Thursday, August 4, 2011

kindness & karma

Kindness abounds:

OM and I went to OMSI last week and while we were standing in the very long line to pay ($30 for the 3 of us) a woman approached me and asked how many I had in my party.

I looked at her for a few seconds, then answered, and she told me to follow her. So, we followed her (why not?) and she explained that she had enough guest passes on her membership to cover us. We even got to go to the super quick, line-free membership desk to get our stamp and get in for free. 

So kind! 

Especially since after about 45 minutes Maya was done with that place... 

On the morning of Owen's birthday party I absentmindedly left my wallet on the top of our car (I think I saw some flowers that needed watering so I just put the wallet on the car to tend to the flowers) and then drove to Farmer's Market for fruit for the fiesta. 

Once I realized what I had done (half-way to the market) we turned around to head home to look for it. 
No luck. 
So, Woody drove around trying to find it. He came home with a bunch of receipts I had in my wallet that were all dirty on the side of the road by the highway on-ramp. 
But that was it, no money, no cards, no wallet.

Huge bummer.

We called all the credit card companies, bank, etc. to cancel the cards and then put a fraud alert on my account since every piece of information about me was in the wallet.

But, we still needed fruit for the party so Woody left to get that while I stayed home to cry about being such a ding dong.

And then sweet, sweet kindness intervened.

A man came to our door 20 minutes later and he had my wallet in his hand. 

He said he saw it on the side of the road by the highway and tried calling the phone number on one of my business cards (from 3 jobs ago) but since no one answered he google'd my address and brought it to me.

Can you believe it? 
Everything was still in it (even the $3) including the photos of OM from infancy to now.

When I called Woody to tell him this he asked me if I gave the man a reward. 
I said it didn't even occur to me to reward him because I was too busy crying in his face and thanking him kind.
Remember awhile back when I mentioned that I really wanted to read Tina Fey's book...well, just 5 days after the post guess what came addressed to me in the mail?
Yup, the book!
Thanks kind!
Last one...more along the lines of karma:

Last Saturday while we were camping Woody took our air mattress pump to the bathroom to charge it. He left it plugged in and then we all went on a walk to the playground.

When we got back it was gone.

Lame, fellow're not suppose to steal other people's stuff.

Thankfully Elee & Aleck had brought a hand pump too so we used that to blow up our mattress (we were really roughing it:) since it was practically deflated from the night before.

OMG, what a difference. 

The hand pump filled the mattress so much better than the electric one and we all slept so much better (then Friday night) as a result. 
I've been thinking a lot about kindness and generosity lately. I'm in the process of joining a church and thinking about liberal tithing and 'generosity being central to a healthy spiritual life'. 
I aim to do better.
Two posts back I showed some pictures of the best chocolate cake ever. Ever
You'll never need a chocolate cake/chocolate cupcake/chocolate angel food cake recipe again. 
You're set. 
What I'm still lacking is a vanilla/yellow cake recipe. If anyone has one I'd love the recipe. I've tried Ina's, Tyler's and Deb's and I don't like any of them.

Anyway, here's the best chocolate cake w/ frosting recipe ever. Ever.

The cake recipe is from OM's Grandma May. You dump everything in one bowl (sweet!) and mix for two minutes...easy peasy yet totally scrumptious, every single time:

Grandma May's moist chocolate cake:

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa-sifted (I use Dagoba..the best!)
1/2 cup oil
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup milk
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs

Place all ingredients into large bowl.
Blend then beat for 2 minutes.
Pour into greased & floured 9" cake pans or angel food cake pan or cupcake pans.
Bake @ 350 until toothpick comes out clean
~25 minutes for layer cake
~40-45 minutes for angel food cake pan
Cool on rack 5 minutes before turning out of pans.

The frosting if from Nigella Lawson:

For the fudge icing:

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, minimum 70 percent cocoa solids
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Melt the chocolate in the microwave - 2 to 3 minutes on medium should do it - or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let cool slightly.
In another bowl beat the butter until it's soft and creamy (again, I use the stand mixer here) and then add the sifted confectioners' sugar and beat again until everything's light and fluffy. I know sifting is a pain, the 1 job in the kitchen I really hate, but you have to do it or the icing will be unsoothingly lumpy. Then gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until everything is glossy and smooth.
Sandwich the middle of the cake with about a quarter of the icing, and then ice the top and sides, too, spreading and smoothing with a rubber spatula.


1 comment:

carrie said...

I hate that sick feeling you get when you realize you've lost your wallet!! I found a soaking wet, men's wallet full of money that I turned into the police about a month ago. Maybe my good wallet karma was passed on to you. Glad everything worked out for you!