by Hanne Larsson
- Melt your fatigue in a thick bottomed saucepan. Blend in a pinch of salt (restorative). Do not let bubble, leave to cool slightly; it must not granulate.
- In a large bowl, preferably glass, add 400g of flickering candlelight from Lucia’s crown, three sprigs of holly (holly berries optional but max two, if used, crushed, otherwise too bitter), 100g sugar and any number of amaryllis petals (that Tove bought you as a gift but you forgot about till halfway through December) to match the argument’s intensity. Add cooled fatigue and mix well. Leave on windowsill to absorb the lengthening light.
- Liberally grease a dish with equal parts fresh air and woodsmoke, then add your crushed gingerbread, long snaking walks where you try to make sense of your grief, and 4 tablespoons hope. Ensure even coverage across the dish, particularly noting that hope can clump. (It’s best stored with a dried whole chilli.) Sprinkle with cherry blossom and cinnamon to taste. Add another tablespoon of hope if all texts/calls have so far been ignored.
- Gently squeeze your crumble mixture through your fingertips. It should feel a bit claggy, not gummy. If gummy leave for a bit longer to ensure fatigue residue removed by daylight. (If no daylight, candlelight will do, though it will have to be left much longer. Best candlelight results are from those candles lit in memory)
- Bake in oven at 190C for 20 to 25 minutes until golden, like the sunset of that midsummer where you became best friends.
- Serve with spring crème fraiche1 and promises of summer2.
- Flavoured according to your local season but good combinations include memories you hold dear mixed with equal parts of lingering hugs. Avoid mixing any festered argument with dairy as it will curdle, particularly if it was a misunderstanding best left unpicked even though the scab is itching. Some wounds will leave deep scars, and that is fine too.
- See page 25. This will require a letter of apology, the offer of a shoulder, the smell of cut grass and a pub garden. Promises of summer have best potency if made at the spring equinox, as you let the unforgiving winter crumble behind you.