Communion of Saints Flower Meadow Cake
November 2, 2011 2 Comments
It’s Wednesday! It’s also the Feast of All Souls, so there is no Wednesday choir. But it’s still Wednesday, therefore it is still Wednesday Dessert Night.
But before I get into talking about cake and what we’re making of it, let me tell you about Margaret Realy, author of A Garden of Visible Prayer: Creating Personal Sacred Space One Step at at Time. When I went cold into the retreat held by the Catholic Writers Guild back in October, I flew into the Lansing Airport having absoloutely no idea what to expect on just about every level: spiritual, professional, physical (I mean, would someone have intercepted my emails back and forth with the retreat center and have sent a chain saw murderer to pick me up?) and so on. Let me tell you, though, that if you need to be picked up by someone at the airport when you’re already feeling as uncertain as a grown up person is ever allowed to feel, you want Margaret Realy to pick you up. Really? No, just one “l.” Margaret just exudes joy, and joyful people are very good at getting others to realize, “Hey, everything is going to be okay.” And I have to say… the brand of joy–genuine, honest, and natural may be similar words, but they all describe this joy–that Margaret brings with her everywhere she goes? I’ve only seen that kind of joy in a very few people in the world, and all of them were devout Catholics. Food for thought, my friends. Food for thought.
Anyway, Margaret is the Garden Society Coordinator at the St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, MI. Her work is just so lovely. I realize that I am no gardener (my tomato harvest, or lack thereof, attests to that), so my appreciation was more visceral than anything else. However, I just adored hearing her talk about her gardens, and the meanings behind each, how the white flowers glow in the moonlight, how each statue made its journey to this place… and how she likes to say that when she is in the dirt, she gets to touch “the skin of God.” If you think about that, then, we are made of God’s skin. Neat.
Anyway, Margaret just got some less than happy news in her writing life. Having been there myself, I offered to bake her a cake, even though she lives hundreds of miles away. Sweetly enough she accepted. Margaret, if it shipped well I’d send you one, but hopefully this is easy enough to make at home. It’s a variation of the Betty Crocker Hot Fudge Sundae Cake. I wanted to make this last week when I stumbled across it and thought, “A self-icing microwave chocolate cake? I’m in!” Then I realized I had promised Muppet her Gingerbread Rice Pudding, so here we are a week later. I also need to work in the significance of today’s feast for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. And I’m aiming to use up some old green sprinkles and some of the Halloween candy. Gotta love a multitasking recipe.
1/2 c ap flour
1/4c + 1 T granulated sugar
1 T cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c milk
1 T corn oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c packed brown sugar
2 T cocoa powder
3/4 c + 2 T VERY hot water
Green sprinkles or sanding sugar
3 “Fun Size” M&M candies packets, 2 of them lightly crushed
In a 1 qt microwaveable casserole, mix together “cake” ingredients, then top with “icing” brown sugar and cocoa powder. Pour hot water on top. Microwave uncovered 5-7 minutes or until top is nearly dry. Allow cake to cool 10 minutes. Top with sprinkles/sanding sugar, crushed M&Ms and whole M&Ms.
As you spoon this into dishes, tell your kids that the “cake” part represents God the Father who created us out of dirt; God the Son who gives us His flesh in a bread costume; and the air bubbles in the cake are the Holy Spirit, which makes the cake light & filling at the same time. The “icing” is like the Church that Jesus gives us as our foundation and helps us stick to Him. The grass is like we the living who are small and humble but grow when we are united to God through His Church. The crushed M&Ms are like little wildflowers, the Holy Souls who died friends with God, so God is letting them take part in their own healing through redemptive suffering. The whole M&Ms are like the saints in heaven, big flowers who let God cultivate them. They are made whole by the love of Jesus and held up by the Church to show us what we can become when we stay united to God.
Okay, Margaret! Here’s to you, classy lady! I hope you enjoy your cake. Everyone else, I hope you enjoy it too. Let’s make heaven a little sweeter by praying for the healing of the holy souls.
PS: Christmas is coming. Margaret’s book would make a great gift for your favorite gardener. Just sayin’.