Monday, October 14, 2013

Pudding and puffs

Yesterday we celebrated my wonderful husband's 44th birthday. As a treat for him I decided to make his mom's "famous" cream puffs. It's a favorite "taste memory" for him as a kid and it brings back fond memories for us both of his mom who has been gone too long.

The weekend plans went back and forth, first he and the kids were going to be gone till Sunday and I was going to make him before they got back, then Saturday night they decided to come home early because my middle child didn't want to miss church, so then I ran out of time and wasn't going to make them after all (he didn't know my plan, so no disappointment, right?) Then when the afternoon went awry and he found himself cleaning out the garage while my younger two children found themselves banished to their bedrooms and my oldest awaited his "other plans" for the evening, I decided to run to the store and grab the $21.63 worth of groceries after all.

As I stood in the store Sunday afternoon thinking about the (now) rush to throw them together I contemplated buying a box of instant pudding rather than making the "from scratch" version that made the memory special. I quickly ditched the thought and bought what I needed to stay true to the recipe instead.

Instant pudding is easy, add milk whisk and chill. Making the pudding from scratch is a much more involved process, timing is important, patience too - as I stood there stirring over the hot stove and the heating oven (for the "puff" portion of this little treat) I was very aware of how much easier the little box of Jell-O would have been. I looked back and forth at my recipe, I waited and watched for the liquid to reach the right level of thickness stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan where all the thick seemed to want to remain. On the stove, off the stove, add this, mix that, back on the stove - every step was critical.

I thought about how the Lord must be standing patiently over the "pot" that is my life. The patience he must have with me, adding this, separating that, stirring constantly, creating his masterpiece as well. Even the waiting that is required with the pudding is sometimes required in My Walk of Faith. As I poured my mixture into a bowl and laid the plastic wrap right on top of the warm mixture only to put it in the refrigerator just to sit. It sits and prepares - it seems like nothing id happening, but being in the right "environment" and letting it "chill" makes the pudding the pudding, and not just a lot of sweet and runny slop.

When I made the puffs, they were involved too - and I got impatient. First I couldn't find the right pan, and I used one that was too big. It didn't fit the need. Adding to my impatience the recipe calls for letting the dough to sit for ten minutes - just sit. Then for the next step you have to add four eggs, but you have to add one at a time, mixing each one through one at a time, working out the lumps and making the dough smooth. It wasn't working in the oversize pot. I ended up adding the last two eggs at the same trying to rush the process. I had a mix of runny lumps, and when I tried (in false faith) to scoop them out onto the pan to put in the oven, they just oozed into each other. As I stood there it was obvious I had gotten it wrong. All the ingredients were there, but they weren't put together the right way, I tried to do it my way instead of following the directions.

That too made me think a lot about the Lord and me. And how I make such a huge mistake sometimes to work my way around Him instead of just doing things exactly the way He said, and how I end up with the mess that isn't good for anything at all. I scooped the glob into the sink and ran it down the drain. The second time I I followed the recipe to a tee, and in the end, I got the results that were intended.

The fact of the matter is, in this "kitchen" called life - God is the Master Chef - and His is making a "delicious" creation in our lives - but in order to experience the fullness of that, we have to follow His recipe - and even when that means sitting in the "cooler" or waiting on the stove, or adding "what's next" slowly and methodically - it is for God's good purpose. He knows what He's doing, and nobody wants to have to run the first failure down the drain, but if we have to, I am thankful we can always come back to the recipe if we have to! Because the fact is, when we take a "bite" out of the completed product, it's totally worth it!

No comments: