Twenty-seven years ago my church friends threw a bridal shower for me. I had grown up with this congregation so many of my mom’s friends were there as well.
Unfortunately, my mom lived 2000 miles away, and coming to the shower just wasn’t feasible. She would come later for the wedding. They videotaped the shower for her to view later and, if I remember right, we did watch it together.
I think we had some games and I probably even enjoyed them, even though that isn’t so popular today. I just remember feeling the warmth from these women who were gathered around me at a time when my mom couldn’t be.
One thing I do remember is that they passed out 3X5 cards to everyone and asked them to write down a recipe. While they did that, they had me make a cake to show off my homemaking skills.
There on the counter were flour, sugar, salt, etc., and various bowls, measuring cups, etc. One item was missing from the things they gave me. The item that was missing? The recipe.
Well, I could bake a cake, but I didn’t know any recipes! I usually used a box. So I did the best I could and I guessed and estimated and did a bit of humming and hawing as well.
I tasted the batter (yes, it had eggs!) before putting it in the pan, hoping it would be ok and it did seem okay. I put it in the oven and it smelled good as it was baking. When it came out of the oven it looked good as well. This lack of a recipe cake experiment tasted good as well! I had thought, for sure, that I would have put too much baking powder in or should have put baking soda in instead or done some other thing to make it flop.
I really had to laugh though, after they had collected all the recipes, when they handed me one more recipe card to go in my box. One that was written before the party started and given was timed to come to me after I cooked the cake.
A recipe for “Scratch Cake”. I laughed because somehow, without ever seeing this recipe before, I managed to get it spot on except for one very small measurement of something. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what it was. Whatever it was, it hadn’t made enough of a difference in the cake to matter.
Twenty-seven years later I sit here realizing that I have yet to make the recipe. Sometimes I go through my recipes and think “I’ve got to remember to make this at another time”, but I never do. I’m not a big cake person so I’m not sure it will ever happen.
But the recipe isn’t sitting in my box because someday I might use it. It is sitting there because every time I see it I am reminded that I am loved.
Those women put their arms around me when my mom couldn’t be there. They put their arms around me when I was pregnant and having complications. They put their arms around me when I just needed to talk. I couldn’t have my mom near me, but they filled in for her in little ways here and there.
That recipe will always have a place in my box.
What recipe reminds you of something good?