October is always a busy month for my family, but this year we have found ourselves particularly engaged. It’s been full of growth and progress and love. Of work and weddings, of birthdays and catching up with dear old friends. Of a trip to the mountains and a bevy of ginger cardamom balls.
Earlier this month, our friends Lucas and Tess were married and my whole family journeyed to the Grampains for the celebration. It was such a thoughtful, tender, creative affair. With wild flowers and German potato salad, tahini cacao love balls and cheese. And the most amazing date-heavy fruit wedding cake. In the afternoon we went on a little walk to a waterfall and in the evening we ate gravlax and danced. It was wonderful.
I turned to my brother mid-celebration and encouraged him to soak up the atmosphere. At 23 years old his peer group isn’t rushing to get married, and so this was one of a few weddings he’s ever attended. I imparted a little big sister knowledge (that is just always accurate and warranted) that we would both be lucky to attend a handful more weddings as special as this one. Though I suppose I needn’t have mentioned it. Everyone could tell we were experiencing something especially wonderful that weekend.
Come morning we had coffee by our cabin accommodation (I’m so thankful for my coffee-loving parents, who take their coffee machine with them on trips) and played a little badminton. Mum took a tumble diving for the shuttlecock (it was such a long shot but she went for it anyway!) and we all caught a glimpse of the competitive softball queen that lies within. She’s feisty, my mum. Gathering bruises and burns like it’s no big deal
Post the epic dive, standing and sipping amongst nature …
Back at the campsite, the troops rolled out for a breakfast cook-up, complete with the most unreal vegan espresso ice-cream. We were very happy campers.
It was swell.
I made the lovely couple some ginger cardamom balls as a “Happy Wedding” gift of sorts. Tired of coconut-dressed date balls, I decided to go a different route and spike these bites with firey ginger and my most favourite spice, cardamom. The result is an energetic ball that makes you want to dance under a roof of wild flowers without inhibition, singing “hoch soll sie leben!“… Happy Wedding, Lucas and Tess xo
Happy Wedding Ginger Cardamom Balls
Makes ~30 balls, depending on how large you roll them
For the balls:
1 1/2 cups Almonds, unroasted and unsalted
1/2 cup Pecans, unroasted and unsalted
2 cups Dates, dried and pitted
A pinch of Salt
3/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cardamom
For the coating:
3 tablespoons Almond Meal
2 pinches each of Ground Ginger and Ground Cardamom (or to taste)
1. Toast the almonds and pecans in a hot oven (180 degreed Celsius) on a baking paper lined baking tray for ~10 minutes until golden and toasty (watch closely to ensure they don’t burn). Leave to cool.
2. Place the dates in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Allow to soak for 15 minutes then drain the water.
3. In a food processor, blend the cooled nuts until finely ground (some chunks are fine). Add the dates and blend to combine. Ad the salt and spices and pulse to combine. If the mixture is dry add some water, working by the 1/2 tablespoon until the mixture is moist enough to roll into balls that hold their shape.
4. In a medium-sized bowl, add the ingredients for the coating and whisk to combine. Using moist hands, roll the mixture into balls and then roll in the coating mixture, shaking to remove excess. Place on a plate or in a container and store in the fridge. Best consumed within 1-2 days.