from Virtuous Daughters, July 2003~Volume 3, Number 4
Cooking—what a subject! It’s a word that brings to mind thoughts of steaming, cinnamony, hot Apple pie or a cheese-loaded, pepperoni-smothered, homemade pizza just out of the oven! It might also bring to mind some flops with less desirable smells and tastes. Now I don’t know about you, but I really like to cook and the Lord has blessed me with a Mom and Grandma that love to cook too. And of course as with anyone who cooks or bakes, I have made many embarrassing and inedible dishes, of some I will relate to you here.
Repelling Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
Several years ago when I had just learned how to read a recipe, I decided to use my extensive cooking powers to impress everyone with my favorite dessert, “Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies.” This cookie is basically just a chocolate cookie foundation with a thumbprint pressed on it, white filling spread on and topped off with a chocolate kiss. So with great care I mixed up the ingredients for the chocolate foundation, rolled the dough into balls, pressed my thumb on each one and popped them into the oven. As I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my cookies, I whipped up the white filling and set it aside to be spread on each cookie. After the cookies were taken out of the oven and I had (just in time) remembered to let them cool, I spread the white frosting on each one and popped a chocolate kiss squarely on each of the cookies. I then arranged them prettily on a tray and brought them with great pride to my Dad so he could be the first taste-tester. As I watched him put one slowly in his mouth, to my dismay I saw his eyes tear, then his facial muscles begin to contract as he with great difficulty swallowed the cookie down. I asked with tears in my voice, “Daddy, don’t you like the cookies?”, at which he looked at me and said, “Well, honey, I think you exchanged the sugar with salt, and by the way could you get me some water please?” I hastily got Daddy the water and then tried the cookies out myself. Sure enough, the cookies were salt and the only value in the pitiful little things were the kisses on top of which my brother quickly finished off for me. What an experience!
The Mountain Cake I have always enjoyed cake decorating and one birthday I was presented the opportunity to decorate the birthday cake. It was to be a chocolate cake with white frosting base. I mixed the batter up, put it in a pan to be cooked and after slamming it down on the counter to get the air bubbles out, I placed it in the oven. While it was in the oven, I put together the frosting, got my cake decorating supplies, and cleaned up my cooking mess. After the allotted time, 45 minutes, I pulled my cake out of the oven. I then, without thinking, took the cake out of the pan without allowing it to cool. I then watched it fall out of the pan in great clumps and almost to the point of tears ran to my mom hoping she could show me how to fix it. After meditating on the cake for awhile, she slowly said, “Well, you could decorate it like a mountain.” She then began pointing out forests and waterfalls and mudslides. So after decorating it, I dubbed it, “The Mountain Cake.”
My First Spaghetti Meal
A couple of years ago, after I had been baking cookies and cakes for a couple of years, I graduated into making full meals. My first experiment happened to be spaghetti. My parents were out working which left me in the kitchen by myself with no help. Now spaghetti is very simple to make—just pour the sauce in the pan, let it boil, boil some noodles, drain them, and presto you’ve got a meal! After heating up the sauce and allowing the noodles to boil, I was faced with the dilemma of having to drain the noodles. I drained them but forgot to rinse them, which was (as I found out later) a very sorry mistake. After calling everyone in for dinner, I with the pride of being able to present to the family my first meal, began to serve everyone up. But to my astonishment, when I tried to serve the first person, the whole bowl of spaghetti came out with the spoon! I managed to pull apart the spaghetti and everyone was able to partake of the sticky noodles, but my, that was a constant reminder I had whenever I later dealt with noodles!
Along with the lessons in cooking, there is even a better lesson. God gives us these trials to teach us patience and endurance. After I make a mistake, my first impulse is to throw everything away and march off vowing never to cook again; but this is not what God would have me to do. He wants me to go back and show endurance and patience by sticking to it and either repairing the problem, or if it is irreparable, use it for something else, or throw it away and start over. In short—to stick with it. Not only in cooking am I faced with these challenges, but with many other aspects of life such as sewing, cleaning my room, and walking with the Lord. A lot of times after I have hurt someone or showed disrespect to my parents, I feel terrible, but don’t want to go back and ask forgiveness. However, Jesus tells me to have endurance and repair my relationship by asking forgiveness. I have learned that everything, even little things like cooking failures, are used by Christ to teach me to conform more to His image and trust His leading, and I pray that I never ignore His promptings—don’t you?
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