Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bleached or unbleached?

2:06 p.m. Today's project was to participate in a marvelous worship service today at church, and sing with full abandon as our worship team led us in Christmas carols and "hymns and spiritual songs" (Ephesians 5:19a) that give us comfort and cheer all year long.

We had noticed on our way to Calvary Chapel that the westbound 60 freeway was backing up badly, due to an apparent paving or patching job going on. So Steve and I determined to get the flour I needed at WalMart on Moreno Beach Drive after church, and then come home to Riverside on Alessandro, gas up the Jeep for the week, and stop by CVS to pick up his Aricept Rx and get pictures printed of Pam's birthday breakfast.

I'm not a poor kitchen manager, just today running out to get flour. I had had misgivings since yesterday about the sugar cookie dough I put to chill in the fridge. I had bought King Arthur white, unbleached flour, a very good brand, expecting that it would be a pale ivory (in contrast to the bright white of the bleached kind). Instead, while it was as light and fluffy as white flour should be, this unbleached flour looked more like whole wheat without the texture of the bits of germ! [No objection to whole wheat--that's only kind of rolls or bread I ever make!]

Since I already had the sugar and butter creaming in the KitchenAid, there really was no turning back, and I had two other kinds of cookies to bake. I wouldn't have been so short of time--in my hurry-up world, that means only having 3 hours!--if I hadn't enjoyed a nice relaxed visit with my Mrs. Heather Love at her house, where I'd dropped off Steve's Christmas surprise to be hidden in their garage. So I wrapped up the double batch of cookie dough in my this-year's favorite baking product, Reynold's non-stick foil, and put it in the fridge. I did use the unbleached flour in my pecan-jam cookie bars, which cooked up to a delicious light beige color, and made another 3 dozen mint meringues.

Back and forth my brain went as I got ready for church this morning, from the sensible "just use it, the frosting will cover up the cookies and they'll probably taste better" to the perfectionist nitpicky "Sugar cookies aren't supposed to be brown!" On and on, round and round I went. Caving to the fear of unlovely cookies, I bought the bleached flour today. I froze yesterday's batch for future use and the new batch is chilling in the fridge. Weak sauce, as the kids would say, letting tradition rule the day!

This is the kind of thing I torment myself with, go to the right, or go to the left, bleached or unbleached flour... It's a good thing the Lord has given me a strong measure of faith for things of eternal significance: the salvation of souls; praying for my husband's well-being, even healing; energy and means to help the hurting; encouraging and exhorting my now-raised children; studying and teaching His Word; standing for what is right in civic matters; "giving a cup of cold water" (Matthew 10:42) in Jesus' Name to whomever requires refreshing.

We all have a silly streak, and undoubtedly waste time on temporal activites and undertakings that Solomon calls "vanity" in Ecclesiastes. And believers know, as II Peter Chapter 3 proclaims, that "it's all gonna burn." But God knows our frame. He remembers what we're made of--dust, easily blown around! (Psalm 103:14 paraphrased)

Only what we do for Jesus Christ will stand the test of time!

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