Leaving with Gratitude

Prague is a gorgeous city. That sentence does not adequately describe the beauty of the place. It is near picture perfect on every turn. I quickly ran out of words to describe its grandeur.

Lovely, stunning, magnificent, enchanting, charming, beautiful.....Next time I'm out for a walk I need to bring my thesaurus.
A candle light memorial to Vaclav Havel, the former President of the Czech Republic, who passed away our first evening in Prague

A view from St. Charles Bridge. Absolute charm.

The Astronomical Clock. An absolute must see. Sit in the cafe, drink a little gluhwien 
and watch the show.

St. Vitus Cathedral. I never grow tired of this cathedral and see new details with every visit.

And as beautiful as the city is, it is all the richer for the friends we shared the holiday with.

Tomorrow morning we leave Prague and will be meeting some friends in France. It has only been four months since we've seen them, but it feels much, much longer. We are just chomping at the bit to get there, squeeze them tight, and talk long into the night. I can't wait to hear our kids in the next room laughing and falling into the comfortable banter that comes when you are with people you love.

I would however be remiss in moving on without saying thank you to our Prague hosts. This may seem unusual to many of you, but we don't know them. We've never even met them. They are the neighbor of friends of ours who live here. Our friends asked if we could possibly stay in their apartment while were visiting and they were quite happy for us to do so. Their only request was that we water their plants. This is an act of hospitality that I do hope we can return, so BB, if you are reading this, I do hope that you and your husband will come to Tunisia so that we may repay the favor!

As we leave, amidst the cleaning and the packing, we made some muffins to leave in their freezer. We have other gifts too, none of it very extravagant, but things that are given with a lot of gratitude.

Oatmeal Muffins with Crystallized Ginger and Dried Cherries
makes 18 muffins
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup plain yogurt
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup desiccated coconut
¼ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
½ cup finely chopped dried cherries
coarse sugar or granola for topping

Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl combine the oatmeal and yogurt and set aside for 30 minutes.
To the oatmeal mixture add the sugars, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.
Add the flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and coconut and stir until just combined, there may be some lumps and streaks of flour still.  Gently fold in the ginger and cherries.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full, top with a generous sprinkling of sugar or granola and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned and they spring back when touched.

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