Saturday, January 19, 2013

afternoon hour

I was reading a recipe for a cheesecake in Southern Living magazine recently and couldn't believe the instructions on the crust: "trim and discard excess dough."

You've gotta be kidding! Why, for goodness sake? Trashing those scraggly pieces of leftover pastry is agin to discarding pieces of gold. Well, almost. We would never have even considered those leftovers as something of no account. In fact, as a child I always hoped there'd be lots of "excess dough" left when mama was making pies, because that part of baking day ritual belonged to me!

I'd press the odds and ends of the soft pastry into one piece, then roll it out with mama's ancient green bottle (rolling pin). I would spread the united dough with soft butter, then sprinkle it with sugar - more like a downpour than a sprinkle, actually. Next came slicing it into fairly thin sticks; carefully lifting each onto a baking sheet and sliding it into a hot oven, drooling noticeably. I didn't dare leave the kitchen; these delicacies required very close attention, otherwise they'd burn black so fast - usually one instant after the just-right stage.

A blast of hot air never failed to hit me in the face upon taking the pastries from the oven - but, oh how luscious the scent that accompanied that blast! Waving the heat aside I put the pan down, wondering if I could possibly, possibly try to eat one right away. It never worked - I already knew that sad fact from past experience, but would chance nibbling anyway. With lips slightly burnt, I fan them instead.

Cool enough at last, I gather all of them onto a plate, pour a big class of cold milk, find my book and spend the next few minutes in pure bliss.

Sometimes we decide it's better just to do a discard with someone whose life is in bits and pieces. We reckon there's just not enough there to fool with. Especially is this so when someone is on his or her "70 times 7" mistake.

Thank God that he doesn't reason as we do!! He delights in taking bits and pieces of souls ravaged by the adversary and creating beauty and usefulness - a work of art. Lord, enable me to look no longer at others through the eyes of my reasonings, but gaze through your merciful and powerful perspective.

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