I love to surprise my kids after school with little treats and things that show them I was thinking of them and excited about them coming back home at the end of the day. Sometimes I pick them up and take them for surprise frozen yogurt, sometimes it’s a walk in the park, every now and then it’s Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies or Peanut butter cake….but a few days ago it was this pretty tray of apple slices, arranged just so around a big old bowl of creamy peanut butter dip. My kids love all things Peanut Butter.
I had it sitting in the center of the table with plates and two glasses of juice, just waiting on them. They walked in and I was already beaming, which caused them to beam – I love how beaming is contagious in my family!
Now I’m not one on to get persnickety on food presentation (I always say we’re cooking the food to eat, not to build a shrine to it) but I do enjoy setting a nice scene for the kids and as they turned the corner their eyes got big as dollars and my heart swelled up so big it just about burst. THAT is when it is worth the extra effort 🙂
There are two groups people in this world that make it really fun to do nice things for, children and folks older than me. It just seems both of those groups take the time to notice life more than those of us in the middle. The middle folks like to rush around with a head full of “I” ideas. “I have to go here. I have to call so-and-so. I have to work on this. I have to pick up that. I have to talk to so-and-so about how they hurt my feelings when they looked at me funny. I’ve got to get up in the morning. I’ve got to cook breakfast for these people. I’ve got to wear this. I need that…”
Children and Older folks have more sense than middle minded folks. They notice things. They don’t walk by flowers without smelling them or at least smiling at them. And when someone offers a kindness, their hearts are readily available to notice it and add in an extra pump of blood flow to their mind in a moment of joy. This makes it lots more fun to do even the smallest things for them.
I was reminded of that this morning when I ate a peppermint lifesaver. Hang in there with me, there is a point to this..
When I was five years old, My parents always said “Don’t shut the car door by yourself when you get in. Let us shut it for you.” They said this over and over so of course I was just pretty much waiting on the day when I could beat them to it and shut the car door on my own because, you know, shutting the car door by yourself must be an awful lot of fun for them to always want to save the experience for them!
So I shut it by myself one day, and broke my thumb in the process.
As it turns out, thumbs aren’t meant to be shut in car doors so there is your public service announcement for the day.
It wasn’t all bad though, because I got to ride in Mama’s lap in the front on the way to the hospital and my brother and sister still had to sit in the back ~fights the urge to call her siblings and remind them that she got to ride in the front and they didn’t~.
So we ended up at the emergency room back in the day before you had to bring a bedroll and rations to make it through the wait and I kept my coveted spot in Mama’s lap, sniffing from time to time while I looked at my odd looking thumb.
A lady sitting there with us smiled at me. I still remember that. Then she opened her purse and looked around for a minute before pulling out a roll of peppermint lifesavers and said “Would you like one?”. I lit up and nodded eagerly and she gave me that peppermint lifesaver. There was something in that tiny little gesture that, for whatever reason, just came at the right time for me and made me feel better.
I knew at that moment that everything was going to be alright because nice ladies were handing out peppermint lifesavers in the waiting room of Huntsville Hospital.
I don’t remember any of the pain of having a broken thumb. I just remember getting to sit in Mama’s lap and that peppermint lifesaver.
So this morning I was piddling around in the house and came across my husband’s “pile”. That little area where he cleans out his pockets at night and refills them again in the morning. My eyes caught sight of some peppermint lifesavers and my heart did that little jump as I smiled and took one and remembered how good that felt to have a stranger take notice of me and do something so sweet. I’m sure she has no idea that her tiny little gesture is still bringing me joy over three decades later.
Folks, you just never know. It is the smallest acts of kindness. Don’t fret over trying to make a wave, all you’ve got to do it just add your tiny drop of water…
And maybe keep some lifesavers handy.
You’ll need: Creamy Peanut Butter, Brown Sugar (dark or light, your preference), Softened Cream Cheese, and Milk
Place cream cheese, peanut butter, and dark brown sugar in a mixing bow and mix until smooth.
Now we wanna add in our milk to make it nice and creamy and dippable.
Silly Spellcheck is trying to tell me that “dippable” isn’t a word but we both know exactly what I mean by that so clearly, our intelligence level is just above that of the computer.
Add in the milk and mix again until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed.
When you’re done it is gonna look like this.
Now at this point, this stuff is just plain good. In addition to dip, it would also be a great icing for cupcakes or cookies!
Cut the apples into wedges, removing the center and seeds.
Now there are different ways to keep your apples from turning brown, the most common is using a powder called “Fruit Fresh” or coating them in lemon juice. I try to avoid both of those because they put a really sour coating on the apples. So I use orange juice instead and it works every bit as well.
Place the apples into a bowl filled with orange juice (this keeps them from turning brown)
Take the apples out of the orange juice when ready to serve with the dip and place on a paper towel lined plate while you arrange them on your platter, this gets the extra OJ off of them.
This is great served with apples, celery sticks, cookies, ginger snaps, etc. It would also be a fabulous icing to cupcakes!
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar (can use light if you prefer)
- ½ cup milk
- In mixing bowl, place softened cream cheese, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Mix with electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add milk and mix until well combined, scraping down sides as needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
“An inexhaustible good nature is one of the most precious gifts of heaven, spreading itself like oil over the troubled sea of thought, and keeping the mind smooth and equable in the roughest weather.”
– Washington Irving
Thank you Christy Ryan for submitting this! I’m always tickled to get more quotes submitted so please click here if you’d like to visit our Give A Penny page and add your words of wisdom and wit!
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