Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Master of the Universe

For years I failed. 

I tried to succeed in every way I thought possible.  I thought up different ways to do things, and began each new attempt with a vulnerability that was easily beaten down by the harsh realities of this world.  The enemy knew my weaknesses, and it used them against me time and time again.  I was tossed repeatedly into the vortex of defeat.

When my own resources were eliminated, I turned to others for guidance.  I read and studied and appealed to people and references that I thought would give me the knowledge that I needed to prevail.  Every suggestion, lesson and helpful conversation was a new beginning, a new promise.  I tried them all.  Alas, my faith was dashed further as my ineptitude soured any and all good ideas.

Repeated failures chipped away at my confidence.  My self-worth disappeared as I examined my steps again and again.  What was I doing wrong?  Everything, it seemed.  I was missing a crucial piece of the puzzle, and it was hidden away.  I was not meant to discover it. 

On the surface, my deficiencies were revealed to others.  I accepted them as part of my makeup, the very fiber of my being.  It is difficult to look in the mirror when your faith has crumbled, and I’d be lying if I said that I found the strength to look at my own image each day.  The depth of my failure and how it affected my war-torn soul were unknown to most people.  Only close intimates knew my misery.  Perhaps the brightest spots were those who accepted me even as they witnessed the agony of my collapse. They are the true heroes.  Thank you, family and friends.  You know who you are.

After a while, I stopped trying.  My efforts had weakened me. The pain was too much, the disappointment too heavy.  I acknowledged my future as a bleak one. Any shred of joy slipped from my grasp as I hung up my hopes and dreams, and I looked forward with a resignation that from now on others would have to pull me along in their wake.

Then one day, upon waking, my mind reached into a small crevice of consciousness that was once smoothed over like a newly cemented sidewalk.  From that small crack came the hint of an idea.  It was a new one that I hadn’t noticed yet.  Could this mark a turning point for me?  Is this my last revelation?  I was afraid to believe, but the small and steady light held me in its warm radiance.

I swung my feet around the bed and onto the floor. The excitement of the possibility of success filled my spirit once again.  Light-headed and high on hope, I drew my full strength up from the soles of my feet and the bottom of my heart, holding the glow of that idea in my minds’ eye as I went about the mundane tasks of the day. 

When the time was right I put the plan in motion.  I knew not where my courage came from - I can only guess that it was an otherworldly source.  When I finished carrying out the plan, I tasted its brilliance.  My success was unfettered.  My desolation immediately filled with unbounded delight and absolute triumph. At once, my failures were erased, wisping away like a dream.  My self was restored to its intended position.  How comprehensive was my absolution!  It washed over me like a cleansing rain.

My success must be shared; it is the only way to  honor its power, no matter the wretchedness of its origin.

I’ve seen the Promised Land, and it has a name.

Crisco Baking Sticks, Butter flavored.  Never again will I attempt to bake without them.  My self-worth is found within their foil-wrapped majesty.

That’s right.  Today I experienced chocolate chip cookie baking success for the first time.  I never tasted manna from heaven.  Likely you haven’t either, so let’s just say that these cookies are darn close.


Watch out, Martha Stewart. 

I’m coming.

*******


Disclosure:  Crisco did not compensate me for this article, though I wish they would, and soon.  
All opinions, tragic failures, and mighty, mighty successes are my own.

32 comments:

  1. Hooray for cookie success! And those do look totally heavenly. (And now I want some chocolate chip cookies.) :)

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  2. The perfect chocolate chip cookie??
    Why are you torturing us by not sharing the recipe??
    I'm hungry.

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    1. I'm hungry, too! Oh, cookies, why do you tempt me so?

      I used the recipe on the chocolate chip bag. Tollhouse. Here's the recipe link: http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18476/original-nestl%C3%89-toll-house-chocolate-chip-cookies/detail.aspx

      I used 1/2 c. butter, and 1/2 c. Crisco baking stick. That was the key.

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  3. I'm trying not to wake up the house by laughing out loud, but it is really tough! You crack me up!

    My grandma always used regular Crisco in her cookies. They were good. But butter flavored Crisco PLUS real butter. Wow, the best of both world.

    Thanks for making me hungry for chocolate chip cookies. Chips Ahoy won't be the same after seeing your beautiful cookies!

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    1. Thank you! I sheepishly admit that I made myself crack up while writing this.

      I never used Crisco unless it was on the recipe. Now I'm wondering what else it will transform.

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  4. I'm dying. Figuratively, but still. You got it going on girl! And the best part is that you used the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag :)

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    1. Thanks, Kerstin! I figure if the recipe is good enough for them to put on the bag, then it's good enough.

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  5. I just knew it! I was like - is this a joke, or does she need me to rush on the first plane and come to comfort her? And then yes - it was a joke. Although much wisdom lies beneath it! :-)

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    1. Awww, Jennie - you melt my heart. Thank you. xoxo

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  6. Crisco baking sticks? I have never heard of these things! Whenever I use straight up butter, my cookies are too crispy for my liking. Does this help make them soft?

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    1. Yes! They stayed soft, and I think the Crisco prevented them from flattening out, which was my main issue.

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  7. Others have told me of the glory of the Crisco baking sticks. I use them for some things, but I've never tried the butter flavored.

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    1. I didn't even know it existed. I didn't even know that it could be used in recipes that called for butter. I'm thisclose to spreading it on my toast.

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  8. I have had cookies made with these. They taste amazing. BUT (oh gosh, I hate to be this way!) I cannot stomach the hydrogenated oils anymore. I use REAL butter. It's just as good, promise. :)

    I am however REALLY glad you found success after all that disappointment before... ;)

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    1. Thanks Elaine! I won't give up butter, don't worry. And hey, if you can't stomach it, you can't stomach it. I know. I'm a card-carrying Lactaid drinker.

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  9. Yeah. I'm the person who asks, "What can I bring to the family Christmas?" and is told, "Ummmm.....napkins. No, olives. Yeah. How about olives. Or napkins. Whichever is easier for you."

    But I haven't met Crisco, yet.
    Perhaps there's still hope for me.

    (I'd better let everyone know in my Christmas letter. Maybe this year, Mom will trust me with baked goods.)

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    1. My advice is not to ruin a good thing. You're so lucky. How I wish the term "relish tray" was still relevant. I'd sign up for it every time. You know what? I think I'm going to bring it back.

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  10. I love cookie success stories... However, the last time I used Crisco to make cupcakes, they were an absolute mess. Maybe it was expired, but after reading this I may be willing to try again. Maybe.

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    1. Hmm... I've never heard of using Crisco for cupcakes! I'll take your advice and never try it. I don't need any more failure in my life.

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  11. Mmmmm...those look delicious. My husband is the baking experimentor, and he's been striving for success. I think they taste good, always, but he's never satisfied. Oh well...I won't stop him from trying. ;)

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    1. Wow - he bakes? He's a keeper. My husband doesn't like sweets, so guess who gets to eat all the cookies?

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  12. I've never tried those stick things, but my mom swears by them, especially for pie crust. Which I fail at. But now you've piqued my interest!!
    (and my appetite)

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    1. I've never failed at pie crust. They're always perfect when I take them out of the box. ;)

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  13. You need to send me some of those. The cookies, not the Crisco sticks.

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    1. Ha! Good idea. Chocolate cookies do travel well, I've heard. :)

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  14. Hilarious! and now I need to bake some cookies :)

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  15. Ha! The perfect chocolate chip cookie eludes me, too. Perhaps I need to try again with your secret ingredient. I have resigned myself to those break apart ones and they are fine. Really. Just fine. Good even. Sigh...

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    1. You sound like I did just a few short days ago. I'm telling you, the Crisco sticks will change your whole outlook on life.

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  16. I did 'okay' with cookie baking....but I just ran out of caring about it. Betty Crocker pouches all the way...just throw in an egg and stick of butter...cookies in 10 minutes. That's how I roll!

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    1. That's just as good! Honestly, I don't bake at all that much... but I was in the mood for chocolate chips. I've never tried the pouches - picking up Oreos is way easier.

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