Thanks to Werther’s Original® for sponsoring this recipe post!
When I moved to Raleigh, there seemed to be no time to make friends before school started and I was immersed in planning my new curriculum. No complaints, since that’s one of my very favorite things to do (my dream job is one where I plan curriculum and have a grading assistant — all the teachers out there, gimme an “amen!”) but I did feel pretty isolated. However, since I’m the world’s most committed introvert, I can’t quite rely on my own motivation to get out of the stuck-at-home rut — someone usually has to invite me somewhere or otherwise intervene. But there wasn’t much possibility of that in a brand new city.
Thankfully, there was some divine intervention. Out of the blue, my online-friend-of-several-years Meghan moved back to the triangle area from NYC and invited me out to dinner immediately. We turned out to be just as perfect for each other in real life as I’d suspected we would be from the internetz. And then, in another bizarre twist, I found out some of my very best friends from college, Kristen and Bill, lived in the area.
Kristen and Bill felt like a “Welcome Home” party in a place that decidedly did not feel like home yet. We had dinner and it felt like being back at Davidson, laughing and talking like we’d never been apart. They also told us about their church, and since we’d been visiting around looking for one, we decided to try it. After our first dinner together, several weeks passed with us visiting the church but never seeing Kristen and Bill — we figured they must go to the late service, and we always went to the early one. We kept talking about making more plans with them, but again, I’m so bad at reaching out.
Again, divine intervention — this time in the best way! Mike and I were at their church one Sunday, not expecting to see them, when suddenly, the pastor announced that he had a baptism scheduled. I love watching baptisms because to me, it’s the absolute most poignant moment — where a person shares an inward revolution of heart with their church family. Imagine my surprise when I realized that it was Kristen on stage! I just cried. I couldn’t believe that God not only brought me back to Kristen and Bill so long after college, but also ordained that I’d get to spend this special moment with my friend.
In a city where I wasn’t sure how to build a new life, God gave me one of those life moments that I won’t ever forget.
(We also watched Catching Fire together last night and that was awesome too. Baptism still wins, though!)
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Speaking of friends, here’s one way to make some: whip up a Brown Butter Pecan Gooey Butter Cake with Spiked Whipped Cream and pull out some forks. This cake has All The Good Things in it: nutty brown butter; bloomed cinnamon and cloves; toasted pecans; and billowy, barely sweet whipped cream spiked with dark rum. I also used Werther’s Original® Baking Caramels to make the simplest caramel sauce known to man to top the cake without a lot of fuss. The result is a warm oasis of bliss in an otherwise icy winter day.
One year ago: Rosemary Thumbprints with Clementine Curd (and The Day I Went to Ina Garten’s Cookie Swap!)
Two years ago: Salted Caramel Chocolate Trifle
Three years ago: Browned Butter Pumpkin Croquemcake with White Chocolate Chai Mousse
Four years ago: Cannoli