Will You Listen?

There are all kinds of secrets
Found throughout the day:
Dishes not wash all the way,
Television on before dressed for the bus,
Brownies made and cleaned up after.
 
(Not everything is too much.)
 
Good secrets come and go,
Bad secrets like to crop up as well:
Homework hidden and not done,
People pushing things under the rug;
Ignore it enough, it’ll go away?
 
(No it won’t.)
 
Bad secrets aren’t the only ones hiding,
Good secrets jump out and brighten your life:
Kittens brought home when you needed a friend,
A first attempt at a child’s sewing gifted, made by hand.
Someone coming over just because, but managing to bring just what you needed.
 
(Woken up at night, given what you need to work from home.)
 
Secrets like to lurk and hide,
They like to make you stumble and your eyes go wide,
But at the same time, they can be quiet and sneak up on you.
A child waking their mother at night,
Seeking peace to sleep by talking something out.
“I’m always here if you need me, if only to talk it out.”
 
(She didn’t mind how late it was or that she had work in three hours.)
 
Families can be loud with their secrets,
Shouting them out and using the bright lights to distract
From the shadows lurking beneath.
They can also be quiet,
Barely whispering about the teeth and the heartbreak.
 
(Just because ‘everyone knows’ doesn’t mean that they understand.)
 
But will you listen as I speak my words?
Will you keep quiet to hear all that is in me?
My secrets are my own to share or silence,
But will you listen to them all the same?
Secrets can choke you, both good and bad, if you cannot tell anyone.
 
(Oh Lord, I pray, listen to my heart as well as my mouth.)

Written for this week’s Dungeon Prompts: http://theseekersdungeon.com/2014/03/13/dungeon-prompts-season-2-week-11-secrets/

Partially prompted by a few things coming to light this morning: the children didn’t quite finish getting ready for school and one almost missed the bus, but they’d made brownies after everyone had gone to bed and yet had managed to clean up (almost) completely after themselves. This morning really needed those brownies.

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One Recipe For All

Several years ago (I forget how many), my sister and I acquired a new cookie recipe that was little more than a list of ingredients as well as what temperature to cook them at. Nothing else. It was a fairly easy recipe to follow and through some trial and error we found a way to make them low-sugar without sacrificing any taste or even how the cookies look. (They are delicious crisp looking/tasting cookies.) Still we like to make little changes to different batches now and then, which is a given for us most of the time. grins

My favorite way is to switch out the butter for some applesauce. It tastes soooo good.

I recently ran out of applesauce and wasn’t able to get to the store, but had heard that you could use mashed bananas and/or mashed peaches instead of butter as well. I tried the bananas first because, let’s face it, they’re easier to mash. The batter was too liquid-y to actually hold its shape as a cookie after being baked. When I tried to move the baked cookie off the cookie sheet, it crumbled into banana flavored granola. It didn’t taste bad per say, but they were horrible cookies, structurally.

I eventually added flour and baked it all at once in a cake pan. My eldest niece dubbed it ‘cookie cake’ and most everyone enjoyed it quite well. I didn’t and my eldest nephew didn’t, but we both have problems with things that taste and/or smell very strongly. The smell of lavender, for example, will completely knock me out and give my nephew a headache.

Today I tried using peaches instead of the butter. It wasn’t quite as liquid-y as when I used the bananas, but it still wasn’t quite right. After baking they stayed stuck to the sheet; with a lot of scraping I was able to get them off and they didn’t crumble. Instead they crumpled up into a cookie cluster (as my mom called them). They were also quite delicious and chewy, but the effort to get them off the cookie sheet was not worth it. (I’m weak, it’s kind of a running joke/truth in my family.) Trying to use wax paper was a complete failure and we didn’t have any parchment paper or cookie sheet liners other than the wax paper. (I couldn’t get the cookies off the wax paper at all. It made an interesting taste to the ‘lace cookies.’)

I added some flour, once again, and baked it in a bigger cake pan as there was more dough this time around. After it was done, it looked an awful lot like brownies and tasted so incredibly rich and delicious. (I am aware that I’m using that word a lot, but it definitely applies.)

I’ve made crisps, cookies, cake and brownies all from the same recipe with only slight adjustments. It’s a very interesting thing for me as I am not the cook or the baker in my family. I’m just the manager.

Failed Food

I’ve messed it up once again,
Always something going wrong.
The recipe was easy to read?
That’s a laugh, so laugh along.
 
It said tablespoons, I’m sure.
Oops, was supposed to be 4 teaspoons.
Well, salt is supposed to be savory, right?
With corn, ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce…
 
The cookies are muffins or bars or crisps,
They never seem to look quite right.
Yet I’m assured that they taste just fine.
That would mean more if you actually swallowed.
 
The bread is wholesome and quite tasty.
It’s good for you and all homemade.
The grains were ground this morning.
Now if only it didn’t look like a little brick.
 
You can cook all kinds of things with a roast:
Onions, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes…
All of them come out just right,
But not the broccoli, not even ketchup will save it.
 
There are a lot of different noodles these days.
Not all of them from Asia or Italy.
There are many ways to cook them, many sauces,
But if you’re using peanut butter, just stop.
 
Trying to make brownies
Even followed the box.
Still ended up with too much oil
And not enough chocolate.
 
My family likes to make things from scratch,
Most of it’s pretty good, too.
There were a few learning moments, but in the end?
It all worked out without any food poisoning.

I didn’t write this for a prompt (though I seriously considered it), but because another attempt at cookies failed yet turned out all right. Had some cookie dough I’d made yesterday that tasted fine, but was too structurally unsound to be used for cookies. (They were the flimsiest cookies I’ve ever seen and would not harden at all or stiffen up the way you need cookies to do. It would have made weird granola, but at least taste good.) Finally I added some flour to it today (it wasn’t part of the recipe originally) and then just baked it all together in a cake pan. Turned out just fine after that even though I’ve been told it looks like cake. (It tastes like cookie and once it’s been cut up will make lovely cookie bars.)

The fail-succeed process reminded me of other times in my family when we’ve failed epically in making something.