throw it out and start all over

Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.
Meister Eckhart

(harvest time, in the dead of winter, go figure / Julie Cook / 2018)

Here in northwest Georgia, we are currently in the midst of our typical dreary Georgia winters…
grey, damp, misty, rainy and utterly foggy…
all of which gives way to just a sunless chilly dampness that gives way a heavy case
of the “meh’s”…
Not depressed but not joyful.
Not sad but not perky.

Yet despite this damp dreariness, believe it or not, all the citrus trees, that have been
moved to the basement for the season, are now bearing a plethora of fruit…
go figure!

So when life gives you an abundance of lemons in the dead of winter…
I suppose one gets busy making
something lemony.

Of which I did…today (yesterday by the time you’re reading this today)

I was going to look up lemon recipes that require a good bit of juice but I was
in the process of “migrating” again my old computer to the new computer.
It seems that the 5 hours required the other day was not enough,
I needed to add two more hours today in order to complete the “migration”…
I don’t think it takes geese that long to migrate!

Computer migration meant I wouldn’t be looking for all things lemony on the computer anytime soon
so I would be doing so with my phone instead. Sigh.

Searching, reading and squinting, I found a recipe for a lemony loaf cake that needs 1/2 cup
of fresh juice.


I headed to the basement in order to pluck what lemons were ripe…6 for now.
3 limes and 2 tiny calamondins.

I zested three lemons and juiced them while the butter softened.

My phone screen kept closing so I kept having to find a clean finger in order to touch the screen
and click back on the recipe.

I read over what I needed, what the oven needed to be set on and scanned over the step by steps–
in between the on and off screen…

I creamed the butter with the sugar, I added the eggs, I shifted the flour,
I measured the baking soda, baking powder, salt…
was that 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder or
was it 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon baking powder???????

It was too late, I had gone with the first thought…
that being the full teaspoon of the baking soda and
the 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.

When I clicked my phone from black back to the recipe, I read I had reversed the two…
I tasted the batter…yuck…definitely too much soda.
The lemon juice seemed to make it start growing in the bowl.
Now I’m no chemistry major, but there was certainly a reaction beginning to react…

But what the heck, what’s 1/2 teaspoon too much??

I poured my “growing” batter into the pan…oddly it was now right at the rim and seemed
to still be growing…
I fretted what would happen when it hit the heat????

I shoved a sheet of foil underneath in case it opted to spill over.

I set the timer and quickly grabbed my phone now with two dirty hands yet full attention.

I quickly googled what happens if one adds more soda than what is called for.

All of the listed articles might as well as have had a nuclear warning sign as a header
as each one read of disaster.

The batter will taste bitter and soapy. Check
The batter will expand beyond capacity especially if an acidic base is added. Check
The batter will flow out of the pan once it’s placed in the over. Double check,


Throw it all out and start over.

One article did advise that you could possibly double the flour, butter, eggs, sugar
and make a double batch but I wasn’t going there.

I yanked open the oven door and grabbed the now overflowing pan and headed straight to the trashcan.

I started over.

This time being careful to get my soda and powder measurement right.

I threw out 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of lemon juice, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, 1 stick of butter,
1 Tbl of lemon zest…a huge waste but the only salvageable option.

And so as I started over from scratch on this now seemingly costly cake of mine,
I was reminded that we are currently perched on the tossing out of one year
as we prepare to start fresh on a new year.

I can honestly say that I am happy, for many reasons, to be tossing out this past year.

It’s like my batter with the too much soda, it just needs to be thrown out and started anew…
despite the seemingly lost cost.

On a personal level, this past year was a blessing in that we had great joy with the birth of this
first grandchild of ours…and the news of another one soon on his way…
As well as with the successful retiring of a 50-year business.

Yet I can’t help but think about this country of ours and of our global community.
The uncertainty.
The hatefulness.
The sinfulness.
The anger.
The turning away from our Judeo / Christian heritage.

I can only pray that God, in His Mercy, will continue to afford us His Grace…
And that He will indeed remain gracious and merciful to his wayward children.

I pray that we can hold onto a continued sense of hopefulness while we look forward to a
fresh beginning…because Lord knows, it’s time we get a brand new fresh start!
Just like my cake…that finally turned out a great success.

Here’s to a hope-filled successful new year for us all!!!

Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace,
that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

23 comments on “throw it out and start all over

  1. SharaC says:

    Happiest of New Years!! Love that you have a citrus in the basement… a sign of summer in the midst of winter.

  2. says:

    Happy New Year, Julie, Gregory and the rest of the clan. Can’t wait to see more baby pictures in the future. The mayor will have her hands full and so will you. Love you, my friend and wish only the best for you. God will not let us down. He never has and He never will. We simply need to pray for His continued mercy on us and our country.

  3. We praise Him for His mercy and grace, never-ending, and growing sweeter every year. I could almost taste your lemon cake. Uum πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Fran—the cake is good but the lemon glaze, even better πŸ™‚
      Mercy and Grace—AMEN!
      Happy New Year Fran!

      • i can only imagine it with fresh lemon juice. It is remarkable that you can grow this fruit in Georgia. I tried keeping an orange tree over the winter, but never had any fruit. You must have a secret. Blessings for the coming seasons.:)

      • I think you might need two for pollinating β€” they are a pain as I have to haul them to the basement for the winterβ€” they have stickersβ€” who knew! So handling them can be a real pain… literally. They ripen now so they tend to be backwards compared to most Georgia fruit! But it is kind of fun having citrus on hand ☺️

      • It understand the handling. I had to give up my larger plants for that reason. I remember getting fresh oranges on visits to Florida this time of year. They are delicious off the tree.

      • That is one reason I would enjoy living in such a southern climate—fresh oranges and grapefruit right out in the backyard πŸ™‚

  4. Salvageable says:

    The lemon cake sounds delicious. I much prefer working from recipes printed in a book or handwritten on a card. Those don’t tend to go blank at critical moments like a phone does. J.

  5. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
    Happy New Year to you and yours πŸͺπŸ˜πŸ™

  6. Citizen Tom says:

    Good way to start the New Year. Praying and struggling to make the best of lemons.

  7. Wally Fry says:

    Do you recall making toy rockets with baking soda and vinegar? Be glad you did not launch the oven.

  8. hatrack4 says:

    Loved the story. They advertise a new tablet that helps while you are cooking, but I am not paying tons of money just to find that the screen goes to sleep once you are elbow deep in batter. I have found that I love lemon in baked goods. I thought chocolate was at the top of my list. Maybe your body craves what it needs, and the needs vary as you get older.

    As for the global economy, I went to work for an engineering company in the mid 90s, working for them for 20 years. When the Asian economy of going down, the US economy would grow, and the European economy would be in a boom. Then the European economy would decline, the US booms, and the Asian economy starts to recover. Our company problem was not being able to break into the European market. So, when they boomed, we laid people off, then hired them back when the US boomed. NOW, all seem to being dying at the same time. China is still going strong, but they are satisfied to steal the technology and retrofit it, but I got five trips to China before they told us that they did not need us anymore. Usually, when the world economy is in the tank, it is cured by war. I prefer Jesus returning instead.

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