Friday, July 18, 2014

When good enough IS special

Why is it that when I am asked to bring a dish to share that I want to try something new? Something fancy? Something 'company worthy'? I definitely want to bring something more special than my everyday offerings. This is for company after all.

This realization of my compulsion came one night as several couples were meeting at a home with each of us bringing something for dinner: either the main dish, the salad or the dessert. As I walked in with my side dish, I was interrogated about whether or not this was a new dish or a tried-and-true dish.

It was new. Never before been tried.

Just like the other women. We each brought a new offering. Not our tried-and-true everyday offering.

I dismissed the gentleman who had asked me as he shook his head. He said the men always prepare what they know will get rave reviews -- not something new.  Not something untried.

I dismissed him. I understood the women. There are always new recipes that I want to try and use these sorts of occasions to try them out. Otherwise I just don't have the time to try something new.

This question about new versus known stuck in my brain. The years raced by and we got  a spontaneous Superbowl  party invitation with just one other family. I have even less time than I did years ago to prepare new and special. I am craving chocolate. I don't even have to bring anything to this event.

But I'm craving chocolate so I quickly whip up my home-made blonde brownies. It's quick. It's cheap. It's chocolate. And if I share with others I won't eat too many.

I bring them. This is no big deal. This is my everyday offerings to my family, who get bored with them because I make them so often.

The family raved about these brownies. Well, I should say the dad of the other family raved about the brownies and ate and ate and ate them. I wondered if anyone else was going to be able to get any. I surely grabbed one or two because I made them for my chocolate craving after all.

Honestly, I had no idea they would be raved about. I didn't think they were that good. They are just what I make on ordinary days and serve to my ordinary, lovely family, who sometimes wishes I would make new things.

The incident, though, got me to thinking about that dinner at that couple's house years ago with that man shaking his head. "Why not bring your tried-and-true recipe that you know everyone will rave about?"

Again, I thought of that couple's dinner and realized that I didn't offer my everyday items precisely because I thought that they were ordinary. I don't want to offer ordinary. I want to offer special. Spectacular. Especially to company.

But, here was the great surprise. My day-in and day-out offering to my family was special. It IS special. I am offering special things all the time. 

Sometimes it just takes offering them to company to notice.


 * * *
 Home made Blonde Brownies
from my mother's kitchen, tweaked by how I make them

2 cups brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsps vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and mix with brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar, butter, and vanilla mixture. When completely mixed but not overly, pour into 13x9 pan and spread out. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Bake for 20 minutes.

9 comments:

  1. When your amazing kids get places of their own, they will try to recreate those "ordinary" offerings of yours, and they won't be able to get it quite right. Know why? Because they're special, and because Mom made them. As an adult "kid", I still can't make some of my mom's recipes that I grew up with. It's just not the same, eve if Alex raves over it.

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    1. Katie, thanks for your sweet words. Kathleen

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  2. I love the title of your piece. Oftentimes, what we consider to be "good enough" is often viewed by others as much better than we think it is! Well done, Kath!

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    1. Thank you friend. I felt that way about this piece of writing. It took me a long time to write and rewrite and then finally to publish....I guess perhaps it was better than I imagined, too.

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  3. I've always wanted this recipe! I know someone who will enjoy them again and again!
    Love you friend!
    Bonnie

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  4. Bonnie, of course I know who that is since he was the first to rave on & on about it. And look at you commenting!!!

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  5. Hello, new friend! I'm visiting from Soli Deo Gloria, and I can definitely relate to your post today. I've spent the last several years making peace with good enough being just that. God's grace makes my good enough exceptional - whether it be taking no bake cookies to a pot luck (which are always one of the first things gone), agonizing over a writing project, or letting my kids be bored while I get the dishes done. Thanks for sharing your words and your recipe! :)

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  6. So happy to pop in here from SDG. Never thought I'd get a new recipe to try. Yum!

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  7. Love this - such a great perspective and so honoring and valuing to our everyday efforts - not just our above and beyonds.

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Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

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