Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Recipe for Life

Ah, the old school days when kitchen decor consisted of wall-mounted wooden spoons and forks. Or amber-colored glass grape clusters. Or how about those decorative "Recipe for Kindness" plates. (What, your mom still has one? You still have one? Oh.)

Here are the ingredients:

1 cup of respect
2 cups friendliness
3 cups love
1/4 cup patience
1 tsp working together

After practicing everything, mix together and enjoy!

How sweet. But I think people prefer real food recipes. I know I do. It's like, "Yum, a new recipe! Wait. Hold on. One cup of respect? Oh, it's a recipe-for-life recipe. Lame."

But when I do happen upon a real recipe, I'll first comb through to see if it wants me to grind my own nutmeg or use a thermometer or blanche something. And what exactly is a cardamom pod? Hungarian paprika? My mind starts to drift at the mere mention of that stuff.

Although once I used "butcher's twine" (cooking string) to hold together a spinach-stuffed rolled-up meat thing. And it didn't turn everything greenish-blue like on Bridget Jones Diary. I actually made this recipe... not one, not two, but three times - rare moments of culinary genius.

But recipes that really suck me in are those requiring "one pot" and have the words "healthy" and "comfort food" magically thrown together somehow. And there are certain ingredients - oatmeal, buttermilk, cocoa, sour cream - that cause me to linger awhile, as in, "you had me at oatmeal."

Now, anyone hoping to get a real recipe out of this blog, today is your lucky day! And I'm pretty sure you already know the main ingredient. It's my mother-in-law's famous Oatmeal Cake, a.k.a. "Touchdown Cake" during my husband's high school football days. Simply amazing. Don't know why exactly. I guess it has all the right ratios. And it's a one-potter.

But real quick - back to "Recipes for Kindness." Can you imagine actually following one? If baked up just right, our social circles would be heaven on earth. But let's be honest, knowing me I'd end up replacing 1/4 cup of patience with 1/4 cup reality, and my party would fall flat or “taste” too salty or something. (Or just be really fun!)

At that point, I'd ask God to let His grace flow like the milk over a bowl of Reeses Puffs on a Saturday morning. That would more than make up for any ingredient shortage or mix-up. Maybe "unlimited cups of God's grace" should be added to all recipes-for-life?

At any rate, let's get down to business...

Karen's Oatmeal Cake:
1 cup oatmeal
1 1/4 cup water
--Microwave both together for 3 minutes.
Then add:
1 stick butter (Let butter sit in hot oatmeal a few minutes to soften before continuing.)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
--Beat together one minute.
Then add:
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg (Previously ground nutmeg.)
--Mix together, and pour into greased 9-inch pan. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes until done. Cool and sift (or sprinkle) powdered sugar over the top - be generous.

Oh, and don't forget to add a pinch of kindness. Enjoy!


  1. Can I just say again how much I love reading your posts!! And im totally making this recipe.