Earlier this week, I got the inspiration to bake. The impetus was Best Friend mentioning one evening that he “sure can go for a piece of cake right now,” and that lead me to thinking, “Hey, I haven’t baked a cake since late last summer.”
I wound up baking “Two Egg Cake,” which is a no-fuss recipe for a basic white cake. I used the recipe from the 1957 edition of Cakes and Tortes by the Staff Home Economists of the Culinary Arts Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Then I whipped up a cream cheese lemon frosting with chopped walnuts from scratch. (I cannot stand ready-made frostings.)
Was I done? Well—
I went ahead and baked three batches of miniature scones (cranberry-walnut; raisin-apple; and cinnamon raison). They are packed well in the freezer, waiting to thaw on the mornings that Best Friend and I have a couple with our morning coffee either in the courtyard or at the dinette table. It is a pleasant way to gently start our day.
As I write this essay, my thoughts go to a serene life, a life without all the craziness of Go! Go! Go!, unceasing technology, and harmful egotism. As I mixed the batters, the world around me became peaceful and unhurried. As I waited for the cake and scones to bake, I hand washed the utensils and bowls and remembered how therapeutic the simple tasks of kitchen clean-up are for me. Sure, modern appliances are time savers, yet what is it that we use those extra minutes for? Check social media? Watch a mindless television program? Eat a bag of potato chips? Do nothing at all?
I cook and bake from scratch as much as possible. I find no real time saved using a box of cake mix, for example. Making a cake from scratch might use up maybe an extra four minutes than using a boxed cake mix. Cooking a meal of chicken piccata, rice, and fresh vegetables might take a little longer to make than microwaving a salty, preservative-filled TV dinner. But it is healthier to cook from scratch. And less expensive than buying prepared foods.
So what about those extra found minutes?
I ponder my thoughts. I pray. I formulate story outlines for my new books. I converse with Best Friend. I think about my day. I revel in the unhurriedness. I relax.
Would it be splendid if all parts of our lives were toned down – even just a little?
Not only would our lives be more relaxed, but life would also be healthier for us, physically, mentally, and religiously.
Lady Susan Marie Molloy
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