Eight pounds of granulated sugar. Ten pounds of flour and cream cheese. One half-gallon of vegetable oil. Twelve pounds of butter and powdered sugar. Carrots and pineapple and pecans, vanilla and cinnamon and almost four dozen eggs. Oh, and then there were the raspberries and lemon curd – and fondant. And did I mention the heavy cream?
The past week at CasaRock has been sugar-coated – literally. The oven baked non-stop for nine hours, and my sweet Cuisinart hand-mixer gave up the ghost as the last batch of Tennessee Honey Cream Cheese frosting was being whipped into fluffy happiness.
The result was a four-tier wedding cake filled with lemon creme and fresh raspberries, and a three-tier Tennessee Honey Carrot Cake with a hand-crafted Austin skyline and the University of Texas logo and clocktower.
If it sounds tasty, it is. If it sounds like a lot of work, it is. If it sounds stressful, it is.
But it’s worth it. Because baking like this has taught me the best recipe. Ever. One that is good any time of year, no matter the occasion. It’s this:
Take one moment.
Add a friend.
Blend in life.
For a few years now, Courtney and I have been baking little noms and noshes together. We use any money we might receive to help care for some great kids we’ve met on mission trips in Guatemala and Uganda. And we use the time together to talk – about marriage and faith and things that make us happy and things that make us want to crack knees. We’ve laughed until we’ve cried, and we’ve cried until we’ve run out of Kleenex. We’ve found answers, found bravery, found struggles we didn’t know were there. We’ve turned music up loudly and danced in the kitchen, and we’ve gone for hours without talking – saying everything that needs to be said with a nod or a smile.
Using that simple recipe has done more than produce sweet treats like cupcakes in the kitchen. It’s strengthened my love for the Lord. It’s made me a better wife and friend. It’s deepened my passion for serving those in need. It’s opened my eyes to new hurts – and new hope. That simple recipe is like the four-tiered wedding cake we made this week – rich and flavorful, delicate and delightful, filled with surprises, and covered with beautiful grace.
Soon, I’ll let you know how to bake that Tennessee Honey Carrot Cake. But this week, take one moment, add a friend, blend in life, mix well, serve others. And share the recipe.