Campfire Cake and Other Food Ministry

Campfire Cake and Other Food Ministry

When I get the first phone call of the night, I plan on popcorn – fresh popped with real melted butter and that pink sea salt. We’ll make it fun for our young friend who’s coming suddenly, plucked from a local ER at 9:40 p.m. on Wednesday night.

The three girls – my two and their best girlfriend – settle in with the movie. It’s far too late for this kind of indulgence, but I minister with food and fun tonight.

I busy myself extracting the bright red air popper from the bottom of my pantry closet. I measure seeds and hear that satisfying shower of kernel to metal. I grab a large bowl to put under the chute and flick the switch, see the seeds start to whir.

When the popping’s done, I drizzle liquid butter and scatter loose salt with my fingers. I fill bowls and dispense.

When I get the second phone call of the night, I think peaches. They’re waiting in my microwave where the lady at the farmer’s market told me to store them. {Air conditioning steals sweet moisture and makes them wrinkly if you leave them on the counter.}

My post-it reminds me to “make peach pie” tomorrow, because I minister with baked fresh fruit oozing onto a flaky crust, my hands pressing care down smooth, my forefinger and thumb fluting renewed health firm, the cobalt-blue pie plate cradling this get-well card in a double-crust.

But, I won’t be making that pie tomorrow. I know that now.

But, God, I want to make that pie, I do, I pray.

We just talked on the phone a few hours ago. We discussed the merits of local peaches over his first choice – blackberries – which I couldn’t find at the market. He surely deserves this pie, I tell him, after a far-too-close encounter with his own mortality just three weeks ago.
I go to bed eventually with a full head and a weighted but calm heart. Pastors have arrived; friends, been alerted; prayers, sent forth.

My cell phone waits on the bedside table for a text. The husband of my friend of 15 years is in skilled medical hands at a major hospital.

I wake at 5 a.m. or so to check my phone. The news tells me he’s stable, and treatment’s underway to reverse the side effect of a blood thinner gone terribly wrong.

When I get the third phone call, the next morning, I’m baking birthday cake – Pinterest-inspired, but dummy-proof.

Our overnight guest’s party was postponed with her dad’s first episode three weeks ago, and it’s re-scheduled for tonight. All is ready, and though a party may seem like a superhuman feat for my friend, she feels it will make everyone feel better; coax life into a semblance of normalcy that her family been missing for so many weeks.

So, I serve with hands turned sticky. We spray cake pans and whip cake mix; it streams in thin, yellow ribbons and bakes up puffy golden. We spread lick-worthy, store-bought chocolate icing. We break pirouette rolls into “logs,” melt hard candies into gorgeous, stained-glass fire-shards. We ring the campfire with marshmallows, and proclaim it too good to eat.

How do you tend to minister in dark times? With words, prayers, love, food, or a combination?

Linking with Laura, Jen, and Jennifer.

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  1. Elizabeth,
    I love that your ministry is to serve. There’s a joke among our friends…when someone suffers a loss, I begin baking…usually my Granny’s obscene double pound cake-it’s what we southern girls do. It is comforting for me, and is a way to bring some joy. It is invariably still warm when we hit the door. Your prayers for your friend have been mighty. You are a blessing to her, as you are to us.
    That cake looks beast, as my son might say.
    Keep serving, sister.
    Chelle recently posted..An excellent wife…(from the Construction Schools for Wives)My Profile

  2. I like the idea of a “get-well card in a double-crust.” In the part of the country where I live, ministering with food is a very important part of what people do to help in times of trouble. Your words have motivated me to do more of it!

    I loved your post! It’s funny, my post today was about food as well.
    Jerralea recently posted..Feasting: Taste, Tasty and TastefulMy Profile

  3. This is beautiful. How blessed your friend is to have you. I often find myself ministering with food – or offers to grocery shop. Sometimes tangible love is how I cope.
    Kristin Taylor recently posted..{Three Word Wednesday} God adopts us.My Profile

  4. Love your heart, friend. Truly.
    Christine Wright recently posted..A Special Thank You For the BuildersMy Profile

  5. Ministering with food is something I tend to shy away from, but I can see how much of a blessing it must be to someone in a time of need! Will definitely rethink it next time I get the opportunity! Thanks! 🙂
    Marci Hoppel recently posted..Got Joy? Got Strength.My Profile

  6. Oh, my, Elizabeth. Not to make light, but if I ever have a crisis, I am calling you. What a comfort your yummy hospitality must have been. Bless you, friend, for being that person. The one who goes the extra mile.
    Laura recently posted..When You Don’t Know Where to StartMy Profile

  7. Words and prayers for sure, but only sometimes food. I hate to cook, but sometimes, I feel God urging me to get out of my selfishness and DO, even in the kitchen.
    Jen Ferguson recently posted..One Minute: Reflections on Time Guest PostMy Profile

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