Before the Year Ends

bake-bakery-baking-264779So we’re fixing to close out 2018 and I thought I’d give you a peek into what goes on around here during this time of the year.

I LOVE HOLIDAY BAKING COMPETITION SHOWS! I have no idea what most of the fancy ingredients are and I sure don’t know how to pronounce them (or use them).

Honestly, I don’t much care for baking. I have my standards that I fix during the holidays and though I might be impressed by some amazing dessert I see on a show, I don’t have time to be messing with new stuff that may or may not come out amazing.

So I began to wonder–puzzling till my puzzler was sore–just why I sit glued to the screen, watching these shows and wearing out the Food Network (which I NEVER watch any other time of the year). And then a friend said, “Ummm…you think it might have something to do with your competitive spirit?”

Which is her nice way of saying, “Yo, Cathy. You are extremely competitive.”

Oh my shoe pastry! Or is it choux? Whatever. I love competition. I love watching people race against the clock! I love watching creativity-in-action, especially when things go wrong! I love when the dark horse surges ahead or when the contestant who didn’t believe in herself (or himself) suddenly comes into her (or his) own.

In the end, I don’t care much who wins, though it’s usually the one I was rooting for, and I celebrate along with him or her. Because there’s something else I love to see: that victorious moment when a contestant gets validation for all the hard work and realizes a dream come true. That’s pure joy and that’s what I love to see most of all.

And so here it is, almost Christmas, and it occurred to me that every day is kind of a competition, isn’t it? It’s a race against the clock to get everything done, to beat the obstacles that come along, threatening to derail you from the sweet dreams of your finish line.

Maybe it’s just messing up the timing on the fudge and how the heck can you save this treat? Or maybe it’s pulling out the Christmas stuff and finding a gift tag with a note from a loved one lost and how can you celebrate without him?

But then miracles of miracles, divine inspiration hits and you figure out the fudge solution! And a grown-up kid (or two!) show up on your doorstep unexpectedly and you go out to eat and laugh and fuss and laugh some more.

There’s a moment that comes along in the midst of it all, the realization of deep down joy, and my heart is full of gratitude. Because I know that despite the obstacles, be they big or small, joy has returned, and that’s a gift worth celebrating any time of year!

(Joy to you and yours today and always!)


7 thoughts on “Before the Year Ends

  1. Yes, some days I feel like I’m in a race against the clock to get everything done in a day! So glad for a 3 week break from school! Hope to bake Christmas cookies tomorrow 🙂 Merry Christmas, Cathy!

  2. Cathy–A no-fail (and fast) fudge:

    Mix 1 can of sweetened condensed milk with a bag of milk chocolate chips (2 cups) and 1/2 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (1/2 bag) in a glass bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes at 50% power. Stop it midway (2 1/2 minutes) to stir.

    When the 5 minutes of cook time is over, add a splash of flavoring (Rumchata, Malibu rum, almond flavoring, orange flavoring, etc. Chopped nuts can be added at this point as well. Pour onto some parchment paper and let cool.

    I’m sorry there’s some bitter (sad) with the sweet. I hope you and your kids have a wonderful holiday.

  3. Yes! I feel the same way about Top Chef and Project Runway – I don’t bake, and I’m lucky I put on “real” clothes, but I so enjoy those shows. I do have some of those reality baking shows on my list of things to watch….

    I wish you all the best, Cathy, for this holiday season and beyond!

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