IN WHICH I HAVE A DATE (WITH DESTINY)


I'll be the first to admit, I don't always get it right. 

Case in point, there's a forlorn bulb of kohlrabi languishing in my fridge right now, due in large part both to the fact that we recently joined a CSA and also that I have absolutely no idea what to do with kohlrabi*. Life via social media can look tantalizingly crisp and glossy, but it's important to remember that the reality might look more like sweaty pajama bottoms for the third day running, or a nonstop crying jag because I'm almost thirty-four and I'm never gonna figure any of this adulting out or because I just broke that handmade plate** or because taaaaaaaxes, man. Sometimes the onions burn. Sometimes I have to admit my powerlessness over caramelization. Sometimes the best laid plans go awry, sometimes the path the night is taking can only lead away from a homecooked meal and straight to the door of a Szechuan takeout place. Sometimes vegetables wilt unnoticed in the crisper and get furtively thrown away before their time, to be replaced by a fresh infusion of guilt and a new weekly box of produce.

[ *Shortly after writing this, I peeled, cubed and roasted the sucker with some onions and a drizzle of maple butter, snuggled up in the pan next to a whole chicken. Highly recommended. ]

[ **Almost immediately after taking the photographs above, while gingerly hand-washing and whispering to myself don't don't don't break it please, I broke the beautiful handmade blue plate seen here into three brutal pieces. Boom. Done. C'est la vie, c'est la guerre, c'est la frickin' pomme de terre. ]


Just please know that there are times when I'm standing in the kitchen, hair in disarray and a desperately clutched saucepan in hand, thinking I can't, there's no way, I have absolutely no idea what to feed my family. And also know that at this point, that family only consists of two adults and two small dogs (who eat identical bowls of kibble at nearly every meal).


But then. Oh, then. There are those sublime times when I figure out how to make delicious truffles out of juicy dates, tender coconut, rich dark chocolate and flakes of smoky sea salt. These are the times when I feel like I get it very, very right.


I can feed these to my gluten-sensitive friends. I can offer them to my paleo-observant warrior mom. I can & will pop one of these delightful date truffles into my mouth, crackling dark chocolate shell giving way to sticky, chewy date filling made more intriguing by a hint of coconut and light sweetness. And then maybe one more--straight out of the fridge at midnight--to celebrate the fact that I am a mostly-functional adult person who does have a few things figured out, after all.

Chocolate helps. The magical combination of sweet dates, dark chocolate and delicate flakes of smoked sea salt helps even more.


Date Truffles with Coconut and Smoked Sea Salt

Makes about thirty small truffles

1 1/2 cups pitted Medjool dates
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, plus more for rolling
3 tablespoons almond meal
2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup/agave nectar/sweetener of choice, if you'd like to make these vegan)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 oz. dark chocolate

Optional, but recommended: smoked sea salt, for sprinkling over the truffles. Mine is super-fancy, super-flakey Halen Môn smoked sea salt from Wales, but it's also available from a number of other places.

Place dates & coconut oil in bowl of a food processor, pulse to combine until a rough paste begins to form (it should not be perfectly smooth but instead should have bits of fruit still visible, try to keep the blending to a minimum). Add almond meal, honey and salt, pulse a few more times to combine.

Roll mixture into balls about the size of a quarter (mixture will be sticky; it may help to throw the entire bowl of date filling into the fridge for about thirty minutes prior to rolling), set aside on a sheet of parchment.


In a double boiler over medium heat or in a microwave-proof bowl, gently heat the dark chocolate until just melted, stirring vigorously until smooth. Remove from heat. Drizzle over each ball of date filling, sprinkle with smoked sea salt (if using), and allow to harden until set.

If you're chocolate-averse, these are also amazing simply rolled in shredded coconut, as also shown here. Either way, good for the soul.