March 29, 2013

A Time of Hope

The other day my son showed me this video while I was complaining about something ridiculous... Yes, it was the taste of the tap water I was commenting on... Next time, when he wants Kevin Durant's new shoes, I promised to remind him of the video. And I will probably refer to the phrase "the first world problem" quite frequently... until... one day, our family miraculously stops complaining and stops wanting things we don't need.
Then, I thought how often I, myself, fall into this vicious cycle of wanting and buying unnecessary things, of complaining and sweating over small, trivial issues. I don't underestimate our problems at all, but the fact is that the values driving the contemporary society have experienced a wide swing. Modern culture has created individuals obsessed with glamor, material possessions, hedonism, physical beauty, brands, ambition... Today, a person needs a truly stoic character and strong will in order to simplify life and not lose the true meaning of it. Moreover, our society promises quick and immediate solutions to any kind of problems. We even teach our children that life can be lived without struggles and sacrifices if they behave in an expected way. We pray for their days to be with no pain and heartache. Yet, at the corners of our minds we know that "the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depth"(Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).We all know that without difficulties, arrogance can easily arise, without obstacle, the knowledge will not be challenged and broadened.
I am sharing these thoughts today because it is Easter and many of us celebrate the agony, the death and the resurrection of Christ – the most humble, devoted and graceful man. And whether you are a believer or not, it is undeniable that today, more than ever, the whole world is searching for meaning, for salvation, for renewal. Renewal is to be the way of life.
Many will find comfort in the promise of eternal life. But, I hope that when He raises the crucified man and gives him eternal life, He raise us all too so that we experience a spiritual rebirth. I hope, in Jesus's resurrection, we find strength to revive the human goodness, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, generosity and humbleness. In the power of resurrection, we feed our own souls so we help to nourish the souls of others. We spread love and feel grateful and content with a simple life.

I wish you a happy and meaningful celebration of life, love, healing and peace. 

Brown Butter Almond Hot Cross Buns


1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1 tbsp dry instant yeast
2 tbsp rum
2 tsp pure almond extract
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg whisked with 2 tbsp water for brushing
1/4 cup sliced almonds


Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat until butter has browned, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, stir milk, yeast, rum and almond extract to blend. Add eggs and combine. Add flour, ground almonds, sugar and salt. Blend dough until evenly incorporated and it develops an elastic consistency yet still clings to the side of the bowl. Slowly pour in the cooled butter and incorporate.
Place in a bowl, cover and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 ºF.
On a lightly floured surface, turn dough out and cut into 7-8 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and arrange in a greased 9-inch cake pan. Cover loosely and let rise for 1 hour.
Brush top of buns with egg mixture and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake for 45 minutes until tops are rich golden color.
For icing, beat icing sugar and water together until smooth and pipe crosses an each bun.

Thank you!

Seasonal SundaysStone Gable


  1. Beautiful photos as always. Easter blessings to you and yours, Sylvia!

  2. Oh my for awhile I felt guilty about my complaining the other on my slow internet connections...:)
    That looks real yummy!
    Happy Easter!

  3. Awesome post!!! Think I can make this recipe which looks delicious.
    Happy Easter !
    hugs Olympia

  4. Sylvia,
    This looks like a wonderful recipe. Thank you for sharing.
    Happy Easter to you and your loves.

  5. Sylvia,
    Good Morning. I'm sure I will reread this post many times as every word you wrote could have come straight from my own heart and mouth. I'm glad you allowed yourself to share these thoughts with us. They are so true and reading them makes me want to try even harder to live this way. I think I live very simply and spiritually, but I know I can do more and give more. Thank you for the reminder.....

    I always love to see a post from you. I hope you and your family have a blessed Easter.

    Sarah xo

  6. Good morning dearest Sylvia. This video IS a great reminder of what we have and to treat it ever so lightly, and just be grateful for the breath we have. Thank you for celebrating the simple, the everyday things of life that unfortunately, are being pushed out for "greater" things...but the things that call us away really are not great, just a distraction.

    Peace and BEAUTY to you, as you take the time to reflect on the grace given to all who believe. OH! I have added comments to my blog, but for some reason, my last two posts do not show a comment link. I simply cannot blog without YOU all. Love to you, Anita

  7. I am always inspired when I read your blog and this post is truly special. You seem to find a way to take a holiday and give it layers of meaning, showing how there is something for everyone in your words, regardless of their faith, or absence of it. I love that because to me it represents the whole world, and allows us to see we have more in common than not. Truly beautiful.
    The buns look amazing too!

  8. Such a beautiful post Sylvia! I always enjoy your photos and writing and sharing from your heart. I wish you and your family a wonderfully blessed Easter! Pamela

  9. Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  10. True words of wisdom, dear sister....
    May you have a beautiful, joyful Easter Sunday...
    Many blessings,
    - Irina

  11. Thank you Sylvia for your meaningful and beautiful words. Happy Easter to your and your family.
    Marie *

  12. I think even we are believers in Jesus and try to live right we STILL need reminders daily. This is such a good video to reflect. Hope you are having a splendid Easter.

  13. Hot cross buns on easter count me in. Have a blessed easter to you and your family. Got my eye on your next posts.

  14. I clicked to make sure that this was the video I was thinking it was. It was. Someone shared it on facebook a while back, and it introduced the phrase "first world problem" to our family vernacular. I used it myself to categorize a recent "problem" finding a toilet for one of my three and one half bathrooms that was the right color. I have thought of blogging it, in fact. What silly problems we think we have, huh?

    How blessed we are!!

  15. Yes, Sylvia - this gives a great sense of perspective... Shocking our society sometimes! But true too - we must know our depths, and true wisdom and compassion comes from having been there too - that is how we can truly empathise.
    On the note of not forgetting the true meaning of life:
    “Men,” said the little prince, “set out on their way in express trains, but they do not know what they are looking for. Then they rush about, and get excited, and turn round and round…”
    And he added: “It is not worth the trouble.”
    Thank you for this beautiful post :-)
    (The little prince)

  16. My dear kindred
    spirit, I hope you
    had a joyous Easter!
    We attended the
    sunrise service by
    our lake ~ 32F but
    we were alive with
    singing and gratitude!

    xo Suzanne

  17. Not only does your recipe look great, but the images are magnificent.

    It's wonderful to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays!

    - The Tablescaper

  18. I'm a new reader of your blog, and I just had to comment ~ I love your beautiful photos and words. But this post is my favourite...inspiring and so true. Blessings, kathy


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