Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Red Velvet Cakesters

When I was a sophomore in high school our family moved from the only place I'd ever known as home to a small village in Pennsylvania. I had been blessed to have a best friend live right next door to me for almost ten years in the small farming community in Iowa that we left behind.

The move was rough on me at an especially tough time in my formative years. I longed for a friend. One night, after coming home late from an out of town basketball game, I woke my mom up to tell her I was home. Customarily she would barely wake enough to acknowledge me. This particular night, I needed help. She sat up in bed and I took a seat too. I told her I was having a hard time- had been having one for over a year. I told her how much I missed my childhood friend.

Mom gave me sound inspired advice that night. She told me to "Pray, and ask Heavenly Father for a true friend."

I quickly left her bedside and retreated to my own, where without delay I took her advice.

A few weeks later, the seasons changed and track began. I knew I had no speed, but was gifted with endurance. I took a position with the distance runners. There was a runner a year younger than me. We could carry the same pace through our workouts and ran together every day. Meanwhile I was still asking God every day as I prayed - for a friend. As days turned into weeks I realized how much I looked forward to track practice every day. Not for the running- but rather because my prayer had been answered.

Carolyn was a true friend to me. I'm sure I never completely told her how much I appreciated her. I graduated high school and our family moved again. We've each married, and are raising our families thousands of miles apart. This time of year especially, I’ll often think of her and silently thank my Father in Heaven for a friend.

Yesterday, I visited with a neighbor friend. I stood at the front door and noted packed boxes neatly stacked in each room. She will soon move to another town in another state. I brought her a rendition of some treats that she first had at Starbucks. I received a photo and a text--and a challenge. I've experimented a few times and am content with the results-

Red Velvet Cakesters

1 red velvet cake mix

4 eggs

1/3 cup oil

2 T water

3/4 cup sour cream

1 package instant vanilla pudding

Mix all ingredients well. Grease muffin pans. Drop a one inch dollop (small cookie scoop) in each space. Bake at 350 degrees for six minutes. Immediately dump pan, re-grease and re-fill until you've baked all of the batter. Let cakes cool completely.

Prepare cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

12 oz. softened cream cheese

3/4 cup soft butter

4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

Bear until smooth. Spoon into freezer strength ziploc bag. Cut a triangle off of one corner. Pipe a layer of frosting on half of the bottom of the cakes and put a "lid" on top.

Put remaining frosting in a clean ziploc and clip a small hole in the corner. Drizzle some frosting on top. This recipe makes 40 Cakesters.

As my friend does final preparations for the move, I share in her excitement in beginning a new chapter in their family’s life. And I acknowledge that I'm sure I have never completely told her how much I appreciate her being my friend. But I’m ever more aware that as people come into our lives; we are blessed -just simply by knowing them.

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