When I lived in Kentucky, Mother’s Day was one of the special days I set aside for a trip home. It was also early in the shipped-in strawberry season, so Mom and I always enjoyed fresh strawberries and shortcake. While we ate, we talked of how good it tasted and how much better it would be when we could get locally grown berries.
Well, the local supermarket has been featuring shipped-in strawberries recently – even before Easter. They were reasonably priced, large, and evenly ripened. Remembering how Mom and I enjoyed those early berries, I thought I would try these. Delicious!
I bought some more to eat as strawberry shortcake and some to make into jam. The jam is delicious. The shortcake? Another story.
I got out the biscuit mix left over from last year, even though my memory told me I hadn’t had very good luck with making shortcake from it last season. I followed directions carefully and baked a shortcake. Well, at least I was right! It wasn’t very good. Too solid. Too hard to cut or break and not tasty. We used some of it in spite of its non-compliance with our hopes. Then I broke up the rest and fed the wildlife.
I had followed directions, too – even to kneading it as directed. More berries. Another need for shortcake. I got out the cookbook instead of the mix. Again, I followed directions. Much better! We could actually eat it without breaking a tooth.
A couple of weeks later, the same deal was offered so I decided we would do the shortcake thing once again. Back to the cookbook and its directions – measuring, mixing – even read through the recipe again before I put it in the pan. Check! Had done everything I was supposed to. Still, it looked a bit odd when I put it in the pan.
Coming out of the oven, it didn’t look quite right either. I cut a couple of pieces for supper and wondered what was wrong. When I opened the microwave, I found the problem – the margarine I had put in to soften was sitting right there, softened alright, but had never made it into the “cake.”
Three tries. One edible. I broke up the last one, the one without the required margarine, and put it on the Pine Tree Buffet where I feed whatever wildlife dares to try my cooking.
Back to the cookbook! This one was better. Not the way I remember shortcakes, but, nonetheless, better. I wonder if that’s because the only flour I had in the house was self-rising. I’ll probably get some all-purpose flour and give it one more try, but unless things improve, I think I’ll just see if I can’t find some of those commercially baked shortcakes. Not what I grew up on, but better than I’ve been making.
When it comes to that sort of thing, I can tolerate the extra trials. But when it comes to accessing heaven’s door, I won’t take those chances. I’ll thank Jesus for being the Way, the Truth, and the Life – for opening heaven’s door for me. All that’s required of me or you is simply to accept and believe in Him.