Pineapple Cake

As soon as I walked through the door the smell penetrated my soul. If goodness and mercy could take on a tangible form this was definitely one of the ways. My great grandmother knew how to make three generations rejoice. She made pineapple cake. 

Don’t confuse this with pineapple upside down cake. No, not at all. This was love baked, stacked and iced. 

What made this cake different? Oh my. How do I describe the light, fluffy, moist yellow cake? I see her standing over the stove stirring the sugary concoction. This wasn’t the typical buttercream frosting. This wasn’t a cream cheese or brown butter frosting either. 

It lured us in and brought us together in the kitchen staring and waiting. We had to wait until it cooled. The toothpicks where stuck in random places to keep the top layer from sliding off. As it cooked the icing began to solidify around the crushed pineapples. Now that I’m a baker I know she cooked the frosting to the point right before it hit the candy stage. 

When the cake was cooled she began to slice the cake and serve us. There always seemed to be enough. Not one person was left out of the experience. 

When she was layed to rest so was the pineapple cake. We’ve never been able to recreate the goodness and mercy in the form of a cake like Momma Lillie did. I came the closest years ago. I was entertaining family at my house. With awe and reverence we sat around my dining room table and as I lifted the lid on the cake plate we all looked, smelled and remembered. Most of all we experienced her love one bite at a time. 

The hijacking of Christmas

“Christmas” is finally over and I have to say I’m glad. This year I was less tolerant of the nonsense that has wrapped itself around the neck of this Christian holy day and is squeezing the life, meaning, worship and love for mankind out of what is truly a day that we should celebrate in remembrance of him.

What does Saint Nicholas/ Santa, the north pole, reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, magic, decorating trees, excessive spending, trampling people to get a gift item on an extensive wish list and don’t let me forget the elves especially the creepy on that sits on the shelf and does naughty or adventurous things when everyone is asleep have to do with the birth of my savior? What does any of that have to do with sacrificial love? A love that was given life to live and die for the lost and offer life through salvation. The birth of a king that had been predicted years and years before. The magi that had traveled from far away to bring gifts and worship this king. The shepherds that left their flock of sheep unattended to come and see about this baby, this savior, this king. The jealousy of a ruler who had all baby boys thrown into the river to keep this king from reaching his destiny. Only he didn’t know that God knew his heart and plans before they were fully formed and executed and sent love to a different land where it would be safe the flourish and thrive without the threat of life taking danger. How does any of that nonsense represent a day that should be filled with worship and remembrance? Does it mean the day should be solemn and joyless. Of course not! But the day should be filled with him. In the Old Testament God would have the Israelites set up stones or have annual celebrations to help them to remember. We seem to have forgotten.

I find it interesting how many non believers celebrate Christmas. That should have been our first clue. How many non believer celebrate Ramadan or Hanukkah? Have you ever asked yourself why not? Why don’t they have elves leaving out pork rinds in the mornings? Where is the magic of their season? My guess is they take their holy days seriously and wouldn’t allow the nonsense to take over those days. They wouldn’t sell out to commercialism, big business, greed and excess.

How did we get here? How long will we remain?

The Little Dude told me we should an elf. I asked why and he said so it can watch us and make sure we are good. I responded, God sees you all day every day no matter where you are. He protects you instead of spying on you. Besides, you are already a good boy, aren’t you? Stud Muffin asked me why this was the most wonderful time of year. I responded, because Jesus was born to set the world free and to be the gift of love. Only I don’t think we are allowing him to set us free anymore or be our gift.

As you ponder these things, it’s not too early to begin asking yourself what a bunny, eggs, and candy have to do with the death and resurrection of love.

Sigh, if we as Christians don’t take ourselves seriously why should anyone else?