Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

CREAMING
8/31/2020 1:00:00 AM by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

 

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

I pulled out my recipe for snickerdoodles, an old-time favorite for the holidays. As I put in the shortening, butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, the recipe said to blend until creamy. My mind flashed to when I first learned how to bake, back in the day when cake mixes were a novelty or used for last-minute church suppers.

The kitchen was my mother’s paradise and her instructions were gospel. To deter meant banishment from the stove.

First: “Wash your hands. No good cook comes to the kitchen with dirty hands.”

Next: “Now read the recipe, and put all the ingredients on the shelf.”

Third: According to my mother the most crucial in the whole process: “cream the shortening, butter, eggs, and sugars.”

I stuck in the rotary beaters, set it on high, and splashed wet globs from one end of the kitchen to the other. “Done,” I said.

Mother knew better, knew I was always in a hurry to get to the end of a project. “Nope. It’s too grainy. Set the beater on low, scrape the sides frequently, fold the batter together and repeat. Let time and the ingredients do their magic.”

Reluctantly, I started again, following her directions blowing out my frustration all the while. “This takes too long.” 

“Creaming is the most important step in the whole process,” Mother said. “If you hurry the creaming, the cookies will come out crumbly. Creaming is what makes them chewy and delectable. Don’t rush the creaming. It takes time but the result is worth it.”

I slowed down and watched with wonder as the goo gradually melded into a creamy, light texture, the ingredients transforming before my eyes.

As I carefully creamed for the snickerdoodles, Mother’s words came back to me. I thought about our instant society, how we crave immediate results, the growing tendency to hurry through life in the fastest checkout line. In our haste we blunder through the mix of it all, leaving globs of broken dreams in the muck of our speed.

I thought how the creaming principle is true in all the rooms of our lives, not just the kitchen. We tend to rush for pleasure without enduring the process. God has given us the recipe for a rich, textured life. If we take the time to cream it, not be satisfied with grainy goo or toss it aside because of its unpleasantness—if we repeatedly scrape, fold and beat for as long as it takes, the grimy gook of our shattered hopes will become that creamed foundation that awakens the flavor of our human experience.

LOOK FOR: WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT COMING IN NOVEMBER

ABOUT SECOND HELPINGS:

Today is Jocelyn Johnson’s 45th birthday. Unhappy with her marriage of 22 years, the parenting talk show host has planned a noonday tryst with her cohost. A phone call from her college daughter, a peek into her teenaged son’s journal, a sick preschooler, a Goth daughter’s identity crisis, a middle-school son’s prank, and her husband’s inflamed suspicions, not only interfere with her hopeful birthday plans but throw her family into more chaos than a circus on steroids.

In desperate need of counsel, Jocelyn invites a Christian to dinner, her guest from her morning talk show segment. However, the evening holds little promise of calm. In the midst of bedlam, a forgotten faith rekindles causing Jocelyn to rethink her life and her marriage.

You will laugh and you will cry from the first page to the last as you journey through the day’s events and Jocelyn’s search for Second Helpings.  

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Second-Helpings-Humorous-Contemporary-Novel-ebook/dp/B087C744HZ

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