Beyond Gorgeous

Does it help to know that other people struggle, too?  Just in case you thought I was advising you from the lofty heights of super-human ability, I decided to post this blog, which was not originally for publication.

Note:  Those who don’t know me personally will need to know that my husband Paul and I rented out our house and are living in a 34 ft. travel trailer parked in back of the property our church recently purchased.  We’ll be here while the new building is being built — and our temporary home has given us a challenge or two!

I look with satisfaction at the finished post which will appear on my blog. It’s my favorite low-glycemic recipe and I’ve made it a zillion times. It’s easy and always tastes great.

But then my conscience troubles me.  It calls for a complicated method of whipping evaporated milk.  I always cheated and used Cool Whip. Should I encourage my blog followers to cheat, too?  I look up Cool Whip and see that it contains the dreaded high fructose corn syrup, and a bunch of unpronounceable chemicals. I will use the complicated version.

But I’ve never actually made the complicated version. I dare not run the recipe until I try it. I do not have evaporated milk so I go to Walmart.  I park at the back of the parking lot and get lots of extra steps because it is busy and there is no place else to park.  I hoof it to the store and then spend the next hour hunting for evaporated milk. At last I run it to earth on the baking aisle which I have traversed at least 15 times before.  I gain some more steps shuffling back and forth in line, which is unusually long. Back across the parking lot and home. Then I load the wagon with the evaporated milk and the $69 worth of other groceries I collected while looking for the milk. I haul them back to our trailer and unload.  Then I start the actual recipe.

First I take the milk and the mixing bowl and put it in the freezer — out in Paul’s office, because the trailer freezer does not work.  Then I come back and make the Jello and take it out to Paul’s office, because the refrigerator doesn’t work either.  I go back and prepare to mix up the cream cheese and sugar substitute and cannot find my mixer.  I take everything out of every cabinet and put it back. (bend and stretch and bend and stretch).  I alternate this exercise with sprints out to Paul’s office to check on the Jello, which I must catch when it is the consistency of egg whites.  Find the mixer and mix up the cream cheese with the sugar substitute.  Take it out to Paul’s office.

I talk on the phone until the Jello is hard as a rock, I repeat the above steps and haul everything back into the kitchen.  I run the mixer in the milk for a long time.  It overruns my bowl and down the side of the cabinet, but does it form stiff peaks?  I lift the mixer to see.  Forgot to turn off the mixer first and whipped cream flies all over the trailer.  I cannot tell if the peaks are stiff, so I just mix up the whole thing as is.  I discover I no longer own dessert dishes so I put the mixture in coffee cups.  Paul may ask about his cup  when he makes coffee after while, but I will worry about that later.  I make one last trip out to the refrigerator to stow the finished product.  I come in and survey my wrecked kitchen and dining room.  And living room.  Every surface is covered with dirty bowls, spoons, and whipped cream.   I clean up the mess (bend and stretch and reach and bend).

My Lemon Cloud has truly become a diet dessert. I have burned off a days worth of calories just in preparing the stuff! However, I decide I will give my readers the option of using Cool Whip. I secretly plan to do so in the future.

By the way — it still tasted pretty good — even with chewy clumps of Jello and a slightly frothier texture.  And, of course, for people who have real kitchens with working appliances, even the “complicated version” won’t be that hard.

The lesson for this slump time?  Don’t allow yourselves to be discouraged when life gets complicated.  Keep things in perspective — and smile every chance you get.


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