SHARING and CARING…it’s what LIFE is all about!

Never Say Never

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Blog, Memories | 5 comments

Have you ever had a this-is-a-first-time-I’ve-done-this moment? When Doug and I moved to Lindsay over seven years ago, we found ourselves saying, “This is the first time we’ve done this,” and we’d smile! It got to be an anticipated event and it lasted well over four years.

Back then, we discovered that in relocating from a large city to a small town, there were dozens of things that we had never experienced. Like walking to downtown in twenty minutes or less. Going to the gym together…now that was weird! Watching carp jumping and spawning in the shallow end of the Scugog River near the dam. Taking a different road each time we headed north to our trailer and praying we wouldn’t get lost. Driving to our daughter’s home that only took fifty minutes instead of three hours. After a while, things became repetitive…until yesterday when we found ourselves saying our favourite line, once again.

Monday is Doug’s day off since he works Saturdays! It was not unusual for him to sleep in till nine nor have a late breakfast, so that did not make the day one of those first time moments. What did was Doug making cookies for the first time, ever! And we found ourselves saying, “This is the first time we’ve done this.” Raisin, oatmeal cookies with coconut oil…pretty simple; and not only did he make them all by himself using my Kitchen Aid mixer, the end result was delicious!

With his interest peaked, we proceeded to make mincemeat cookies from my grandmother’s cookbook…another first-time-we’ve-done-this moment. BIG mistake! I should have read the instructions more carefully but, caught up in the moment of peaked interest, I sailed right into the thick of the recipe. Unfortunately, I lost Doug! He decided he’d had enough baking and took on the job of cleaning up.

Realizing that the recipe involved a pastry that had to be cooled before handling, I welcomed the opportunity to call it a day for baking and put what I had managed to mix into the fridge…until today! That’s when things went south!

After a great workout at the gym, I was ready to take on the challenge that I had walked away from yesterday. I was going to make these pinwheel mincemeat cookies and surprise not only Doug, but myself. Halfway through, I struggled with the urge to pitch it all in the garbage. Why? A memory had awakened that I didn’t want to relive…but it was too late.

Let me take you back forty-nine years ago when Doug and I had been married for a few months. I wanted to impress my new husband and bake an apple strudel. Why an apple strudel? I have no idea…it was definitely one of those first-time-I’ve-done-this moments. With all the items purchased and lined up on my very small counter, I proceeded to measure, mix and blend the inner ingredients: apples, raisins, lemon, butter, sugar…the works…ready to be put on the pastry I had diligently prepared. And put it on I did! Bulky with apples and raisins and lemon peel, I gently folded the edges and scored the pastry top in several slices according to directions then stood back to admire it. It was a stunningly, beautiful work of art! I’m sure even Martha Stewart would have been impressed.

It was only moments later that I discovered that an apple strudel is heavy, thick and awkward to handle…especially when one tries to unstick it off a counter and put it on a cookie sheet. I carefully wiggled and slid it, but it wouldn’t budge. After several attempts, I determined I was being too careful. I took two lifters and stuck them under each end and lifted. And my 16″ strudel turned inside out right there in front of me. A pile of raw pastry on the inside and cinnamon coated apples and raisins staring up at me on the outside. It looked more like an 8″ round casserole than a strudel.

Did I cry? Almost! But I was not going to be defeated. I plopped it on the cookie sheet and tried to reshape it…all to no avail. But this thing (I could no longer call it a strudel) was going to be baked no matter what. And I baked it, and baked it and baked it for over an hour before the outside-in dough was no longer doughie. And when I finally took it out of the oven and placed it on the cookie rack, I made a solemn vow that I would NEVER make a strudel again. And I never have, not even come close to making one…until today.

Currently sitting in my oven are two mincemeat strudel logs of pastry that were supposed to be cooked in 12 minutes. They’ve been in there longer than it has taken me to perfect this blog and I feel I have relived a baking nightmare!

Excuse me for a moment while I take them out of the oven…

…they look okay but I’m not taking a picture of them. Martha would definitely write me off!

Well, that’s my story of never saying never and remembering a first-time-I’ve-done-this moment. Hope you’ve enjoy my light-hearted trip down memory lane.

Happy Christmas baking!!

P.S. Just had a taste. Yummy, but I will NEVER make them again!

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.

Job 8:2


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Heather.

    Delightful story, Ruth. I can’t believe it has been seven years!

    I love reading how you explored your new environment as well as come to appreciate it.

    Good for Doug also in exploring new horizons by baking delicious cookies. (Maybe that was on his bucket list.) 🙂 I appreciate your intention to persevere with your baking challenge. A “baking nightmare” had me laugh out loud as I have experienced a few myself. (Been there, done that.) As for the great Martha, I am sure she would be able to relate and commiserate with you.

    I would not be surprised if I hear one day that you succeeded in this baking endeavour. Look at all the great things that have been accomplished because people never said never. 🙂 <3

    • Ruth Waring

      You are TOO kind, Heather. I chuckled, as did Doug, when I read your remarks aloud. I guess I’m a ‘closer’ and don’t like to see things go unfinished. But, honestly, I really believe I will NEVER develop a love for baking as so many of my fiends have. I do love making a full meal and even trying new recipes on unsuspecting guests. But dessert…be simple is my motto and I figure if I fill my guests up with homemade soup and freshly baked bread, they won’t miss the dessert! Thanks again for your interest and genuine caring.

  2. Heather.

    Correction – I was not surprised to hear that you succeeded in this baking endeavour. 🙂

  3. Heather

    Hello Ruth:

    I don’t believe I have your email address. Just wanted to wish you and Doug a happy, healthy, restful Merry Christmas as you celebrate our Saviour’s birth with your loved ones.

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