Every Lord’s Day morning at the Community Church of South Haven, there’ll be some sort of snack for folks to enjoy while they’re visiting before church starts. Sometimes, they might even be enjoying after church starts. Every now and then, about twice between elections, I’ll bake some scones and take them over.
Since I was up early yesterday, I decided I’d make some cranberry and walnut scones. In fact, I was up early enough I decided I’d add a little glaze. While the two dozen beautifully browned, small scones were cooling, I stirred up melted butter and powdered sugar, pretty much in the fashion Randa had shown me. By the time the scones had cooled, my homemade glaze had cooled even more and was too thick.
Having a nearly new microwave right there over the stove, I didn’t think that was too much of a challenge. So, I set the little glass dish of my handmade glaze inside, selected “Defrost” and let ‘er rip.
Boy Howdy, did she rip! Next time I looked in, the concoction was foaming up to the top of the dish. I grabbed a hot pad, pulled out the dish and looked at the golden, bubbling mass. “Great,” I thought, “It’s caramelized! Caramel glaze will be wonderful on cranberry-walnut scones!”
So, I took a spoon, stirred well and started spreading caramel glaze onto the scones which I had placed close together on a dish towel. By the time I finished, the glaze had set pretty well. Extremely well, as a matter of fact. When I began separating the scones, some of them wouldn’t separate. Some of the scones broke while I was trying to pull them apart. The glaze had turned into cement.
Instead of this wonderful, soft, buttery, sweet topping, I had manufactured an industrial grade epoxy adhesive. Instead of talking sweet and chewy confectionery, we were talking hammer and chisel, and a good possibility of fractured dental work. But I wasn’t going to let that keep me from being hospitable to the members and visitors of the Community Church of South Haven, no sir, no ma’am, and no way!
I took a big butcher knife and sliced that stuff right off of those scones. Instead of that beautiful golden crust with that lovely oven finish, there was a pale, crumbly, mixed inner texture. I packed the scalped scones into a small serving basket and folded a nice dish towel over the top. Next on the to-do list was pitching those infernal caramel-cement tops into the trash can.
At church, B. J. was the first to check out the basket, unaware that I was watching him right carefully. He lifted the dish towel to see what was underneath and nearly jumped backwards! “Scalped scones,” I commented. I think they’ll taste better than they look.” He decided to take a chance and find out.
Sometimes our mistakes turn out to be object lessons. Sometimes even our slight disasters can be salvaged. And sometimes, taking a few minutes to see what happens next could keep us from making “next” something worse than what has already happened. That’s a good thing to remember in parenting, pastoring and college administration.
Even yet, I guess there’s an upside; I’m pretty sure no one is going to expect me to help with the cooking at the next men’s breakfast…