September 02, 2010

Baking for Others

Last night my daughter in law and I baked about 7 dozen cookies.  It was her idea.  You see our church got a group of people together to leave this morning to drive to a small town here in Iowa and help with the flood recovery.  My DIL came up with the idea that since both of us wouldn't be able to go and help, we should bake some cookies to send with the group to hand out to people in the small town of Colfax.  This small community sustained a lot of damage from the floods last month and they are still in the process of cleaning up.  We had a great time baking those cookies and felt like it was one small way that we could bring a little bit of comfort to that community. 

It was a beautiful morning today.  The temperature was in the 70's, the sky was a beautiful blue and it was such a wonderful relief from the heat of summer.  I decided that it was the perfect day to finally begin to scrape the picket fence in preparation for painting it.  My son had dropped his dog off early this morning so the dog could run around our yard and get some exercise.  I will have to post a picture of Brody.  He is a mixed breed, gentle loving animal.  He would run around the yard and come over and sit next to me and watch me work.   We have a considerable amount of painting to do before winter sets in and I was feeling discouraged as with all the rain and then the heat it was impossible to get the job done.  But today gave me hope that over the next 8 weeks we should be able to get the majority of the painting done. 

I received a phone call this morning from a lady in our church.  She wanted to know if I could bake some bar cookies for tomorrow.  There is a funeral at our church and the family requested a coffee time after the services.  I baked some nut bars.  The recipe called for mixed nuts but I substituted pecans instead since I had them on hand.  Since mixed nuts have salt in them I sprinkled a little salt over the pecans.  I had to sample one and they were very, very good. 

When I get a request from our church office to prepare a meal or dessert for someone, I always apply the rule that my mom had.  Give your best to the church, so I always do my best to make a special meal or in this case special bar cookies.  Chocolate chips wouldn't do - something about pecans on top of bar cookies that says "special." 

After the cookies cooled I baked 8 dozen pumpkin muffins for my DH's cross country team for breakfast tomorrow. 

By the time the afternoon was over, this is what my kitchen looked like:

Ah, but it didn't stay like that for long.  Twenty minutes later:

I always make a big mess when I am baking and I delight in it.  My mom used to get upset when I would bake and make a mess.  Now I delight in having my own home and making a big mess in the kitchen anytime I want to.

Thank goodness we were having leftover sloppy joes, watermelon and tater tots for supper.  After all of that baking I don't think I would have had the strength to cook a meal from scratch. 

This best part of my life at home is that I am available.  Baking is something that many women don't have time to do but I enjoy it and make the time.  It is almost like therapy to me.

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