We have a tradition of meriendas: a mid-afternoon break of pan dulce and a cafecita. 

I have been to meriendas that were elaborate: trays of dainty sandwiches, sweets, fresh fruit, breads and cheeses served with coffee poured in thin porcelain cups. They were memorable and delightful afternoons.

You may plan to meet a friend at a local coffee house (macarons and espresso are perfect!) or bistro, or you simply take a break that is honored every day at your own kitchen table or work desk with a cafecita, a cookie, ( I often have a piece of dark chocolate and  some almonds) or a slice of tea bread, and your own thoughts. I try to not to use the time to read or peruse the Internet. This small amount of time is an important ritual in my life,  because it is a moment I give as a gift to myself.   I luxuriate in the quiet.

Other countries and cultures have this ritual: the kaffee und kuchen in Germany, the British tea with bread and jam or little cakes, or le gouter, a refined version of the late afternoon snack.  
I am rested and restored to go on with a day that may be busy until midnight, and I am not starving before dinner.

Meriendas are about creating moments of grace and elegance in your life.  Taking time in a busy day to gather your thoughts, and in a culture that stresses the denial of goodies, it is a way to give yourself permission to  enjoy the childlike pleasure of eating something that makes you feel happy. Enjoy!

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