A cup of coffee, God, and a sunrise. That’s all I really need. Everything else that happens today is just icing on a very well-made, HOME-made, cake. (Keep that boxed stuff. It makes my mouth scrunch and my belly button pucker.)
It occurs to me that as I type this (oh yeah, I need a way to write too…whether it’s a paper and pen or the technological version.) how complicated we humans make things. And the irony is, it’s all in the name of convenience and simplicity. For instance, boxed cake. All you do is add oil, eggs, and water I believe. Simple, right? Tasty, riii…weeeeeeeell, kinda.
In doing so, we sacrifice the BEST part of cake…the flavor! My parents and grandparents spoiled me, I’ve learned over the years, by literally making things. Not “dumping” things. We try to convince ourselves that we don’t have the time, but I believe we really do. We can’t “convenience” things so much that we can no longer feel the love in them. As believers, we are to be all about the love.
Sure, we try to convince ourselves that it’s ok, we only have so much time, we only have so much flour, we can’t find that pesky cookbook, and on and on and on. Now, this isn’t a cooking lecture, or a lecture of any kind for that matter. I’m guilty of choosing the health-less, flavor-less, fat-filled, preservative-laden version myself from time to time. It’s more of a reminder that we must take time to enjoy the joy. Your great grandmother took great joy in making things for her family. I believe Betty Schmocker or whoever’s name is on the box has sucked the joy right out of creating something wonderful for your family. We just want to get it done, get it over with, “Is the 30 minutes up?? It’s been 31! The box says 30 minutes! What’s taking this crazy thing so long??”
God wants and needs for us to take time to enjoy not only what He’s created, but also what He’s doing in our lives. If we constantly insist on using the quickest version of everything, whether it be cake or glancing at a couple words found in the Bible and calling it our “Bible study” for the day, we are missing out. We miss out on what God has for us and wants so badly to give us free of charge. Yes, we may be saved, but if we’re always doing the Sara Lee-nient version of things, then we may be missing out on the abundant life God promised (He promised!!!) we could have. (John 10:10) Take time today…and maybe even try a real cake. *wink.
Basic Yellow Cake
Preheat oven to 350°.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (do not sift the flour)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups milk
1 stick butter (not margarine), softened
1-tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
Cut wax paper to fit the bottom of (3) 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pans. Spray the pans with cooking spray, place the wax paper in the pans and spray the paper.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, mixing well.
Measure the 1-1/4 cups of milk in a 2 cup measuring cup….then add enough vegetable oil to bring the liquid up to 1-1/3 cups.
Add the milk/vegetable oil mixture, butter and vanilla to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on medium to medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
Add the eggs and continue beating an additional 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center of cake comes out clean, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center.
Cool cakes on wire racks for 15 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.
Frost as desired.
Cooked Chocolate Frosting
Mix together in a large microwave save bowl:
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch; packed
7 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
Stir in with a wire wisk : 1-1/2 cups boiling water.
Cook in microwave on high at 1 minute intervals stirring well after each with the wire whisk. As mixture begins to thicken cook at 30 second interval until the mixture is very thick.
Then stir in 6 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of vanilla; stirring until the butter is melted; cool to frosting consistency and frost cake.
If you prefer to cook it on the stove just stir the boiling water into the dry ingredients and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thick and bubbly; remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla.