I think it took me 3-4 days this week to make zucchini bread. More if you count the DAYS I just stared at the monstrous gourds on my kitchen counter, pondering what productive thing I could do with them and when in the world I would have the time/energy for that.
I took the plunge on Day 1 by grating what was probably 8-10 cups of zucchini. Then, they sat in the fridge several days, mocking my “baking” aspirations. I asked for recipes and had several faithful friends send me their favorites.
By Day 3, I was considering the ridiculous nature of a large bowl of shredded zucchini taking up prime real estate in my cramped fridge. Something had to be done.
I began to bake.
But, I should clarify. Mothers of five-month-old-teething-and-not-napping angels, don’t really “bake.” Rather, we stare in longing at a recipe and try to mentally locate all of the ingredients in our pantries while nursing. Then, in that moment when the baby seems content to play on his/her mat, we rush through the kitchen, pulling, grabbing, and sighing, wondering what could be substituted for vegetable oil and would a vegan version of this recipe taste as good?!?!?!
Finally, in a brave moment, when the baby is asleep we decide to forgo the shower and everything else we could do with this precious time, and actually stir together ingredients. Turn on the oven. Grease the pans. Wish we didn’t have a sink full of dishes already.
If you are me, then you naturally think that you should bake as many loaves as possible (what the heck?!?!) and decide to simultaneously attempt two slight recipe variations: one with and one without dairy. Sigh.
Your brain is so tired, you are just praying at this point that you only added 6 cups of flour to this bowl and 3 to that one and please, please, please don’t let any of the crucial ingredients be left out. You pour round one of zucchini bread into loaf pans and hear the baby waking. Set the kitchen timer. Rush to rescue the baby. Nurse. Play. Change the BIGGEST diaper of the week. OMG.
Then, you have to finagle removing hot pans from the oven with a clingy baby attached. Fail. Set baby down. Crying then serenades your Martha-Stewart efforts.
Cooling pans remind you that you still have another round of baking to go due to your genius idea to attempt more than one recipe and triple the recipe. Oh, well. You comfort your furious child and remember why “baking” is no longer a stress-relieving activity in your life.
Finally, you have a counter lined with zucchini loaves, and the questions then becomes: “Who am I going to share this bounty with? And, how in the world am I going to find the time to wrap aforementioned loaves and traipse around town making deliveries?”
I don’t yet have the answer to my delivery questions, but I did ponder something much more philosophical while staring at the bread and considering who it was intended for.
I only have a certain number of loaves. Despite my heroic efforts, I have a limited supply and more friends that I would love to bless. The “old Lauren” would probably begin to feel guilty with the realization that someone would be left out (perhaps everyone if I never make the deliveries. LOL). Still, yesterday, I realized that I can choose in this new season who the Lord would have me focus my relational efforts upon. I can’t serve everyone. I shouldn’t serve everyone.
What a revelation…
There is the philosophical value behind zucchini bread.
Having children helps a new mother set better boundaries and lower expectations for herself, doesn’t it! I am right there with you — I think the only things I’ve thrown in the oven are one box cake and a pan of summer veggies. That’s it! I think I’d rather take a nap with any spare time I have… 🙂
It certainly does! And I can only imagine how much time we will feel that we had when more babies come along. Praying for your wisdom in your current decision-making time and process 🙂 Big hugs!
Lauren, I laughed so hard when reading your post! Thanks for your honesty. You have an amazing way of capturing situations. I love your writing!!!!!!
I laughed because I can relate so well to this!
LOL. I’m sure we all can! Thank you so much for your encouragement 🙂