Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Chocolate Cake "Catastrophe"

Responsibility is not my favorite thing. I prefer to be the person in the background, following the instructions of someone else who knows exactly what they're talking about. But this summer, God took me out of my comfort zone and put me in leadership in a kitchen, feeding up to 300 people every day.

Now of course, God was feeding them and just using me as His human hands. And this work was for God's glory, not for the kids' stomachs or the camp's success or even its reputation.

When it was easy and everything went as planned, I enjoyed the job very much. However, other days came, days when everything didn't go as planned and it certainly wasn't easy.
Days when we ran out of Fritos for taco salad.
Days when we barely had enough French fries.
That one day when both the four-door refrigerator AND the top convection oven stopped working, and we had to make 15 lasagnas plus several trays of rolls. =) I still enjoyed it, and experienced the added thrill of conquering a difficult task combined with the joy of watching God provide. 
And then . . . there was the cake day. We had already fixed chocolate chip cookies and brownies. Peach cobbler was for supper, and banana pudding for later in the week. We didn't have enough cocoa to make nobakes. Peanut butter cookies were out due to allergies. That left cake. Easy enough, right?

We baked four sheet pans of chocolate cake, then slid them onto the cooling rack and raided the pantry for icing. Hmm . . . one large jug with a few cups leftover at the bottom. Guess we'll have to make the rest.

So we rounded up plenty of milk and butter and vanilla and . . . 16 cups of powdered sugar.
Now, 16 cups might sound like a lot, but when you need 32 - that's woefully short.
So we called the lady on grocery run duty, and she agreed to pick some up.

Breathing came a little easier, until the groceries arrived and no powdered sugar. They searched the houses on camp grounds and rounded up 8 more cups, and while they were doing the rounding up someone began mixing up the ingredients sitting by the mixing bowl.

It was my fault.

I should have explained not to start yet, but now the bowl was full of this runny mix of 4 batches of butter, milk, and vanilla and only 2 batches of powdered sugar. And we only had 1/2 the powdered sugar we needed to make up the difference. What could we do? 200 children and nearly 100 adults would walk through the serving line in 30 minutes, and all we had was plain chocolate cake and some random gooey liquidy stuff.

I wasn't thinking about God's strength or sovereignty or glory, only my mess-up and the (hopeless) situation. Crazy thing - even when we're not thinking about God, He's still thinking about us. =)

The director's wife was very gracious and tried to cheer me up, then suggested we try it with what we had and see what happened.

Sure enough, the little bit of powdered sugar was enough to turn the mixture into a thick glaze, and with someone's suggestion of a small container of cocoa added to that, it became a beautiful chocolatey glaze that drizzled nicely over the cakes and turned that dessert into one of the week's favorites. So yummy!

Thank You, Jesus, for being in control and growing my faith once again!