Just put this in the oven and am typing amidst the smell of cinnamon and the beginnings of that “pie” smell in my kitchen. I used store-bought caramel and skipped the cardamom and goofed a little on the topping by putting extra sugar but I think it will be good regardless.
Dessert, while not my strong suit, is something I try to include when bringing meals to folks who are too busy to prepare them in times of joy and sorrow. My grandmother, who lived with us during the school year when I was growing up, would prepare some type of dessert for almost every meal she made. Now that I have my own family, I do the same even if its freezer-burned popsicles!
Having been in dark places both in my life and in my marriage, I don’t take my friends for granted. I also don’t take small moments of sweetness (yes, that means dessert sometimes, lol) for granted either. While I’m lucky to have a wonderful husband and am enjoying a season of blessing in my life, I’ve also seen seasons of great challenge and darkness, filled with uncertainty, self-doubt and pain.
So that’s why I throw myself into cooking for others, because it both reminds me of my past pain and gives me a tangible way to help another who is hurting (albeit small). And as I prepare this dessert and the meal for my friend enduring a period of pain with a husband in the hospital and son at home for the long-term from attending high school, I do so with a heart that breaks for her pain. Life is broken so much of the time but we have our friends and family to encourage us (with prayers, cards, food, a phone call, etc.). Depression is no joke for those who suffer from it, but those who care for family and friends who suffer from depression and mental illness bear the brunt of keeping the train on the tracks for those who cannot care for themselves. That is no small feat.
Those caregivers need to be supported because they are the ones holding things together until a better day for everyone arrives, sometimes that is years, sometimes decades, sometimes a lifetime.
So that’s why I always make dessert (even if its store-bought, which is not my preference but will do in a pinch). So that in those dark and sometimes bitter times, those needing support, as they support those they love in dark times, can have a small moment of sweetness. I can do a pie or cookie.
My grandma used to have some sort of dessert for almost every dinner she prepared for us growing up. It completes a meal, but sometimes it gives us one sweet moment when it completes us in our moments of pain and darkness. I’m ok with that.