Tonight I decided I needed to get back to my wood/scene shop and get some work done on some projects I abandoned. A few days ago, they re-finished the gym floor and the out-gasses were unbearable, so I fled to the kitchen and my laptop. Yesterday I ventured back and decided that with some ventilation I could work there safely. But earlier in the day I found some spiced peach preserves from last year and realized they needed to be used up. So I thought, I'll whip up a sour cream coffeecake and then get backstage.
We were low on sour cream so I combined it with ricotta cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice and used a brand new batter whisk to mix it (more on that new addition to the toolbox in a future blog). I was pretty casual about measurements, so don't ask for a recipe! This improvised confection had about 10 minutes of baking left to go when a couple of staff members came into the kitchen looking for a small sheet cake that was supposed to be ready. The school has a three week camp for Mexican students going on, and one little girl was celebrating a birthday.
No cake. Not in any of the four fridges, not in the storeroom, not in the dining room, not in the giant walk-in cooler. Communication breakdown, evidently, between management and labor. I could tell they were dreading having to go back to the boarding house and tell the youngster there was no cake.
Except for the one in the oven.
This dilemma was too coincidental to be anything but Divine Providence, as evidenced by what happened next. I said, "How about a fresh, warm, rich coffee cake with a spiced peach filling? You could serve it with a dollop of ice cream." And that EXACT MOMENT, the oven timer's buzzer went off. A few minutes later, they were headed to a party with a homemade treat.
This sort of thing happens to me way too often for me to believe that it's caused by anything I'M doing personally. I'm in just the right place to help the guy in the parking lot, to find the expensive chef's knife for two bucks so I can give it to a culinary student, to hand somebody a random loaf of bread on the day they really need something to go right. I'm just putting myself in the path of God's grace and trying to stay open to the moment.
My experience tonight was another “ding” (you can read the full explanation my Bread Blog of July 7). Every once in awhile, God’s bell goes off, and He draws out a name and gives that person a prize, like a warm cake when you expected to leave empty-handed. Or better yet, He draws your name out and you get the chance to be a "ding" for someone else.
Never did get backstage tonight, but when I do, I have very expectation that something good will happen.
God bless and happy baking!