Today I want to honour a woman I used to work with many years ago. She is vivacious, beautiful and full of life. At the time, I was completely intimidated by her and her overwhelming energy and enthusiasm and was at a point in my life when I was learning about me. Who I was, what I wanted to do, who I wanted to become, I had questions and concerns about decisions I was making and had made as my life didn’t seem to be turning out quite how I’d planned.
Melanie seemed to know exactly what she wanted and knew how to go about getting it. We seemed very different and all the positives I saw in her seemed to highlight the flaws, or so I felt, in me. I now of course know that it was all a lack of confidence in myself and nothing at all to do with her. We weren’t very close and I can’t even say that we were friends, so it wasn’t a great surprise when our lives took very separate paths and I honestly didn’t think twice about her again. I moved countries, drew on strengths I didn’t know I had, and made a new life for myself. I found “Me” again and am very happy and content with who I am. Then through Facebook she recently requested to be Friends. I was a little surprised and have to admit, inquisitive, and some of the old emotions and fears crept out from their hiding places, but I’m mature enough now to manage them and accepted the Friend request.
I can’t explain the feelings I had when I read about Melanie’s recent life experiences. For someone who looked like life came easily, she has sure been tested with the loss of a very much wanted and loved baby boy. He was born with SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) which is a motor neuron disease and has bravely shared her and baby Kade’s story publicly. She is the founder of The Kade Crusade, a foundation in support of SMA, connecting families, medical care, information and raising awareness for this terrible infliction that has, in this day and age, no cure. This foundation also raises funds to assist displaced families, the hungry, children in need, etc. I salute Melanie, her family and her focus. She believes God has a plan for her and little Kade’s life and although he was only on earth for 11.5 weeks, his legacy will live on and help so many.
Please take a moment to visit http://www.kadescrusade.co.za or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KadeCrusade?fref=ts. If you can and feel so inclined, please help out by donating to this wonderful cause. Donation information is on the website. It is a registered charity/foundation.
Now how does this relate to Chocolate Marshmallow Slices I hear you ask? It doesn’t and I can’t even begin to make up a link. It’s just that I wanted to share both the slice recipe and Melanie and Kade’s story. I made the slice this week and it didn’t last very long – it is truly delicious and very easy to make. In fact, I had forgotten quite how easy. I guess they both just made me, again, remember how grateful I am for the blessings in my life and how sharing a simple chocolate slice with the people I love makes me feel for those who have lost loved ones. I too, have losses I don’t care to talk about much, but I think the loss of a child that you have carried to term, given birth to, taken home with dreams of many years ahead of creating a wonderful life, only to lose it all when a doctor gives you a diagnosis you can do absolutely nothing about – must be truly heart breaking in a way that I sincerely hope I never face. And then to have the courage and love to hold your baby while it takes it’s last breath – as a Mother myself, my heart breaks for her.
So my recipe might seem trivial, but enjoy the small treats life has to offer, make the most of every single day and live, live, live. Celebrate the simple things and smile – we have so much to be thankful for.
125 ml sugar
125 ml flour
1 x 225 g can condensed milk
2 x 100 g dark chocolate
60 g butter
8 marshmallows, chopped
125 ml peanuts (raw and unsalted), chopped
250 ml biscuit crumbs (I used super wine biscuits, but Marie or something similar will do)
30 g butter
- In a pan, combine the sugar, flour, condensed milk, 100 g chocolate, 60 g butter and marshmallows.
- Heat gently, stirring continuously until all ingredients are melted and well blended. DO NOT boil the mixture.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped nuts and biscuit crumbs.
- Pour into a lined 25 cm square pan and refrigerate until set.
- Melt the remaining 100 g chocolate and butter together, blending well and spread over the set mixture. Return to the fridge to allow the topping to set before cutting into slices.