Seasons

This is the season for brown butter cakes! The process for browning butter requires you to heat butter over a medium flame until the butter gives off a nutty flavor. You patiently stir and with a keen eye, observe the browning of the butter and remove from heat just before burning. I scrape the browned butter bits from the bottom of my pan and incorporate them into the  brown butter for an even richer taste.  FullSizeRender

Life is like a brown butter cake some days… some seasons. The heat of life slowly cooks you to either perfection or ruin… Contemplating…

“There are seasons when to be still demands immeasurably higher strength than to act.” Margaret Bottome…

Suddenly, my world is quiet. Quiet is my response to feeling vulnerable, sensing soon the butter will burn, particularly if my judgment or senses are continually  dulled by the noise of life… Clouding my perception when sorting through the ingredients of life. There is much to sort through… What I find most bothersome, paralyzing almost, is the noise… meaningless words and others speaking their confusion into my life… at least making the attempt. The noise compounds my fears, lures me into a hiding place… Someplace to hide, protect my heart and wait until it’s all over…

Today, my man/child celebrates 25 years of life… and oh, what a life??? It seems one or the other of us has been on life support since he entered the world at 24 weeks and only 728 grams. Nearly a dozen years ago, three of his physicians suggested I begin to “reconcile” myself to his life ending soon. Simultaneously, my dad’s life was succumbing to cancer. Defiant, I could not accept their predictions and sought the opinion of  the one physician who knew both my son and I best. He could not agree with his colleagues, but with a pause he asked, “You do know, he does not have a normal lifespan?” I know now as new, recent health issues further complicate his life… I know now as he stared at me following a grueling six-hour visit with doctors reminded me, “I told you I did not want to start back with all these doctors again.” He met my rhetorical yes with a stern look as he emphatically concluded, “I’m not having surgery.”

I know now as for several weeks, I’d wake up and rush into a steamy hot shower to cry away my fears. Last night, I sat in the living room staring at the moon.  I felt alone in the quietness of my home and wondered how would I cope with such loneliness if his spirit escaped his crippled and diseased body.. My selfish days of needing to “possess” him have passed as I’ve come to realize my selfishness and misunderstanding of my role. My mom’s cousin called a few weeks ago and asked, “Have you given Fredrick to God?” Curious, I wanted to know why did I need to give my son to God: He has us all anyway… right? She responded, “You give him to God so that you will have peace no matter what.”

The phone is ringing. Can any of you imagine someone calling you from another room of a small home up to twenty times a day? Can you understand why there are times my telephone rings and the aversion to ringing makes me oblivious to incoming calls. I ran an errand earlier today and realized after ten minutes, the cell is not in my purse. Good. The phone is ringing again.

The summer of 2015 became the springboard to a new life as I returned to school and my first “Masters” class resulted in an “A” grade.  I missed the “blog” world, but between studies and my son’s health… time passed too quickly.

Like most spoon cakes, this brown-butter snack cake is moist and gooey. My wet ingredients include a tangy buttermilk and eggs… and, of course, the melted brown butter. Perhaps, a metaphor for life because you certainly don’t want to over-beat the batter. You lightly stir, pulling the spoon in and out to incorporate all ingredients. Use all your senses to know when to stop. Then pour the batter into a pan… In fact, I used a cast iron skillet. A good, heavy bottom and conduit for even heat distribution.

Brown Butter Snack Cake
Brown Butter Snack Cake with a butter pecan gratin.

Summer is coming to a rapid close.

Fall is upon us and in spite of the extremely hot temperatures this week, very shortly, a beautiful fall wreath will adorn the front door of our little cottage… welcoming not only the extraordinary fall colors, but visitors to my home.

The dynamics of my family are changing… Such is life and there is good news to share later…

Meanwhile, I must get into my TINYKITCHEN to create some GREATTASTES to celebrate the birthday of one who created in me a BIGHEART for his big life…

Yes, I have given him to God as well my heart and mind with the promise to stop bargaining with God (how arrogant and presumptuous of me)… In this season of QUIET. I know now, it is perfectly acceptable to God if I’m scared.

© This article and photographs are the property of J. Faye Guider Productions. Feel free to ask me for permission to use my material or make requests, including for recipes, in the comments section. Thank you.

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