Baking and cooking teaches me so much...this post might be a little flowery (eh, since it is about baking I will say flour-y), but here it goes...
We went to a friend's house today for Easter lunch...and mid afternoon snack...and dinner and helped contribute to the feast. One item we brought was Ina Garten's Carrot Cake recipe introduced to us by our friend Karlin. As I prepared the cake last night I remembered what a labor intensive cake it is at first. You have to do a lot of prep work in order to get to the actual cake making. That prep work is mainly taken up by grating carrots and dicing fresh pineapple. Both of these steps are crucial to a good, moist, delicious cake. The carrots have to be grated on the finest grate you have and the pineapple does not taste right unless it is fresh. In the midst of doing these procedures last night, I questioned if it was all worth it. It's not like you are mixing in a couple eggs, oil, and water and if it turns out a little dry or tastes a little funny then it isn't a big deal. When you bake cakes from scratch, it is a labor of love and you can be seriously disappointed when they turn out off (ask me about the Italian Cream Cake of Christmas 2005 debacle sometime).
So why the effort?
Because that is part of the process in baking and in life. We put forth effort and hope for good results. We work hard and pray that it pays off. We try, try, and try again and sometimes we fail and sometimes (hopefully more often times) we succeed. We cannot know the outcome when we begin any process or even when we are part of the way through a task. We just have to do our best. I remind myself of this daily, whether it be managing all three kids in Hobby Lobby (ultimate temptation in breakable things for my kids) or having a busy schedule where we try to balance time together with time for others. Whether it is letting the kids try something new or working through our regular routine. We prep and assemble and wait and see.
The cake was awesome. Moist, lots of good flavors, and the most delicious cream cheese frosting on top. I love when that happens. Thankfully, this is the case in my life more often than not. Things turn out pretty good and a lot of times there are even better things that unexpectedly add to it "on top".