Cooking comes from the heart

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Kitchen Adventures: Food column by Becca Owsley

By Becca Owsley

In the busy world we live in today, cooking and baking have become rushed, hectic tasks.

We cook dinner to get it over with. Or worse yet, we don’t cook dinner at all and depend on the drive-thru or freezer for daily meals.

More cookies now are made from refrigerated dough than from scratch. Not because we don’t know how to bake them, but because we think we do not have time.

If we slowed down and breathed a little, we would see cooking should be an act of love. It’s an expression of valuing the person you are cooking for. You are saying, “I made this for you.”

But so often our heart isn’t in it. Somehow making something for someone has become too much trouble.

Recently I learned making something from the heart never should be trouble because the person you are making it for is much more valuable than that.

For months, chocolate cake has been on my grandmother’s mind. Every time I’d visit her she would tell me about two things, a lemon pie her friend makes and a chocolate cake her daughter, Karen, once made for her.

I don’t exaggerate, it was every visit.

I got the subtle hint. She wanted me to make one of these desserts for a food column and give her a sample; but for some reason, I made other things.

But then she got sick.

My mind kept going back to that chocolate cake she wanted. And that’s when it hit me. In the busy pace of making sure I made something each week for a column, I forgot something.

Making food for someone is an act of love.

So, I found the recipe, went to the grocery and made her a cake. As I mixed the ingredients and put it in the oven something felt different. I wasn’t just making something to fulfill a weekly food column requirement. I was making something for someone, a special someone.

I made her a small individual cake so she could keep it with her and share if she wanted.

When I walked in a sweet smile appeared on her face. She knew I remembered.

The lesson was learned. Cooking for someone, because you love someone, is important. In the hectic pace of daily life we should stop, breathe and savor the joy of making something for someone else.

People appreciate it when you hand them something and say “I made this for you.”

And when your grandmother wants you to make a chocolate cake don’t wait, just make it and sit a spell with her. It will be time well spent.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270- 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Milk Chocolate Bar Cake
1 package devil's food cake mix (and ingredients listed on the box to mix the cake)
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
10 1.5-ounce milk chocolate candy bars
12 ounces whipped topping, thawed

Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour into three greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans. Bake 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until mixture is creamy. Chop eight candy bars finely. Fold cream cheese mixture and chopped candy into whipped topping. Spread icing between layers and on top and sides of cake. Chop remaining two candy bars and sprinkle half of the chopped candy over the cake. Press remaining chopped candy along the bottom edge of the cake.

Recipe from Karen Birdwhistell found in the “Recipes and Reflections” Cecilia Baptist Church cookbook.