Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Soul food makes me wish sugar was calorie free.

Everyone has a comfort food.  That dish that has been passed down through the generations and is made in that way that it has always been made and no one quite makes it the same way as...  Luckily if you ever want to make mine, its ants on a log and even the most inept person in the kitchen can succeed with this request.  Yesterday, I dove into a recipe of this nature head first.  Imagine making your grandmother's Hungarian cherry tart with Michigan orchard cherries and a lattice top for your family.  Pressure.  Lots and lots of pressure.  Things that are necessary to know is that I had to make a lattice top to stretch over an 11 by 19 pan.  I measured.  Remeasured.  Stressed.  Stopped to take a breath or ten.  Checked my measurements again.  Then after I had successfully created a lattice to fit gloriously over the top I realized that the lattice actually had to go on top.  It was not.  It was neatly latticed right next to the pan.  Whelp.  Things were going to get interesting.  Remember the pressure mentioned earlier.  This was a serious dilemma. Comfort food.  Grandma's recipe.  Family.  I have never actually read Great Expectations because I don't have well great expectations about its ability to keep me captive but if I were to write a lengthy book called Great Expectations, I would probably write it about this tart.  After much manipulating and manuevering, it finally did make it on top of the tart but it was sketchy at points.

At this point (the hasn't-gone-in-the-oven-I'm-not-breathing-point) I was not in a state of calm.  I call baking my therapy but it is not such great therapy when you are under pressure.  Panic training is a better name for it.  In case there is ever a great danger like a bomb or tsunami, I will be prepared from all of the panic training hours I have logged in my kitchen. 

At first cut I was finally able to breath.  See? Lamaz classes for bakers?  Totally necessary.  I forget to breath quite often during the process. 

I am sure there is a lesson in all of this for me.  Maybe I should make sure to only feed my future kids cake mixes and boxed foods so that their comfort foods can be replicated and I can ensure that their future wives and husbands never have to undergo such stress. 

Today however as I breathe with ease and watch the plate near by with the last square of a demolished 11 by 19 tart that managed to survive dinner and the next day breakfast nibblers I am reminded of perspective.  The grandiosity of the world and its on-goings.  The minute preoccupations of the chemical reactions and magic created with a little butter and sugar do not bring near the comfort of those in which we are surrounded.  Family, loved ones, gathered together.  Breaking bread.  Celebrating life.  That's comfort.  It feeds the soul.  We were not made to be alone and God knew that all along. Today be grateful for those who surround you.  They are sweet blessings and calorie free.

"Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man. ”  That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh." Genesis 2:19-24

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