Mom’s Cookbook

August 19, 2009

Unless there is a high probability of complete disaster, I don’t think you can call it real baking. What I just did: REAL.

Without my mom around to fill in the gaps, her cookbook can feel like more of a riddle book. “Here are the things you’ll need. Good luck turning them into something that resembles the above title.”

Fortunately, my mom had a great love for post-its. If we are lucky, we might find a post-it floating around in the loosely bound heap of stained pages, a post-it that contains clues for the journey.

Tonight’s recipe listed the ingredients and told us (in vague and general terms) what to do with the dough.

At first, I was a little bothered by the lack of information to get me to the dough stage. Fortunately, I knew enough about baking to start by mixing the dry ingredients, continue by cutting in the shortening, and conclude with the addition of the wet ingredients.

After I was pretty committed to my determined process, I found a magical post-it that told me to do exactly what I was already doing. The find was actually rather fortunate, though. It mentioned two ingredients that I had COMPLETELY OVERLOOKED. (Grease-spots all over the pages cause the ink from the reverse side to blend in with the ink on the facing side. I wasn’t being careless. The ingredients were hiding… in their clever camouflage. Not to mention, the rapidly-decaying cookbook necessitates delicate handling, making careful inspection rather tricky. OK… maybe I was being a little careless. Can I blame it on the fact that I was fairly emotional?)

The recipe called for 4.5 cups of flour. It’s probably a good idea to have at least 7 cups on hand if being able to actually work with the stuff is at all desirable. What kind of recipe requires rolling THE STICKIEST DOUGH IN THE WORLD? Oy.

The whole venture was perpetually on the brink of a total catastrophe. My “cat noises” were at an all-time high. And I ended the evening covered in flour. (I really need to invest in an apron. Or at least choose not to wear black.)

And I missed my mom like crazy the entire time. I wish she could have come in and laughed at me as I wrestled with the obstinate ingredients. (Or… ummm… to teach me how to persuade them to adopt a more cooperative posture.) I wish she was here to partake of the resulting super-yum when the timer went off. I wish she was here to congratulate me on my success.

I just wish she was here.



  1. Had leftovers tonight. Just to let you all know… I can bake.


  2. Google-searching IHOP-KC music and freebies, I stumbled into this blog. What a treasure trove!

    My search initially pulled up Aug ’07 – Do You Ever Just Want to Give Up?. The posting drew me in and soon brought me to tears, even while sitting in a public library, surrounded by strangers. I so readily felt for you in these uncertainties and trials. I am honored by and greatly value the depth of vulnerability shared here and your very raw pain. To borrow a phrase: My heart goes out to you.

    This sharing also ministers to me, here and now. While not in the same areas, I relate to the deep personal loss you so graciously share. It helps me to hear and to be reminded that other very real people are going through deeply challenging trials and tests of faith. Thanks so much for sharing.

    I have no advice, but please know that one more person cares now about what’s going on with you.

    God, please keep revealing your goodness, affection and love to this one of yours, so dear to and deeply cherished by you.

  3. Thank you for the kind and encouraging remarks. And thank you for your prayers! I don’t even know what to say. Thank you!

    • God’s deeply cherished and dearly beloved one,

      I’m so very glad, more than I can say.

      You’ve been on my mind many times these past few weeks. I’ve wanted to check in on you (via the blog) since then, but I just found the time to do so today.

      Unfortunately, part of my delay is from wasted time; following my flesh and the enemy, pursuing worthless things, in comparison to Him and His kingdom. Even now, He highlights another cost of going my own way, and reaffirms that He knows better than I do. Though my spirit is willing, my flesh is so weak. But Glory to God, He’s even more powerful, good and merciful than I am weak. It reaffirms how utterly dependent I am on Him.

      Thankfully, I’ve been spending increasingly more time with our good Father and his glorious Son. It consumes me, driven by desperation for several things (or even one thing) to improve. The depths of my dark nights are oh-so-agonizing, but He meets me, often through His brutal, bloody cross, giving mysterious “treasures of darkness”. Through it all, His light is breaking through the once-thick clouds overhead. He is so good!

      He comforts me with His promise to finish:
      Phil 1:4-6, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”.

      You help me too, just sharing daily life: the highs and lows, the exciting and mundane. The reality is evident; the testimony is powerful.

      HS reminds me of Rev 12:11, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death”.

      From this session, my “take-aways” are:
      a) We are loved so much more than we can see,
      b) We can encourage each other in sharing,
      c) Sharing our story is essential, and
      d) God WILL FINISH (Yes!) His work in us.

      God, You encourage and comfort more than all others. Thank you for your unfailing love, for your ongoing care and for your precious daughter. Please keep revealing the light of your awesome love to us both, until that Glorious Day when we see your unveiled face. Come Lord Jesus!

      Now and forever in Him,


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