The Little Match Girl

The Dark of the Year

Light the match.
The only way out is through.

A scrape, a flare,
the flame blue with heat along the bottom edge,
golden near the top,
its heart dark.
‘Lucifers’ would seem miraculous to those
who had to struggle with flint and tinder
when the coals went out,
though to be sure, it might have been that steel
would be harder to come by than flint.

Hope is the province of adults.
Children only know the world as it is,
whether fair or restrictive. A child
beaten for things out of her control
would, perhaps, find it only natural.
How rare for such an one to have any
to whom she could account for love.

Fire consumes, and fire changes,
adds weight to what it does not burn,
adds weight to what is left behind.
Children, so light, might flare up completely
leaving behind only the scars in our souls.

Light the match.
In its dark heart, a fascination,
a vision of the happy past,
or perhaps the future.
Impossible to draw your eyes away.

Hope is the province of adults.
The only way out is through.

December 19, 2009

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Aebleskivers

You will need:
An aebleskiver pan (which has seven semi-circular depressions in it.) This has to be a heavy-duty pan as a cheap pan will cook unevenly.

All recipe variants denoted by / ; use either the ingredients before the slash, or the ones after, not both.

2 cups flour
2 cups milk/2 cups buttermilk
2 tsp. baking powder/1 tsp. baking powder and 1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt/1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, separated/3 eggs, separated
1 tbsp. sugar/2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring/applesauce
Melted butter or shortening

Beat the egg whites until stiff. Beat the yolks, then add sugar, salt, and milk/buttermilk. Add the flour, almond flavoring, and baking powder/soda. Fold in the beaten egg whites.

or use the simplified version:
2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp almond, vanilla, or lemon flavoring

Heat the aebleskiver pan until hot. Drop some butter/shortening/oil into each depression and fill 2/3 full with batter. The recipe after the / requires you to drop some applesauce onto the dough (carefully). As bubbles form in the balls (like with pancakes), turn with a knitting needle or fork, 1/4 turn at each point. Keep turning until aebleskiver is spherical and brown on all sides; if you are using the knitting needle you can use it to test for doneness.

Serve hot, with maple syrup, powdered sugar, or by breaking it open and filling it with berry jam. Very addictive.

This is essentially a fancy soft waffle, so if you’d like to experiment, try a waffle mix and cut down the wet ingredients (water & oil) by a third, substitute some applesauce, or add some sugar.

Or just go to Junction City’s Scandanavian Festival, held every August, and buy the danged things.

And because you’re all dying to know, it’s pronounced “Aa-bull-skee-ver.”