Most of you know that I love love love Advent-- it's my favorite liturgical season, and one that I really love marking with a distinct set of spiritual practices. For the last two years, Ben and I (and our faith community) have been celebrating advent by working through a book entitled "Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J.M. Nouwen." It's a beautiful book, and has devotions for each day of Advent that contain a passage from some of Nouwen's writing, a biblical passage, a prayer, and what they call an "advent action."
In addition to our daily devotions, we love having a special celebration each Sunday of Advent. Ben's mom has totally paved the way for this tradition-- in their home, they have special Advent treats, Advent songs, and a candle lighting ceremony each Sunday of Advent. We've taken to continuing that tradition in our household, and each Sunday we sit down and have a time that we spend together in song, prayer, and feasting. So later tonight we're going to dim the lights, light that first lonely candle Advent, and begin the season of waiting (which feels so much more centered than black friday!).
Here's today's special Advent treat, a modified recipe from my dear friend Kathryn:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/2 t cinnamon
2 cups walnuts
1/4 t kosher salt
1. Boil milk and sugar to about 234-240 degrees, which for those of you who, like me, have no candy thermometer, is roughly until it just starts to turn a little off-white.
2. Add cinnamon and vanilla, and pour over walnuts
3. Continue stirring until the syrup cools down a bit and turns into a candy coating.
4. Sprinkle with kosher salt
Enjoy! And I hope everyone has a blessed and peaceful Advent!