Baking Brings Calm. Order. Completion.

See the source imageI made cookies over the weekend. Although there were plenty of tasks I “should have” done instead, I needed to do something that made me feel normal, creative… and – in the end – something was accomplished that was visible and complete. I went so far as to arrange the cookies in straight lines, lining them up one against the other as if the tray would be photographed for Gourmet magazine. I did this to visually experience “order” because last week at work was so very out of order.

Someone recently said they prefer cooking to baking because it isn’t exact whereas baking requires precise measurements. I never gave thought to baking being precise. That made me think of the other activities I consider hobbies or relaxing activities: Target shooting. Organizing. Labeling boxes in the basement. Straightening photos on the wall…

There seems to be a theme😄.

While the stunning galaxy we dwell in has astonishing order, earthly day-to-day existence is often disorderly. Utterly chaotic. Stressful. Unpredictable.See the source imageSometimes I need to sit and look at an established, tall tree. Immovable. Rooted under the ground for a half mile in either direction. Gentle flow of leaves slightly shimmering while the trunk leads to deep roots that spread a half mile in either direction. Beautiful. Strong. Sometimes I stare up at the constellations. My spirit needs reminder that He’s got this. In the midst of disorder, there is astounding order in the galaxies.

These feelings make me think of the song Symphony by Switch…

“‘Cause even in the madness
There is peace
Drowning out the voices all around me
Through all of this chaos
You are writing a symphony
A symphony…

You’ll never let me drown
I know that my hope is found
In the name of Jesus…”

Sometimes I just need to bake. Exact. Visually appealing. Delicious. It has a start that provides a satisfying conclusion in a relatively short amount of time – unlike endless work projects. The finished product gives satisfaction. I feel like something was accomplished. It brings joy.

While the cookies below are the ones I made…I did in fact, alter the recipe. Yes, baking is more exact than cooking but I still tend to make baking recipes my own! To this recipe, I always add a handful of mini chocolate chips, eliminate the walnuts and add 1 cup of butterscotch morsels.

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/24445/chewy-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookies/

 

Convenience Reigns King in our Modern Times

A couple years ago I was telling my kids how sad I was that Wegmans closed the W-Kids play center at the front of our local Wegmans.My kids laughed and said, “You never let us go in there! We were always with you!”

True.

I loved shopping with my babies in strollers and eventually, loved shopping with my school-aged kids just the same.

Stopping in for a few groceries after a Saturday ball game was fun.

But back to the W-Kids.

When they first deconstructed the kids room, I figured that the majority of parents were already connected to daycare all week and either wanted to keep their kids with them on the weekends or shopped after work while the kids were still at daycare. Either way, if the demand existed, Wegmans would have kept it.

Next, self-check-out stations appeared.

Then, the majority of the W-Kids space became housing for mountains of pre-packaged Insta Cart groceries🛒.Shelves and refrigeration units now line the former W-Kids area filled with already-pulled groceries for pick up, or for the driver delivering the groceries to people’s homes. My friend recently sent me $10 off my first Insta Cart purchase. I keep wanting to try it but haven’t. I’m not opposed to my groceries being delivered, but I happen to not hate grocery shopping.

Then again, it hasn’t started snowing yet. I might just jump on that Insta Cart wagon on a frigid Sunday in January when I really want warm cookies baking in the oven but I’m missing a few ingredients (& while I’m at it, order all my groceries for the week…).

 

Ordinary? No, it’s Extraordinary…Peanuts in the Shell!

Every now and then, the little things I see or use every day suddenly appear unique and amazing. Today, it’s peanuts in the shell (or, “out” of the shell for eating!).Not that I don’t love peanuts out of a jar.Or out of a can.But there is something unique about cracking the peanut out of the shell.

I’ve never eaten a burger at Five Guys but I have certainly feasted on their peanuts in the shell. And, what’s more fun than eating peanuts at a baseball game?Staring at one peanut…after I’ve eaten a thousand over the years…got me thinking about how exactly they grow. If you click on this photo, you can learn a bit more about their growth process.Although it was interesting, I’m going to give my perpetual-student mind a break and merely enjoy how cool these little things are. Appreciating something so ordinary in our everyday cuisine is really quite extraordinary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ordinary? Nope, it’s Extraordinary…The Egg

Every now and then, the little things I pass by as “ordinary” suddenly appear unique and amazing. Today, it’s the egg.

Take 60 seconds and really think about the egg! Who thought to take the egg from the chicken, crack it open and decide to eat it? According to Incredibleegg.org, Europe had domesticated hens back in 600 BC. There are some very interesting factoids on that site, you might want to check it out!

Who first decided the egg might be good by tossing the whole thing, shell and all, in boiling water to make a soft boiled egg?How did a fried egg sandwich become so popular at restaurants? Who decided to crack open the egg and pour it onto a flat skillet? How about the hard boiled egg? Used now in cobb salad, deviled eggs, egg salad, radiant Easter baskets and just for sheer enjoyment!Eggs are now even used in beauty treatments!

Enjoying the EGGstraordinary in the ordinary today! 🙂