A Bolt of Lightning December 8, 2014Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance.
“M-O-M! Christmas is ruined!”
“The mall exploded! It got hit by lightning and a generator blew up. It’s closed until January.”
“Yes! Christmas is ruined!”
“Calm down . . . there’s always Cyber Monday.”
“Ugh. I hate on-line shopping. No pushing. No shoving. No lines.”
Joan smiled at her daughter. “And worst of all . . . no food court!”
Cathy collapsed into a chair. “I’m going to go into serious sugar withdrawal without my weekly Cinnabon!”
Tossing the flyers into recycling, Joan stood. “Don’t worry. We’ll think of something.”
Joan found her husband tinkering at his workbench. “Paul, the mall has closed in a puff of smoke.”
“So I heard.”
“Yup. I heard Cathy’s concerns about Christmas and Cinnabons loud and clear.”
“What are we going to do?”
“Are you daft? Shopping. Gifts. Christmas. Ringing any bells?”
Paul caught Joan’s gaze. “Let’s make hand-made gifts.”
“You have sawdust for brains.”
“Hear me out. Instead of poring over flyers, hunting for parking spots, and lugging piles of stuff home, let’s create gifts from the heart. I’ll make wooden trains, planes, and puzzles for the kids. And a pipe rack for your dad.”
“What about me?”
“Your friends would love your homemade fudge or toffee . . . or one of your famous Grand Marnier cakes. You could make your mom that wreath she’s wanted.”
Warming to the idea, Joan returned to the kitchen and grabbed her recipe file.
Soon delicious aromas circulated, mingling with carols. As fragrant cakes baked, Joan created a starfish and sand dollar wreath for her mom, scented candles for her sister, and an afghan for Cathy.
Paul spent hours in his workshop emulating Santa’s elves. Sawdust flying.
Instead of waiting for the Big Day, Joan, Paul, and Cathy delivered treats to delighted friends throughout December.
Christmas morning, Cathy served fresh home-baked Cinnabons to her parents and grandparents.
Between bites, Joan grinned at Paul, “Hey, sawdust for brains! That was some bolt of lightning.”
Aah . . . that’s better!
Joan’s famous Grand Marnier Bundt Cake:
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Combine all ingredients and mix well, about 5 minutes, with an electric mixer or whisk. Pour into a well-greased and floured fluted Bundt pan (or 10-inch tube pan). Bake in pre-heated 325 degree oven for about 50 minutes.
OPTIONAL: Drizzle with Grand Marnier glaze or sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. NOTE: Cake Freezes well before topping.