I’ve been sitting here trying to write something good and happy, but I can’t think of anything at all. Can I be real with you?
These days have been hard for me. I’ve lost a couple individuals near a dear to me. Instead of mourning privately, I thought I’d try something entirely new, and honor my lost loved ones here.
Then I’ll get to the recipe for those matcha butter cups…
First one I lost was a little lady I loved very much. We didn’t see each other often, but when we did she would wiggle herself silly, and put her little precious face up to mine. She never licked like most doggies kiss, she kept her mouth closed and barely would touch my face. Still, her affection and love was all there.
Her name was Peaches. She was one of our family’s many 4 legged members. Like many before her, my mom found her and her brother, Sidney, walking alone along the side of the road down in Norcross, Georgia. They were little puppies, no older than 3 months, and they were sick and filled with worms. Still, no amount of worms could keep us from loving those sweet puppies.
Peaches died at the end of March. She had cancer. She had been diagnosed with a malignant tumor nearly 5 years prior, but it caught up to her just at the end of 2014. I’ve never met a fighter like Peaches. She fought to be the top girl in the group of my family’s much bigger dogs, and she fought to stay alive. I’ve missed her wiggles every day since.
And then it happened again.
We lost another one. I lost a part of my heart, Bertucci––who I named after the restaurant when I was a kid.
We knew it was bound to happen, everybody dies eventually, don’t they? And yet I wasn’t prepared. Like Peaches, it was far too soon. I said goodbye to him the last time I saw him in March; just in case I wouldn’t see him again. Bertucci was nearly 16 years old. He was born when I was in middle school, and out of the 5 other teeny tiny puppies he was the one I chose to keep. His intelligence and personality was apparent, even to a 12-year-old girl, when he was just a day old. I wanted him in my life forever.
The first night we brought him home he threw up in my bed. Within a couple weeks he had become like a brother to me. He was caring, wise, loving, gentle, entertaining, and so handsome. I miss him everyday. And though I didn’t see him often, I feel his absence within me.
I’ve never been one to mourn in public. I’m terrified of being judged for my pain. When a dog would die when I was growing up, I couldn’t go to school for days. Nor could I tell my friends what had happened. My dogs were my siblings, and I didn’t think anyone else could understand. I’ve never shared a death on Sweet Potato Soul, but today I think I’ve been inspired by another blogger’s tribute to her lost loved one. Plus, I don’t want to pretend that I don’t have any problems or pains. I do, and they cut deep.
More importantly, my Peaches and Bertucci deserve to be remembered. My love for them will always remain.
When I’m sad, anxious, or depressed I reach for chocolate. Then I discovered that matcha, my new liquid obsession, is helpful for combating depression and anxiety. Then I found this Matcha Butter Cup recipe by blogger Molly Yeh that combines the two. It’s the perfect happy combination.
Matcha Coconut Butter Cups
- 1/2 cup coconut butter melted enough to stir http://amzn.to/1JGZNtP
- 1 tablespoon matcha powder http://amzn.to/1zlgnvR
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or coconut nectar
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups vegan dark chocolate chips
- Line 12 mini muffin tins with paper muffin cups.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut butter, matcha, sweetener, and sea salt. Combine until it is thick and smooth.
- In a double boiler melt1 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips.
- Remove the chocolate from the heat, and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate. Doing this will temper the chocolate and allow it to cool and harden properly.
- Pour 1 tbsp of melted chocolate into the bottom of each muffin cup.
- Place the muffin tin into the freezer for 5 minutes to harden.
- Remove the muffin tin and add about 1 tsp of the matcha coconut butter to muffin cups. Flatten it down a bit with your fingers.
- Once you've got all of the cups filled with matcha butter, cover it with another tbsp or so of the melted chocolate.
- If you have any leftovers, you can make more!
- Sprinkle some matcha powder over the cups, and place the muffin tin in your fridge to cool and harden for an hour.
Millana / May 18, 2015 at 10:57 pm /
Jenne this was so touching to read your honest and vulnerable post! Thank you and lots of love and peace to you.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / May 20, 2015 at 12:59 am /
Thank you dear Millana <3 xo
Lisa Marinaro / May 7, 2015 at 11:51 am /
I just discovered your blog today (through some kind of internet tangent, of course) and while I immediately knew that I would love the recipes, this post gave me a glimpse of the beautiful soul behind those recipes. That was a wonderful, if heartbreaking, read and as a fellow dog-lover, as well as a fellow hider-of-feelings, I just want to say that I understand.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / May 11, 2015 at 8:51 pm /
Lisa! I am so glad you came across my blog. Thank you for your kind words and understanding. <3 xoxo
Alamar / May 7, 2015 at 3:12 am /
Jenne – This is my first time visiting your blog, and yes, I came here to see those eye-catching matcha pb cups. Then, I read your post and it was very special. I am glad you had decided to share your pain of losing your loved ones publicly. I have pet chickens and when the first one passed away, it was the most painful experience I’d ever had – I still mourned over her death until this very day. I cried so much after she had passed away that I thought I’d die – literally. Since then I lost another one (last December) and no, I do not get used to losing a beloved hen, and I know for sure that I’ll never, ever get used to it. They were the best things that happened. They taught me kindness, patience, unconditional love, compassion and an appreciation for life that no human could. I am sure your dogs had given you priceless memories and sweet moments that you can cherish for years. I am very sorry to know you’re in pain, but I know your dogs had a good life and they all loved you for extending your love to them unconditionally.
Be strong, and be grateful that you had the chance to care and to love them. I am sure you now have more love to give to another dog, should you choose to adopt one in the future.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / May 11, 2015 at 8:56 pm /
Thank you so much for your words. I’m glad I decided to share too 🙂
I know your pain of losing your sweet chickens. I wish other people could know the joy that comes from knowing animals––especially the ones we so mindlessly consume. Learning that kindness, patience, unconditional love, compassion, and appreciation for life is so valuable, and such a beautiful gift.
Thank you again!! xoxo
CatEyeKai Marquez / May 5, 2015 at 1:25 pm /
Hnggg! i’m drooling over this post and I’m on a no dinner diet :'( it’s almost midnight here btw
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / May 5, 2015 at 2:21 pm /
No dinner diet?! I’d be drooling too 😉
lysette / May 4, 2015 at 2:07 pm /
The passing of an animal friend is as hard as losing a human from my life. Your grief is totally valid, I’m sad to hear you lost two members of your pack; talking about it allows all of us to acknowledge and grieve with you. Out here we throw wakes for the animals in our circle that pass. It’s good to mourn and celebrate in equal measure 🙂
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / May 5, 2015 at 2:42 am /
Thank you so much for understanding Lysette. Your note feels so good to read. xoxo
Danielle / May 2, 2015 at 5:02 am /
I’m so sorry for your losses. Jenne! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful tribute to your beloved Peaches , and Bertucci. Hugs.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / May 2, 2015 at 12:21 pm /
Thank you so much. That means so much to me 🙂
Traci | Vanilla And Bean / May 2, 2015 at 3:59 am /
Oh no… Jenné ! I’m crying for you.. I’m so sad for your loss. I feel it. What sweet, sweet best friends you had, they gripped you, always there for you. The pain is real, but it’s okay to feel… to feel that loss that will always be with you. That deep pain shows the depth of your love for your Peaches and Burtucci. My heart to you, Jenné. Wishing you the sweetest dreams of memories past of your two loved ones. They are watching over you, and they miss you too.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / May 2, 2015 at 12:23 pm /
Thank you Traci. Thanks to you I was able to share what I’ve been going through––not my forte.
Your note means so much to me. So much.
Traci / May 4, 2015 at 5:15 am /