Life has a way of working out…if you let it do its thing. I didn’t become aware of my controlling nature until I reached my thirties (which will be history in a couple of weeks), realizing that when it comes to my life, I am very specific about how I want things to go. I assert this need for control only on my own life, I hope. By the time I finished school, I had a carefully drafted plan for career and family. At 22, I had not yet grasped how unrealistic 20- or even 10-year forecasts are. I thought I had the formula for what would make a good life (for me). As I look back now I can see that most of those early plans did not come to fruition.
My twenty-something self was confident that she had things figured out, mostly. She had a good sense of values, always followed rules, [thought she] knew what she wanted in life and was driven towards achieving her goals. She even had fun along the way. Outwardly, she didn’t boast about her grown-upness but inside was a different story. She was unaware of how much she worried when things deviated from her master plan, because, you know, she always knew what was best. Now I see how arrogant I was–one who had lived such a short, sheltered life–to feel this way.
As I leave my thirties behind I am so much clearer about how little I knew then (and all I still have to learn). Life, the thing I tried most to control, had other ideas. I embarked on journeys I never expected to take, was humbled a lot along the way and guess what, I’ve had even more fun on this decade than on the previous one. I learned that life is a series of shifting goals, closing one chapter and opening a new one–it’s all about transitions; nothing is fixed. Especially in your early twenties. Who knew that letting go and allowing life to happen could be so liberating? I didn’t. Sometimes I still find myself holding on to things I shouldn’t but I’m learning.
Perhaps the most important thing I take with me from this decade is the truth that negative experiences carry with them more valuable lessons than positive ones. I look back at some of the seemingly major losses and disappointments of my twenties and see now that they were blessings in the making. I may not have achieved all of the practical goals I set for myself then but each twist and turn of my life has led me to where I am now (revised old goals and new ones, some successes even)…and I wouldn’t change a thing. The joy and sense of fulfillment that I hoped to gain as a product of those achievements are alive and well; I am very thankful for my life. Maybe this means I am growing up. If so, bring on the forties (but let me enjoy the last two weeks of my thirties)!
I caught a nasty bug last week, just in time for Thanksgiving. It would have been an awful thing to host Thanksgiving in my home (a 10-year tradition) while trying to fend off cough, cold and a fever but my sister asked to be the hostess this year. It worked out perfectly. While I had bigger plans for my Thanksgiving contribution, my fever didn’t break until Wednesday night so all my baking plans went out the window. I bought a pecan tart from my favorite local bakery, just in case. Fortunately, I was feeling much better on Thanksgiving morning. I still eschewed my original dessert plans but I am thankful to have come across this very easy recipe.
This cake contains no flour and is super rich. I do not kid when I say that this 9-inch cake could serve, oh, 50 people? Have a look at the ingredients and you will agree. If you are looking for decadence, this cake is it.
Thanks also to my little sis for allowing me the quick photo shoot so I could share the recipe here!
Ultra-Rich Chocolate Cake
* from Trish Deseine’s I Love Chocolate
- 2 cups unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 15 ounces dark chocolate
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 8 eggs
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease the baking pan. I had to use a springform pan so I also lined with parchment paper to prevent any leaks.
- Melt the butter, cream and chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Add the sugar and stir well until it has dissolved.
- In another bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk and add the chocolate mixture. Still well until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for about 40 minutes. Cool the cake on a wire rack, still in the pan.
- Turn out on a plate, wrap it well and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator before serving.