Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Easter Tender Mercies

Two years ago on Easter, I met Andy for the first time and never would I have imagined that I'd be spending the rest of my Easters with him. At the time I had just begun my investigation of the Church and though I had every intention of getting baptized, I was adamant about learning about the Church history, ensuring I had a solid testimony, and asking many, many questions. One of my favorite questions was always to ask those who grew up in the Church if they had ever fallen away, had doubts, etc. And when I asked this Andy fellow that same question, his response was short, annoyed and in my eyes, a bit obnoxious and basically a big fat no. Perhaps it was both of our strong personalities, perhaps it was his height, perhaps it was my Asian ethnicity - either way, we became friends and eventually started dating two months after I was baptized.... but I digress.

A year ago on Easter, Andy's parents, sister, brother-in-law, nieces, cousins, aunt and uncle came to visit. Though we were not married yet, it was fun to celebrate with many of his family and it was the first time his parents would meet my parents. Dun dun dun!!!!

So thus far, my Easters with the Church in my life have all been memorable and quite drastic from my days looking for a big hat and cute Spring dress to sport to a champagne brunch.

Today was my third Easter after finding the Church and my second Easter as a member. What I learned was - there are a LOT of hyper kids at Church (Easter basket goodies - can be worse than Halloween!) on Easter, a lot of wonderful musical numbers remembering our Savior and big hats - wait, scratch that last one... I only saw one hat at Church and it was worn by a little girl.

Though we did not celebrate with adorable Easter baskets or egg hunts, we had been scripture studying the New Testament as it relates to Jesus's death and resurrection all last week, and I had been wanting to cook an elaborate Easter meal. We instead opted to have Easter with some friends who also did not family nearby and I still got to make some dishes I had hoped to. You see, for a long time now, I have had two cravings that have not yet been appeased. They are carrot cake and Sara Lee pound cake. Today, I fulfilled the carrot cake craving because what could be a more fitting dessert for Easter than a carrot cake? And as for the pound cake, it's just so expensive - I'm waiting for it to go on sale.

For those who know me, you may be aware of the fact that I am only slowly learning how to cook (my mom told me not to make any effort learning until I was married since I'd be doing it for the rest of my life then...). Recipe by recipe, I am learning the ingredients, what aisle to purchase them from, and cooking terms that are foreign to an amateur like myself.

So OF COURSE, when my Paul Deen carrot cake recipe called for 3 cups of grated carrot - I did what any amateur would do. First I peeled the carrots, next I cut off the two ends, and then I started to grate 'em on my cheese grater. This is quite hard. I wonder if this is why carrot cake can be so expensive! I wonder if there's an easier way. Hmmm.. I bet youtube will know! Ahh, the internet. The joy of learning at your fingertips within mere seconds. I quickly typed in "how to grate carrots" into the search tab on YouTube and less than a minute into the video, was instructed to use a food processor. ....

W. O. W.


Good thing I had a Vitamix, the amazing blender that can also be used as a food processor! Too bad it didn't end there. My recipe called for three 9" cake pans, of which I only had one. Each bake time would be 40 minutes, so at 2:30 PM with dinner set to start at 5:30 PM, I was caught in a dilemma. Andy convinced me to cook one part of it in my small loaf pan which made sense at the time. I'd have two layers and a tiny side loaf for fun. Baking proceeded while Andy got some of the baby's room wall deco up (pictures to come in next posts sometime). At 4:45 PM, someone rang our doorbell. The maintenance guy was dropping us a visit to politely inform us that due to flooding two floors below us, our water was to be shut down soon for an undetermined time. And by the way, dinner with friends was scheduled to be at our house since our dining table was large and in charge.

Luckily, after texting our friends that our large dining table meant nothing in light of the lack of water, we found out that one couple had JUST received a free larger dining table last night! What are the chances?!

So we decided to move the Easter celebration to their place and hence, I came up with the following two lists...

  1. Flush the toilet (after you use your one golden ticket flush from the stored water in the tank)
  2. Wash your hands (good thing I just bought a huge bottle of hand sanitizer for when visitors come to see the Baby!)
  3. Clear the dishes
  4. Have people over for Easter dinner
  5. Take a shower
  6. Brush your teeth
  1. Finish baking your second layer of carrot cake
  2. Use the Foreman Grill to finish the chicken for the Caesar salad
  3. Pack up all the remaining food items not yet put together for transport to friend's house
  4. Leave an unpleasant but poignant message to the Management Company about what an inconveniently frustrating situation we have once again been put into (this is not the first time we got last minute notification of our water shutting down due to flooding downstairs by the same people who play loud obnoxious music, smoke tons of weed, and BBQ way too often so that the grimy aroma of charred food floats onto our third floor balcony and into our living room too consistently)
  5. Enjoy a hearty Easter dinner (cooked ham, funeral potatoes, chicken salad, homemade sweet potato rolls, deviled eggs, carrot cake) with friends
  6. Remember the Savior
with Chinese subtitles

in English

Looking back on the night, I realized the tender mercy of Heavenly Father - the juxtaposition of all the events such that we did not have the ability to have people over, but only yesterday, a free and large table was inherited by our friends who could have us over. I'm sure either way, we would have all enjoyed our dinner somewhere, even if we did not have seats or a place setting - but it was nice to have it.

This also is not our first incident of water shutdown so luckily, our slow water storage accumulated over the last month, has given us the luxury of brushing our teeth and even showering with the water we have put aside.

This Easter, I will remember that he suffered so we could be. And as frustrating as not having water is, it is nothing compared to the suffering that Jesus went through so we could be here and endure the frustration of no water on Easter Sunday right before dinner.

Oh and as for my first homemade cake from scratch ever - somehow Andy convinced me to use the two cake pan layers at the bottom and the loaf pan layer on the top... so my cake ended up looking like this.

The presentation: C for catastrophe
The taste: A for awesome!!!!


Cassy said...

HAHAHA! That cake looks amazing. Confession: I crave carrot cake every single day.

Mary said...

I love that video that you posted!(: Thats cool that your meeting your husband anniversary was yesterday.. my parents got married in the SLC temple.. where did you get the background for your blog.. its so pretty!(:

SupaFlowaPowa said...

@Cassy - it's Paula Deen and she's a genius! it's sooo healthy cuz of the carrots, right?!

@Mary - Got my background from the cutest place on you can click on it at the bottom left of my blog! They have the best backgrounds! Yeah, although Easter two years ago was the second weekend in April so of course the second weekend of April, I look to my husband and say, it's been two years since we met!!!!!!!!! And I'll do that every year despite what weekend Easter falls on. Hehe.