Monday, January 3, 2011

Gluten-Free King Cake and a New Year

For the last three years I've made a King Cake on or around Epiphany (January 6). Epiphany is the day set aside for remembering the three wisemen - magi - who brought gifts to the baby Jesus. We leave our decorations up through January 6, and I bake a King Cake for us to eat in celebration. I decided to make the cake a couple of days early this year, and this year I had the challenge of making it gluten free.

After beginning the process of forming the dough, my son asked nearly every five minutes if it was time to decorate the cake yet. He tried to persuade me that his tummy could not wait even five minutes more, but I kept reminding him that the finished product would be worth the wait. If we ate some before it was finished, it would not be as good as if we had waited until the cake was baked, cooled, and decorated. Finally, after two hours of rising, 20 minutes of rolling, filling and rising some more, and 30 minutes of baking, it was almost time to decorate the cakes. My son sat at the table expectantly. He knew that soon he would be able to sprinkle the beautiful, colored sugar over the cakes.

It did not take long to decorate the cakes once we started, and immediately after decorating the cakes and taking a couple of pictures it was time to taste what we had worked so hard to make. It was wonderful! The texture was nearly perfect and the filling had just the right hint of cinnamon. The drizzle and sugar on the top was oh-so sweet, and my son exclaimed, "Our cakes are perfect!"

If you are like me, you hate editing. Writing is the fun part. The creativity, the cathartic experience of seeing something brand new take shape. The writing is the adventure of trying a new recipe, of waiting to see what will become of our original ideas. But, if we rush it - if we call it good and bite into it before it is ready - we will wind up with a soggy story, something with little substance and nothing to hold it all together. We will miss out on the decorative frills that we can add in only after we've grown to know and love our characters so much that we know them almost as well as we know ourselves. So, let's commit to it in 2011. Let's commit to letting our stories rise and change for as long as necessary so that they will be everything they are meant to be. Let's not rush the process simply because the waiting of editing brings out our inner, impatient three-year-old.

Will you commit to it? I will try, but I think I'll need your help! :)

1 comment:

  1. That's a great challenge, April. I agree. It's very tough for me to be in that in-between phase between the idea and the finished product, where I want to call it perfect, but it totally ISN'T. :)