It’s been a rough year. When I first saw several people joining in the 30 days of thanks on Facebook, I just couldn’t be positive enough to join in. I was feeling quite unthankful.
Today I am seized by the spirit of the holiday. The truth is that I have a very long list of things to be thankful for. It’s almost embarrassing. I have wonderful family and friends, a loving husband, a beautiful daughter, security, safety, really cute shoes, etc. But the one thing that I am most thankful for today is the opportunity to try again.
For example, today I made cupcakes from a DC Cupcakes recipe. Caramel apple cupcakes. It’s an apple cupcake with caramel filling and cream cheese frosting. You make your own caramel to fill the cupcakes. Making the caramel was actually what I was most excited about. I’ve make cupcakes plenty of times, and I always make my own frosting (instantly makes it taste like you’ve been slaving for days, but it’s super easy). But never have I made caramel.
I made it twice today. The first time I didn’t plan ahead well enough and at the last minute I was standing at the stove, frantically stirring my sugar and yelling for my dad to bring over butter and vanilla. The directions said to add in the heavy cream to achieve “a beautiful golden brown caramel color.” Mine was really dark brown. At first I didn’t think much of it.
Thankfully I tasted the caramel before putting it into 24 cupcakes. It was dark because I had burned the sugar. The stream of expletives I longed to spew nearly choked me. H was in the next room, and two is a little young for that number of F-bombs.
Once you burn the sugar there’s no saving it. The whole thing had to be thrown out, and I did it again. Thankfully, I had enough cream and butter. This time I kept the heat much lower. It was so low that I nearly ruined it a second time. I was stomping upstairs to get my shoes for a mad dash to the store when my mom pointed out that a little extra heat might solve the problem and dissolve the lumps that had formed. She was right.
I haven’t gotten to eat a whole cupcake yet. But I tried a little bit of a core with some caramel and icing. Heaven.
I share this story because it’s a nice metaphor for 2011. Complete and total shit followed by a bumpy but (we hope) ultimately successful comeback. So I am thankful for do overs. I am thankful that it’s not over until I say it’s over. I’m thankful that I have a team that will back me up. I’m thankful that there will be more tomorrows.
Also, I’m thankful for this brandy slushie I’m about to consume. That’s good too.