. . . and a time to bake
I’m feeling keenly the contrasts lately. Maybe it has something to do with being a “tween” – living life in between aging family with health challenges and raising children still in the nest or encouraging those outside the nest. One day I’m hugging grandlittles who give whole-hearted hugs or big slurpy smiles – and another day, I’m sitting beside a hospital bed, holding hands with someone I love who fell, who doesn’t always remember, who doesn’t always smile and be the person I’ve known since before I can remember – or I’m sitting next to my mom in a doctor’s office, waiting for results – they were good results – her numbers are in a good level – and I marvel at my mom, her get-up-and-go spirit that a brain tumor, carcinoid cancer – or even neck surgery cannot slow down or get down – and I tell her to share with me a thimble-full of that indomitable spirit.
Every season has its contrasts. I was thinking about those contrasts while I sat on a beach far from home for a soccer tournament (LOL – so tough) – and the gulls, they sounded like they were laughing at me. The next day, I understood why they were laughing as if they knew something I didn’t. The next day it poured rain all morning. The last soccer game was postponed (after the players had already warmed up in the pouring rain). Maybe those seagulls knew – and the contrast was a hysterical joke to them.
While my son’s team played, it snowed in Tennessee – and when we got home later that night, while the snow was long gone – it was snow cold! All these contrasts in so many areas of everyday living – the sunshine and rain helped me organize not just my thoughts but my heart, this sunshine and rain sent me to Ecclesiastes 3 – “To everything there is a season” part . . . and it made me think of my seasonal contrasts.
. . . .there’s a time to sow and reap, a time to scatter stones and pick them up, a time to keep and throw away, a time to tear and mend – part of this time for everything is a time to sit in the sun . . . and a time to stand in the rain,
a time to rise early . . . and a time to sleep in,
a time to hold their fingers while little ones learn to walk . . . and a time to send off to independence
a time to give hugs . . . and a time to be hands off,
a time to match socks . . . and a time to let them sit, untouched,
a time for gentle love . . . and a time for tough love,
a time to bury the zinnia seeds in the soil . . . and a time to pull up the roots for winter,
a time to gather the old stories . . . and a time to let some stories go,
a time to help my children be successful . . . and a time to let them learn how to handle failure,
a time to hurt . . . and a time to forgive,
a time to feast . . . and a time for leftovers,
a time for wild apple ginger tea with honey . . . and a time for plain black coffee,
a time to pray . . . and a time to live in the wait of a prayer sent out,
a time to be alone . . . and a time to sit around a table with friends and family,
a time to take responsibility . . . and a time to give the hard stuff to God
a time to grill cheese sandwiches . . . and a time to bake my Blue Cotton Crunch Cake.
“Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to him” ~ Psalm 34:8
Recipe for Blue Cotton Crunch Cake
Part 1: The Blueberry Crunch Part
Wash and drain 4 cups blueberries, set aside
Measure and mix the following:
1 cup flour,
1 cup oatmeal,
1 cup brown sugar
1 Stick melted butter
When all 4 ingredients stirred and all ingredients are incorporated,
set aside to prepare Part 2.
Part 2: The Cake Part
Cream 1/2 Cup Butter and 1/2 Cup Butter-flavored Crisco Baking Stick
Add 1 and 1/2 Cup Sugar
Blend two together until creamy
Add the following mixture 1/3 at a time to the creamy mixture: 2 Cups Sifted Flour, 1 tsp. Baking Powder, 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda.
When mixed, add 3 well-beaten eggs (room temperature)
Next, add 1 Cup Sour Cream.
Line an 8-inch tube cake pan with baking wax paper after spraying with a non-stick spray.
1) Fill Bottom of the tube cake pan with half cake mixture
2) Sprinkle 2 cups of the blueberries on top of the cake mixture.
3) Sprinkle half of the oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and butter mixture on top of the blueberries, ensuring the top is completely covered. The crunch part is the top of the cake.
(Recipe makes 2 cakes)
Bake at 350° for one hour.
When cooled, turn cake out of the pan. Turn again so that the crunch part is the top. The difference between the tube cake pan and a bundt pan for this recipe is the tube cake pan creates a flatter top which better holds the lemon curd. With a bundt pan, the lemon curd drips off creating a lemony, sticky mess.
Part Three: The Lemon Curd Part
Pinch of salt
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice(fresh squeezed)
1/4 Cup Butter
Zest from one lemon
Mix well. Then put in a double boiler, cooking 30 minutes until thick. Put in jar and refrigerate until ready to use. I make a day ahead so it is good and cool, which makes it more manageable. Spoon on cake top when ready to serve.
Grandmother’s Christmas Coffee Cake
Blue Cotton Blueberry Crunch
Holiday Living with Mason Jar Summertime Pies
I agree, life is full of contrasts. I’m just glad that God is faithful and that he is with us through all the different circumstances! Your cake sounds delicious!
It’s a cake that one slice is heavenly – and then you have to stop right there. I am right there with you – I am so glad that God is faithful and with us through all these contrasts. Hope makes all the difference. Thanks for stopping by, Lesley!
Ah! Love this post but now I’m HUNGRY!! 🙂
Thank you, Bethany, for the kindess! Wishing you much shalom in your week!
I’m hungry now too! That looks delicious. Praying for you in all these in-between moments. 🙁 It’s so hard to juggle back and forth between worlds. Praying also for your mom….
Thank you for the prayers. All these hat changes- maybe that’s why time seems to go faster the older I get! So glad you stopped by! Shalom, Lisa!
Oh, my! The cake looks so yummy!! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 I trust your Mom will continue to do well.
Our lives really are full of contrasts which we see when we stop and think about it. But that keeps life from being dull, doesn’t it? That cake of yours sounds and looks delicious! Through all the contrasts of seasons and of life, I’m so thankful that God is right there with us. Blessings to you! Thanks for linking with us at the #LMMLinkup.
My mom always asks me, “Tell me something exciting.” I always reply, “Mom, I don’t need excitement! I just want some peace, some smooth sailing. Excitement is over-rated!” LOL Like you, I am so glad that I know he is right there – both in the peace and challenge! Shalom, Gayl! Thanks for stopping by!
Your reflection on contrasts… a time for… was just lovely and so true. A time for cuddling up next to your husband on a early Saturday morning and a time for encouraging him across the many miles by telling him you are keeping a list of all the reasons you love him. <3
Hugs to you, friend.
Thank you for the way you blessed me this week. <3
Praying for you as you wait for your husband’s return from deployment! I bet your list is amazing and beautiful! I’m glad you felt the blessing in the mugs! Nothing like a little red, white and blue with your coffee! Shalom, Beth!
I need to find time to bake. The cake looks so delicious. I am going to try the recipe with my daughter. Thanks for linking up with us at the #LMMLinkup this past week.
We all have our sorting places – and activities that help us sort through the emotions of our challenges. Mine just happens to be cooking, writing and knitting! I hope you all enjoy if you try the recipe! Thanks for coming by! Shalom, Mary!
This looks divine!!!