, there is always an answer you can scrinch out of your brain if you think hard enough. The world contains no orphan questions floating unanchored to the solid port of answers. For example, where does wind comes from? It’s gravity whooshing up all the snow, which flows really fast, thus: wind. Also, parents and children don’t necessarily separate ever. Last week the kids and I were taking a walk and Col asked shyly, “Mama, do kids ever grow up and live in the same town as their parents?” “They do,” I answered, my heart somersaulting as I reached out for his small hand. Then he wondered, “but, do they ever live in the same house?”

And maybe you couldn’t tell but this post is about Valentines Day. About how easy it is to love these children. How, even though last Wednesday when I exhaustedly and grumpily declared it a nap day and sent the kids to bed with irritation puffing cartoonishly out of my ears, by the time Col woke one hour later I rushed to snuggle him, all the annoyance wiped cleanly away as if by a big, chalkboard eraser.

Because that’s how it is. Love at its best is like this crowbar that keeps prying your heart open wider and wider and you think it could actually burst but really it’s just expanding to contain more than you ever thought possible.

Apricot-walnut Truffles 

This recipe is easy. You don’t even have to turn on your oven. It took the kids and me about half an hour, start to finish. We kicked Dan out of the house because these are our Valentines Day surprise for him and at one point Rose, picturing the “getting kicked out” rather literally said, “I hope Daddy’s not getting too cold outside in the snow.”

Ingredients: (makes 20 – 25)

1/2 cup walnuts

1 1/2 cup apricots

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp vanilla (or 2 tbsp rum)

3-5 oz solid good chocolate

Blend the walnuts in a food processor until crumbly, then add (slowly) apricots, salt, honey, vanilla, cinnamon. Process until well mixed. Roll with your hands into teaspoon-sized balls and place on wax paper lined baking sheet. Melt chocolate on very low heat. Roll apricot balls around in the melted chocolate with a spoon and lift out onto waxed paper. Chill in fridge for 20 minutes. Devour…I mean, save for Valentines Day.

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naked truffles

the inevitable

I love how fancy they look, and how your mix could include anything: peanut butter and honey, walnuts and dates, coconut and rum, or sauerkraut by gum! Store in fridge or freezer.

How do your children see the world?

28 Comments leave one →
  1. abozza permalink
    February 13, 2012 8:40 am

    My children see the world much the same as yours, and it is wonderful. Anything and everything is possible and real. I love that. And, I share your vision of love. I collapse into bed at the end of the day, but when my first sleepy-faced child enters my line of vision in the morning, I’m overjoyed because I missed them all so much while we were sleeping. :)

  2. Michele permalink
    February 13, 2012 8:45 am

    My 7 year old asked if I was looking forward to the kids moving out and having their own houses some day. I told her I really enjoy living with her now and that I will look forward to visiting her in her own place when she’s bigger. :) When I was growing up my Dad and Step Mom gave us 6 free weeks to live at home after college, after that we had to pay rent.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      February 13, 2012 11:09 am

      If Col and Rose really want to live with us when they grow up, they’ll be considered interns, in charge of weeding the garden and patrolling for roadkill on the highways.

  3. Bree permalink
    February 13, 2012 9:10 am

    My 8 year old said to me yesterday, “I’m going to be your next husband. After Dad is dead, of course.”

  4. February 13, 2012 10:16 am

    Luke loves to take pictures & it is funny to look at them to see what HE sees :-) I think I am going to make the truffle recipe for tomorrow! This looks like a great one without peanuts, which is hard to find. Thanks!!!

  5. Christy permalink
    February 13, 2012 10:17 am

    Love between parents and children.
    Dad called me this morning ‘to check on the roads’ (we are experiencing winter weather.) For a moment I felt the slight rise in irritation. My independent self raising its head. Like what, I am not able to drive myself home? (Read that with a very snotty teenage girl tone.)and I didn’t actually say that.
    Then I just laughed thinking how I always ask my step son to text me when he makes it home after having dinner with us. And he does. Every time without fail(or sigh or comment)
    And he doesn’t even have kids yet!
    The truffles look yummy. And hey tell Col that while we don’t live in the same house as my parents, we are neighbors to both them and my grandparents. So, maybe he can move into the bottom floor one day…

  6. February 13, 2012 1:31 pm

    One of my daughters keeps asking me if she can live with me when she is grown-up. My response is the same every time:of course! Knowing full well that she needs the reassurance now, but that her desire will undoubtedly change in a few years. My other daughter informed me recently that she wants to marry me. At 4 1/2, I probably should have corrected her, but I just didn’t have the heart. Let her have that innocent declaration of love for her mama a little while longer…

  7. julia permalink
    February 13, 2012 1:47 pm

    It’s always amazing to me, and sometimes disapointing, how the wonderous things in life so often seem so obvious to Cedar. He sees life as wonderful and magical, so why wouldn’t big fluffy snowflakes fall from the sky, and of course caterpillers turn into butterflies!

  8. Anonymous permalink
    February 13, 2012 1:53 pm

    Those “naked Truffles” look a lot like things I used to eat at Grateful Dead shows that cost about $5 a pop in the parking lot. They had a different name – and probably different results…


  9. February 13, 2012 5:14 pm

    Yum, yum, yum. I think I need to make these (my late-last-night attempt at honey divinity having failed spectacularly). I have one child who sees the world VERY literally, and every word spoken must be true and right and around whom I’m never allowed to mention the little gnomes that live inside the streetlights and change them from red to green when they see a car. I have one child who very firmly believes in wishes and magic and is convinced that if he leaps off the couch enough times he will teach himself to fly and whose current future career goal is “Ninja”. And I have one child who is a third child (if only by a minute) and therefore about him I have much less firm impressions than the other two, so I can’t really put into words his world view. Hmm, I should probably work on paying him a bit more attention.

  10. February 13, 2012 5:19 pm

    I * love * your description of love…and those truffles look mighty tasty too!

  11. February 14, 2012 12:02 am

    i know you’re watching portlandia, and so the first thing that came to mind when i saw the naked truffles was, “you could pickle that”.

    thank you for the recipe and i might surprise my fella too. also, i don’t know what is more delicious…truffles or rose. xo

  12. February 14, 2012 11:45 am

    Mine are firmly convinced that they will live with us forever, and that when they are grown-ups the rules will magically change so that they are in charge. And I keep saying, “Sure, you can live here forever, but they’ll still be my rules.” We’ll be 90 and 60, I imagine.

    on a completely different note, I keep meaning to ask you: has it been a year since the tonsillectomy? What differences have you noticed? Do you remember your worry, and how do you?

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      February 14, 2012 1:35 pm

      Wouldn’t that be fun? Your kids and their spouses and you and R all shacked up together FOREVER?

      It is almost a year since the tonsillectomy and although there hasn’t been a miraculous growth spurt (yet), Col has been very healthy. Typically in a year he’ll have 4-6 rounds of antibiotics, but this year: one. One! Also, we haven’t busted out the nebulizer once. This is actually tremendous for him and I’m the teensiest bit nervous about even saying it (ON THE INTERNET, which didn’t you once prove that God reads?) because you know us Jews and the evil eye and everything, but whew, seems that without his gnarly tonsils to squat on, the germs have been few and far between.

      Thanks for asking.

  13. mwieser permalink
    February 14, 2012 12:29 pm

    On worldview: My girl told me the other day that perhaps the rec center was torn down recently so the pool would be an outdoor pool, and it was just built back up right before we arrived. And that she’d had a dream of Peter and the Wolf, and in it a fox came and chased the wolf away. She told me the store of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, when I said I’d forgotten it, and then when she was done she said I should tell it to her, because she’d only told me the WORDS, and she wanted the story from me.

  14. February 14, 2012 1:50 pm

    *orphan questions* love this term so much. perfect pairing. ” Love at its best is like this crowbar that keeps prying your heart open wider and wider and you think it could actually burst but really it’s just expanding to contain more than you ever thought possible.” I just love the way you write so much, each time I click here I nod and smile as I scroll down, always leaving with a full heart, happy mind. Thank you. Happy Love Day.

  15. February 14, 2012 1:59 pm

    Isn’t it wonderful that you are raising your children (and so many other commenters here) to believe in magic and fantasy and fairy tales! I LOVE it! We all need it! I did the same for my children (who are all grown up now with children of their own) and I have so much fun telling my grandchildren about the Teeny Weenies who live in the back yard and leave little notes and surprises in little mailboxes for them. The grandchildren are 5, 2 and 1 1/2 years old and they love the magic! Such fun!!!

  16. Liz permalink
    February 14, 2012 2:28 pm

    I’m normally a lurker but his post pulled me out of the Internet abyss. My dad died when I was 18, long before my 3 year old daughter was even an idea. The other day, though, she walks into the kitchen and says, “I was just playing with grandpa Andy and he was throwing me in the air and catching me and I was laughing and laughing!”. It took me aback at first and then I thought why the hell not? There’s much I don’t know and I only wish I might be so lucky to hang out with my dad at will. I’m so thankful to hang out with little people and all their fantastical wisdom.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      February 14, 2012 3:50 pm

      Liz, Thanks for coming out of the lurk to comment. That is a sweet, sweet story. And, exactly: “why the hell not?” Dan’s father died before Col and Rose were born but he tells them so many stories about his dad, he feels sort of like a regular family member. Plus Dan’s dad was a huge fan of wild mushrooms, as is Col (which seems a little unusual for a 7 yr old), so we like to say he got that from Hal.

  17. Nana Judy permalink
    February 14, 2012 8:27 pm

    Hi Rachel – my lil truffles for my Valentine sweetie – inspired by you – were a big success. what I had was three dates, one fig, some coconut & pecans – I whizzed it all up in Cuisinart w some candied ginger. I rolled the balls in a lil sugar. I put ‘em on deck to cool. Fortunately I had put a brick on top of the lid covering ‘em – as I think a squirrel tried to get at ‘em with no success.

    My chocolate was some dark choco bits (not The Best, but ok) that I melted in double boiler. To the extra left over, I added a lil bit of water, swirled it around & will make some hot chocolate some morning.

    Overall, it was fun – and I will do it again – thanks to you for making it sound easy enough to try!

  18. February 15, 2012 5:15 am

    Wonderful writing, wonderful looking truffles. Thanks for such a beautiful post!

  19. February 16, 2012 10:51 pm

    that crow bar is working on me and ouch! the stretching is insane!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      February 17, 2012 6:40 pm

      Tell me about it! I’m bruised up over here.

  20. February 18, 2012 9:49 am

    I wish all parents in this world were like you Rachel. So sweet.

  21. February 23, 2012 11:26 pm

    “Because that’s how it is. Love at its best is like this crowbar that keeps prying your heart open wider and wider and you think it could actually burst but really it’s just expanding to contain more than you ever thought possible.”

    Yes. Totally. It’s words like these that you magically string together that keep me coming back. You have such an amazing gift!

  22. Anonymous permalink
    July 30, 2012 7:41 am

    With the bounty of apricots this summer, do you think this recipe would work with fresh apricots as well?

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      July 30, 2012 8:39 am


      I don’t think so. I think they’d be too moist and mushy.



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