Sally in the Zen

Confessions of a Befuddled Zen Buddhist

Operator Error – Part 1

We normally don’t make a big To-Do about our birthdays. 

Big surprise parties?  Nope.

Confetti and birthday hats?  Sorry.

Intimate family dinner?  Absolutely.



What’s a birthday without cake?

Zen Mum asked for lemon cake this year.  So this past weekend I went to my recipe folder, rummaged through my accumulated recipes and came up with Glazed Lemon Cakes from Martha Stewart.

I’ve never tried it but the comments for the recipe sound promising.

Besides, it’s from Martha.  She might be a jail-bird, but I still worship the apron that she wears.  She’ll always be my domestic goddess of all Good Things.

Here it is.  Isn’t she a beauty?

Instead of muffins, I opted for a cake.  And instead of the glaze, I dusted the top with powdered sugar. 

As I put a big piece in my mouth, Zen Master, already inhaling a bite, says “Not good, not bad.”

Zen Mum doesn’t comment, she a little too busy shoveling it into her mouth.

I didn’t say anything, couldn’t say anything, really, since my first piece was stuck to the roof of my mouth.  I grabbed my glass of water and drain it in one gulp.

The next moment, that entire cake was dumped in the trash.

How can all the comments be wrong?

Instead of light and fluffy, my creation was dry as a bone. 

How did I go wrong??

How did I fail Martha??


Until Zen Master said, “It’s not a failure.  Just try again next time.”

I’m not going to discard this recipe, although I did follow it to the letter.

But it’ll be awhile before I attempt this recipe again.

I’m not worthy, Martha.  I’m not worthy!

But I still prevail!  My spirit is resilient!  I shall not be undone by a lemon cake! 

Because I still need to find another lemon cake recipe so I can grant Zen Mum her birthday wish.  And I refuse to cop out and bake her a premade, premixed cake from a box.

Because I’m better than that, damn it!

To be continued.

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