Chocolate

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Difficult Anniversaries

Published April 18, 2014 by Malia

I realized a few days ago that the last time I attended Good Friday service was in 2011.  My aunt’s church was doing this living Last Supper thing.  It was actually pretty cool.  It was a drama, where the actors did a tableau of DaVinci’s last supper, and each character got to explain which disciple he was, and talk about his role in the story.

As usual, my grandparent’s were in town for Easter, and they went with us to the presentation.  I knew Grampa wasn’t feeling fantastic, but he was determined to go to church that night.  The next day, Saturday, he got progressively worse; and that evening,  my aunt took him to the ER.

I spent the better part of that Easter Sunday with my family in the ICU.  Grampa was in really rough shape, and we really thought that was the end of the road.  It wasn’t, but it was the definite beginning of the end.  He passed away in July of 2012.

The month and a half following that Easter Sunday, I spent a good portion of almost every single day at the hospital and then at the rehab center (after he was released from the hospital).  Looking back, it was a surreal, but incredibly educational experience.

Anyway, like I said, that was the last Good Friday service I went to.  Now, I love Easter.  Being a Christian, the holiday has a lot more meaning for me than just bunnies and chickens and chocolate (however, I never turn down chocolate).  This year I realized that I’ve made zero effort to try to get to Good Friday service since 2011, and I think I’ve finally narrowed down why.  That service in 2011, was pretty much the last time I saw my Grampa even be close to his old self.  Watching him get sicker and constantly waiting for the inevitable phone call was overwhelming.

It’s a weird to think of it as an anniversary, but it is.  And, this year, it’s not one I’m handling terribly well.  I’m really sad.  I miss people in my family being healthy.  I miss my Grampa.  I even miss being a pastor’s kid (although, I’m not sure I’ll ever stop thinking of myself as a pastor’s kid.  I spent 19 years as one, it’s a part of me that I can’t separate from).

Eventually, I’ll go to Good Friday service again, but not this year.

It Was A Beautiful Cake

Published April 7, 2013 by Malia

Occasionally, on here, I mention my slight liking (scratch, and replace with super huge addiction) of Pinterest.  I usually get sucked in on the “Geek” section, but occasionally I do wander over and check out the “Food” section.  This is a dangerous section for me, because while I’m pretty craft challenged, when it comes to food I’ve got a little bit of talent.  Not only can I cook, but I can even make it look somewhat presentable.  Now, last year, I discovered something on Pinterest called a tie-dye cake.  It looked super difficult to make, but after reading the instructions I decided it was worth a try.  Here was the result of the first experiment (I ended up with enough batter to make 2 cakes).  I called this the Jackson Pollock Cake:

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This was the second one:

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Believe me, those cakes were as good as they look.

So, anyway, last fall I was on Pinterest, and I stumbled across this:

Pinterest.com

This beauty is a Whopper cake!  The entire outside is covered in malted milk balls.  Now, I’m not a big Whopper fan, but my dad is.  I knew immediately that this was the perfect cake for his birthday.  After a few months of pondering this cake, I knew that I had to at least try to make it.  So, since dad’s birthday was today, I set about making it this weekend.  It started out well.

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I had to layers like the one above.  I also had the largest bag of malted milk balls I’ve ever beheld.  I know the quality’s not good, but trust me, that’s about 6 lbs of x-large Whoppers:

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I got up super early this morning (6 a.m., which for me is crazy early.  I told my dad that he knows that I love him if I’m willing to get up then just to decorate a cake).  Here’s what the cake looked like when I finished:

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Sure, the Whoppers weren’t lined up completely perfect, but for an amateur cake that I was decorating from memory of a picture I’d seen a while ago, I was pretty happy (also, there’s a raspberry and chocolate filling that while it sounds like a weird combination, wasn’t half bad).

Okay, so you’ve now seen the pretty, perfect cake.

What happened next probably would’ve been avoided if I had ever purchased a cake safe type carrier.  However, I make a “fancy” cake about once every year, so it’s not something I’ve ever thought about getting.

We had decided that since neither mom, nor I should have all that sugar readily available to us (she’s type 1 and I’m type 2 + I’m on a serious weight loss plan), it would be better to take in for the kids on our puppet team to share in.  Now, we tried to figure out a good way to transport the cake, but we had nothing it would fit in.  Eventually, mom agreed to hold it while I drove.

We were about a third of the way to church when the first Whopper popped off the cake.  Then all craziness broke loose.  Whoppers started popping off left and right.  They made a strange sound as the suction of the icing let loose.  Then, the cake started to shift.  The top layer was going one direction while the bottom layer stayed put.  Most people would probably have gotten angry and started yelling at each other, but that’s never really been my family’s thing.  No, this morning marks the first time that I had to pull over to the side of the interstate because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t drive.  It wasn’t just me, either.  Mom was cracking up as well.  (Dad, being mostly deaf wasn’t quite aware of what the situation was.)  Finally, we got control of our laughter, found a piece of cardboard to try to keep the cake separated from mom’s shirt (the pants were a goner at that point), and I finished the drive.  When we got to the church, here’s what we found (quick, remember the beautiful cake picture from above.  Scroll up if needs be, cause this ain’t pretty…):

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And here’s a picture of my mom’s arm:

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You can kind of see just how far the cake was sliding off at that point.

Thankfully, more of the cake survived than we thought had.  People got to share in the remnants, and dad’s got a couple boxes of cake casserole in the fridge.

The important thing to me, about this situation is the fact that no one ever raised their voice, no one ever cast blame (although, let’s face it, I really need to invest in a cake carrying container), and even tonight we are still giggling over the disaster.  I don’t know if anyone else’s family would have been so cool about what happened.  A lot of people would’ve turned on each other and used terms starting with “stupid,” and upped the ante from there.

So, Happy Birthday, Dad.  Next year I’ll try to keep the cake in one piece until after you’ve had your first piece!

Friday Night Questions

Published December 21, 2012 by Malia

-Am I the only one who cried when “The Hobbit” started and we all got to return to Middle Earth?

-Why do dragons automatically make a story better?

-Why is peeing in a cup so difficult?  Follow up, is this TMI?

-So, are they going to “kill” Spock off in the new Star Trek film, just like they did in Wrath of Khan?  Follow up, if that happens who is Spock going to implant his’ katra in?  If he doesn’t leave it with Bones, maybe Uhura?  Does that qualify as Spock throwing his katra around?

-Who else is ready for winter to be over?

-Why do people drive so badly when the roads aren’t clean?

-Why do chocolate and coconut go together so well?

-Any plans, now that the world hasn’t ended?

-A prospective job wanting to do a background check and drug test on you is a positive thing, right?