Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What holiday is this?

Most people in the US celebrated this past Valentine's Day in the usual way: chocolate, flowers, dining and (hopefully) some time with the ones they loved.  However, since Valentine's Day was on a Sunday this year, I knew I needed to do something special for "my kids."  "My kids" aren't really mine, but for some reason I haven't quite figured out yet, their parents entrust them to me once a week for spiritual development.  Quite the responsibility... there are days when I question if I'm succeeding with my own, let alone my others.  But I feel blessed by the challenge.

Fortunately, I don't have a cookie cutter church (you know the kind in the suburbs where people have exactly 2.3 kids and a dog, the kind where everyone looks alike and all shop at  the same stores.) There's nothing (in essence) wrong with a cookie cutter church, in fact Jesse and I used to attend one that we really enjoyed, but there's a lot more stretching to be had if you're not in one.  And for that I'm appreciative.  Anyway, since my church isn't cookie cutter, neither are the kids.  One of my favorite parts of my church is the fact that we have so many cultural backgrounds.  I find that it challenges me not to ask just "What's culturally correct?" but "What's biblically correct?" But that's not what I'm really writing about today.  What I'm writing about is the fact that this Valentine's Day was also Chinese New Year. 

Some of "my kids," came dressed in beautiful brocade outfits with mandarin collars.  (And I was jealous.) And then they told me about the money they were receiving for Chinese New Year. (Then, all my non-Chinese kids were also jealous.)  But my surprise for everyone seemed to even the playing field and honor both holidays at the same time.

Let me stop right there and introduce you to the Pioneer Woman.  She's pretty incredible, lives somewhere on a vast stretch of land in Oklahoma with her cattle rancher husband and 4 very cute kids. She's an incredible blogger and photographer.  And between all of the work she does running a ranch and homeschooling her kids, she finds time to bake and cook... and write her own cookbook.  Did I mention that she has the most beautiful shade of red hair that I've ever seen.  I really hate love her.  Anyway, right after I joined Weight Watchers, she listed a Life by Chocolate Cupcake recipe that looked to-die-for.  So, I calculated the points (15) and I get like 22 a day so that just really wasn't going to work for me. 

I decided right then and there to save my "extra points" for Valentine's Day and make these.  And give all but one of them away.  Which is exactly what I did.  It was hard (not the making part, but the sharing), but the kids enjoyed them, my family enjoyed them (all but Diego who just ate the ganache off the top and the kiss out of the middle).  And then I put them into these containers.  And my Chinese kids thought I had made the cupcakes just for them.  And they can think that.

But now, you all know the truth.  (And yes, saving up points was most definitely worth it.)  Hope you all had a Happy Chinese Valentine's New Day Year! 

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