Baking is an act of generosity. It is love and kindness and sorrow and hope baked into a loaf of generosity. Sunday Servings is an attempt to spread the generosity a little further by sharing stories and recipes. If you would like to share your own story or recipe, please do so in the comments section or you can tweet ideas to @MamaMcAfee or share on my Facebook page.
I had the joy of camping last weekend in the Colorado wild with my Colorado girls.
Although it was the first time I have seen most of these ladies in more than four years, as the time stretched itself across the cool almost fall days of Rocky Mountain leisure, it felt like only a few days had passed since we last gathered around the table and shared our stories.
I was amazed, and yet not amazed at all, to hear and see and feel how much we've all grown and changed in the past years and yet still somehow retained the closeness of shared experience and shared stories and shared life. How we fell into a natural rhythm around that campfire without any of the awkwardness of absence. How easily we could discuss the deep and meaningful and how naturally we could pass into the absurd and nonsensical.
What I'm certain of is that these kind of friendships are a blessing in life.
Because relationships are hard and costly and require the day in and day out to build and maintain. Because friendships need to be oiled and greased and washed and pressed. Because friendships need to be loved into deepness.
But these kind of friendships--with no expectations, with no boundaries or limitations outside of time and distance--these kind of friendships are the filling kind. They fill up and bless and give and refresh and renew. And when the campfire goes out they hug and pray and send you off until the next time the campfire can be lit.
To be sure, there were days past when we did put in the hard work. There were days when we did have to oil and grease and wash and press. And from time to time, those days do show up. From time to time we still have hard conversations and come to Jesus moments with each other. But even those, I think and I hope I accept with a little more grace and a little more love because I know about the days around the campfire and the blessing of friendships like these.
On the drive home from Colorado, I thanked God for each one of these beautiful women. I prayed for the goings on in their day to day and I thanked God for the fresh wind in my spirit--fresh wind breathed into me by our surroundings and our conversations.
Since, we've been in touch a bit more as the campfire smell still swirls about us and scents our clothes (even though I've washed my sweatshirt twice now), and I've enjoyed the laughter over email and Facebook as we remember and reminisce and continue to enjoy the refreshing.
I know it will last for a little while and then life will happen, and we'll correspond less and lose touch a bit again. The thought of it makes me sad, but I know one day in early summer, Jenny or Stacey or someone will send an email, asking who's in for camping this summer. We'll set a date and divvy up who's bringing what and soon we'll be sitting around the campfire again.
And that is something well worth looking forward to.
Campfire Chocolate Cake Oranges*
Recipe and photo credit: www.Chow.com
- Large oranges (one for every person)
- One box of chocolate mix (plus any "just add"s listed on the box)**
- Slice off tops of oranges and scoop out pulp. Prepare cake batter according to directions on box and fill orange rinds 3/4 full. Replace orange tops and wrap in foil.
- Place foil-wrapped oranges on hot coals, avoid flames. Allow to cook for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Remove from fire and allow to cool five to ten minutes before serving.
*It definitely should be noted due to a slight misread of the directions by someone who I shall not name so as to not cause her extreme embarrassment (but you know who you are), we did not bake these properly and I cannot say from experience this actually works. But the idea is so wonderful, I believe they must, or I want to believe it anyway. If you do give it a try, please let me know so that I can overcome my unbelief.
**Camping should be about ease which is why I recommend a box mix. But if you intend on making these the first day of camping, you can prepare your favorite chocolate cake batter ahead of time and pack it in the cooler. If you plan on making the batter at the campsite, I suggest a mix that does not require eggs as eggs will be difficult to pack without breaking.