Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine Cookies: An Angel Message

Ike and me
Many years ago, the angels were at work, urging me to test my culinary skills, which were lacking.  One morning in meditation, the Holy Spirit put it in my heart to bake Elliot's father his favorite cookies as a Valentine surprise. Now these aren't your everyday cookies, but an old Sephardic family recipe handed down through the ages from Spain. Biscochos are hard sugar cookie rings with sesame seeds sprinkled on top. They are delicious with tea or coffee, and my father-in-law, Ike, had missed this special treat since his wife had passed on.

I had helped Vickie make these Biscochos just once when visiting Elliot's parents in New York shortly before her "graduation." I can still see her sitting at the kitchen table -- my hands became her hands as she talked me through the detailed recipe. I was amazed at her devotion. Anyone else may have stayed in bed feeling sorry for themselves, but not Vickie. She was always a giver with a full heart. That day I carefully wrote down the directions, and soon forgot all about it...until the Holy Spirit whispered.

With determination, I gathered all the ingredients and set them on the old oak table in the kitchen.  It  had belonged to my Grandmother, an excellent cook. I began. Beating the eggs with the sugar, I folded in many cups of flour.  Soon the electric beater slowed down to a whirr, unable to handle the stress of the heavy dough. It began smoking.  Suddenly the kitchen took on the ambiance of a lab experiment gone awry.  I scooped out globs of sticky dough wrapped around the metal beaters and plunked them in the big bowl with the clumpy batter.

At that moment, it was hard to imagine how these cookies would turn out to be anything worthwhile. I mused at how life is like that at times. We find ourselves in the middle of a big mess, but God isn't finished with us yet. I was hoping this was the case with the Biscochos. Working the dough by hand, it soon became pliable and easily rolled into six-inch strips. The secret was just pinching off a little bit of dough at a time, and not trying to tackle the whole thing at once. Another good lesson in life.

Soon the cookies were basted and baking in the oven. Much to my surprise, they turned out not only tasty, but beautiful as if from a bakery. Later while cleaning up, I noticed a tiny heart naturally formed from the leftover dough. There it was stuck on the pastry board.  I stared in amazement.  "Thanks, Vickie for the reminder. Love is the most important ingredient in all that we do."

With a smile of gratitude, the Valentine gift was soon boxed and on its way to New York with love.

Happy Valentine's Day. 

Love and joyful blessings,

Rae Karen