The Cake Chronicles: Part One

Let Them Eat Cake!

Once upon a time there was a missionary.  We shall allow her to remain anonymous, since this post will show that she is not the smartest missionary in the jungle.  On her last trip from the city to the village, she apparently made the worst missionary decision ever, almost causing a national crisis.  Okay, well maybe it was more of a village-wide scandal.  Said missionary returned to the village.  That, in case you did not know, is another way of saying, “The possibility of homemade cake returned to the village.”  Which is, of course, a reason for great bliss and delight, except for the two diabetics in the village.

Unfortunately, when our beloved but not very smart missionary returned, there was not room in the pickup for all of her luggage.  Three people were riding in the back of the pickup truck, after all, on top of the purchases of the family giving her a ride.

That was no problem, though.  The missionary was thankful that about half of her luggage would fit, and put in the most important boxes and bags first.  Also, she was thankful that another family was planning to travel from the city to the village “soon,” which our optimistic missionary assumed meant less than a week, probably only two or three days.  They were willing to bring her last boxes with them.

It will probably be immediately obvious to you that her packing priorities are shockingly inadequate, in failing even to itemize “cake ingredients” on the list, which was as follows:

  1. Backpack (including Bible, documents, camera and laptop)
  2. Vegetables and fruits
  3. Clothes, medicines and vitamins
  4. Books, muffin tins, bread pans
  5. Health food store items (oats, sunflower seeds, whole wheat flour, dried fruit, tea)
  6. Grocery store non-perishables
  7. Cleaning supplies
  8. Water filter
  9. Gas (for the oven). The current “tank” probably won’t run out until mid-March.

If you thought it odd that food items were in the second half of the list, the reason is that she still had non-perishables in the village, and assumed that her boxes would arrive long before they ran out.  The problem was that a few standard kitchen items had already run out.  One of them was sugar.  Well, there was one cup left.  It is still there in its container, untouched, patiently waiting for granulated reinforcements to join it, since all by its lonesome, that one measly cup is not enough to make a cake, unless it is a very little cake.  It is, however, poor policy to make a very little cake when you have very many cake-awaiting friends.

You see, our not-very-smart missionary’s first clue that she had committed a major tactical error was that on her first visit with every family in the village, the subject of cake was broached (not by her).  It has yet to be determined whether the villagers truly missed the missionary as a person and friend, or if they missed her solely as a Maker of Cakes.  Apparently, her cakes are to die for.  The ironic part is that she doesn’t even like cake that much, and, left to herself, does not make it nearly as often as they seem to think.  But she does love baking, sharing the results, and making things people especially enjoy.  So cake will probably feature as her Most Frequent Baked Good of 2017.  What gladsome tidings for her new cake-loving friends.  Cake Ingredients will certainly be high on her packing priorities list in the future.  (In her defense, Cake Ingredients had made it onto her shopping list, at least).

This time however, the missionary brought along pizza ingredients along with the veggies.  Some of her friends had expressed a desire to eat pizza in her new house, so she was excited to bless them and treat them to something extra special.  The four huge pizzas she made were extra special, and many friends enjoyed eating them, but pizzas can never be as extra special as cake.   Almost everyone knows that universal truth.  Except for you-know-who.  Well, she has figured it out now, because after all the planning, work and money she lovingly invested in the pizza production, it turns out her friends would have been happier if she had just brought along sugar and made a simple (but as-large-as-possible) cake.  Who would have known?

Join us next Friday, when, after five long cake-less days, in the middle of a sleepless night, you’ll hear our missionary say, “What a silly little person I am!  Of course there is enough sugar for a large cake.  I’m making one first thing in the morning.”

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