Here we are, on the cusp of another "new" year as the sun is reborn and the days get longer. The longest night... the shortest day... a rebirth... a new start. I spent part of my evening last night with a dear friend and, around our firepit, we talked about some new hopes for the new year and the things that we hope to do and change. So, today, I thought I'd share a story...
Yesterday morning, before church, I decided to bake a good, old-fashioned, from scratch cake. I got out my cake flour, chocolate pieces, etc, and got to work poor-man-sifting (i.e. I cant find my sifter so I had to use a colander and do it by hand... over and hour!) and separating eggs. Joy of Cooking on the counter, I finally had my batter finished, folded in my egg whites, and stuck that bad boy in the oven, a culmination of sweat (not in the cake- I promise!) and hard work. In between, I'd made breakfast for Peter and the kids, gotten them dressed while he showered, and then, once the cake was in the oven, showered and got dressed myself. The 30 minute bake time promised by the cookbook left me with no time to spare, since we would need to leave for church RIGHT-THEN.
The timer goes off. I open the oven. The cake is not done. I mean, really, not done. Like, very VERY wobbly not done. I gently close the oven. THIS.IS.NOT.COOL. I mean, we cant just go to another Mass; Peter is lectoring. We have to leave. So, he decides to try and figure out the timer. It's noisy. There are some words. The oven got bumped. Finally, I open the oven to see if there is any chance that the cake is done... And...
My cake had fallen.
My beautiful bundt, completely collapsed, like a broken balloon.
I can't tell you how much I wanted to just break down and cry. So much work. So much love put into that cake. To have it utterly ruined.
Peter says "Great, then we can just go." Turns off the oven and proceeds to put a kid in the car. It's all I can do not to sob as I follow suit and we leave. I dont know what was said at Mass. I honestly dont remember. But I do remember liking the homily (which is no surprise; I often like the homilies delivered by Fr. B.)
Sarah and I had our long run, so we actually changed in the church bathroom, Peter took our stuff, and we ran the long way (nearly 6 miles) through 2 towns from our church to home. When I got there, I took the fallen cake out of the oven and decided to pry it from the pan so I could clean up the crud. After some coaxing, it turned out and, from upside down, didnt look so bad.
I decided to cut a piece... I mean, it's chocolate cake. How bad could it really be, right? And I tasted it... And it tasted like... chocolate cake. It was good. Yummy even. And you couldnt even tell it was so ugly underneath because it was a bundt cake and that part was hidden. I drizzled the lemon-white chocolate glaze I had made over it.
The ugliness was really beauty, hidden beneath the exterior of what wasn't planned.
What an image of life.