I take inspiration from so many illustrators, but Lisa Congdon just gets me. I always seem to come across her messages at the perfect time. I don’t really subscribe to the idea of having a “spirit animal,” but if I did, Lisa would be mine.
As the season officially changes from winter to spring, taking its own sweet time, I’m going through my own really slow transitions.
There is a new relationship, new business projects, new health and wellness pursuits. I say slow transitions because I feel like they’ve been dragging their feet with not a lot to show for their efforts. I know the good is on its way, it always is. It’s just taking its own sweet time.
I didn’t write an All Good Things last week and was beating myself up about it a little. I straddle wanting to do everything and wanting to do nothing nearly every day. Just as I was struggling with this, my friend Leigh Angel of The Semicolon Advocate posted these incredible photos of snails.
I think I needed someone to give me permission to take an intermission. Something to let me know it’s OK if I don’t do everything (or anything.) These little snails were my messengers. (Thank you to Leigh, the true messenger!)
Did you know that snails can’t travel backward? They can only move forward! Ummm... OK, if you know me, then you know THIS is my spirit animal.
Snails are some of the tiniest but mightiest effort-ers on the planet. Snails (and slugs) move by contracting tiny muscles in their 'foot' in sequence, generating a wave that moves from front to back. As the wave moves back, different parts of the foot take it in turns to grip the ground and pull the animal forward.
All this work, and if a snail moved nonstop in a 24 hour period he would only cover two and a half blocks in Manhattan. AND he’s carrying his whole entire house on his back. Snails get to their destinations, continually moving forward, in their own sweet time.
So thank you, handsome little snails, for reminding me to hold steady. To go slowly. Take breaks. Keep moving forward. And to remember that my efforts will be rewarded, not overnight, but in their own sweet time.
And in the spirit of snails and sweetness, I made Nutella Banana French Toast Snails! The recipe is really called French Toast Swirls, but as I was making them and thinking about the brave snails, I literally hollered “Aha!” in my kitchen and knew this blog was being born. So now they’re French Toast Snails! I’m sure the people at Twisted Food won’t mind. Their recipe is below. They have a charming little video on the site, so click on over if you’re making these.
Nutella Banana French Toast Snails
1 loaf soft white bread
1 cup chocolate spread
4 bananas, sliced thin
1 cup cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp milk
Pre-heat oven to 180ºC (350ºF).
Cut the crusts off all slices of bread. Put 3-4 together just slightly overlapping and press the seems together using your fingers to seal. Repeat with remaining bread.
Spread chocolate spread over each piece of bread. Lay pieces of banana over the chocolate spread. Roll into a tight roll. (I cut my rolls in half and lined them up like cinnamon rolls (snails!)
Place each into a greased baking dish with high sides.
In a large glass, jug whisk together eggs, cream, milk, sugar and 1 tsp vanilla until smooth. Pour over spirals and let soak for 10-15 minutes until completely absorbed.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until puffed up, golden brown and cooked through. Cover with foil if it gets dark on top too quickly.
In another jug whisk together icing sugar, milk, melted butter and 1/2 tsp vanilla.
Pour glaze over while still warm.