Sometimes it seems like my little efforts at home are worthless.
Baking and cooking and cleaning seem small things, easily forgotten as the world becomes more and more chaotic. We all grasp onto what we can, but often it seems like the center cannot hold. In the midst of all of the awful news and the prayers and the pleas for peace, it seems like these things at home have no meaning.
I open my Bible and find the only One who can bring peace. He is the center that remains constant, the only Light for our lives.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –John 16:33
And I get up and do what I can for my family, to bring some measure of pleasure to their day.
When my husband left for a meeting, I decided that I would bake a cake and greet him with some yummy smells. This cake recipe seemed pretty easy, so I set to work in the kitchen.
Here are the minor changes I made when mixing up the cake:
- As I did not have non-stick spray, I just melted a big dab of coconut oil in the pan and spread it around. I did not bother to pour off any excess, which seemed to work just fine with this cake.
- I added chopped pecans for a crunch.
- I did not measure the topping ingredients or the melted butter. (I was generous with both.)
This made a wonderfully moist and simple cake for my husband to enjoy. And the house smelled delightful.
When all we have left are prayers and family and home and Jesus, then maybe that is when we truly find our riches. And maybe our little efforts at home still have meaning. At least I hope so.
Praying for Paris, Beirut, and so many other places…
Lately I’ve been feeling mighty poorly, and when I feel poorly, I want some comfort. For our afternoon coffee today, I decided to attempt to make something I remember from childhood, cinnamon cookies. My grandmother made these tasty treats from leftover pie crust, and they were perhaps my favorite cookie, even if they were possibly the simplest thing in the world. Pie crust sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar…what could be better than that?
As we use freshly ground wheat in our home, I searched for a quick recipe for whole wheat pastry crust. I used that basic recipe with the following modifications:
- 1/2 cup freshly ground pastry flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Changes noted in the comment on the recipe
After mixing up the dough, I melted two tablespoons of butter and poured about half of it on a cookie sheet, spreading it around a bit. I then pressed the dough in the butter, flattening it evenly. The rest of the melted butter was spread over the top of the dough. Brown sugar and cinnamon were then sprinkled over the dough. It baked at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. I then briefly removed the pan and cut the dough with a spatula into strips. The dough baked for another couple of minutes while we prepared our coffee.
And the result? It was a lightly sweet cookie with a good texture. They made a nice addition to our afternoon coffee, and with so little time involved in their preparation–perhaps 15 minutes–there wasn’t any reason not to make them. They may not be fancy tea biscuits, but they’ll do. My husband certainly ate his right up and then finished off mine. The cookies turned out simple and comforting, two things that I certainly love in a recipe.