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Making Cannolis

My children have apparently inherited my husbands affinity for trying new foods, because my son asked me to make cannolis for his birthday.  None of us has ever had them I didn't even know what to look for in a recipe. I just found one with a lot of reviews that were mostly good and went for it.

I don't cook with wine a lot because we're not big drinkers and I don't keep wine around the house.  But all the recipes I found called for dry white wine. I didn't even know what a dry white wine is. Google is my friend. I was actually pretty skeptical about the need for wine in the shell. The dough didn't smell particularly good and I even considered skipping the wine and using a more desirable ingredient. But I ended up sticking to the recipe in the end.

Get this though, the girl at the checkout counter didn't card me. I mean, she didn't even bat an eye, she just rang me up. My life flashed before my eyes. Really?! I'm old enough to not be carded? I totally felt like those women in sitcoms who flip out and demand to show their ID anyway. I didn't. But I felt like it.

So anyway, I dug into the cannoli making process.

So technically you're supposed to use forms during the frying process to create the cannoli shape but I didn't want to buy them until I knew whether or not cannolis would be a repeat item in our food repretoire. So I "made do". Just in case you ever wondered, the handles of whisks are not cannoli forms, although they look like they are and perform decently (except when water got lodged inside the handle and I didn't realize it and created some fireworks when I put it in the hot oil!) in the absence of real cannoli forms.

The actual process of forming and frying the cannolis was an awkward and not very successful endeavor at first. But with every cannoli I was able to identify a problem and solve it with the next one and within a few rounds, I was able to make perfectly formed and perfectly crisp cannolis shells.

It kind of struck me how similar life is to my cannoli experience.  We don't come into this life with the ability to make perfect decisions every time. We try, we mess up and we try again with a better idea of how to get it right. If I had decided that making cannolis was too hard after the first one, or if I had not actively learned from every mistake and worked to correct it, our cannoli experience would have been a lot less pleasant.

I get so tired of making mistakes and not getting things right. It's not always about a lack of knowledge, sometimes it's just a lack of implementing that knowledge. I've heard people say things like "if you want to know how to eat healthy or exercise effectively, ask an overweight person" and sadly, that is very much the case in a lot of least in my life.

The thing is though, sometimes I'm too dense to learn whatever it is that God is trying to teach me. So much of what I always assumed about God and my relationship with Him is either totally false or completely misunderstood.

I always thought that as I got older that I would FEEL wiser, but to be honest, while I can SEE growth in my life, I feel more ignorant and flawed than ever. And as silly as it sounds, I feel like God has totally broken down my old preconceptions about Him and is teaching me what's real. And so much of the time I read the "recipe" and decide that the ingredients or process called for isn't really necessary so I skip it or substitute and then completely miss out on the delicious result to be disappointed by my own creation. I'm trying so hard that I miss out on what God has for me. Instead of being still and seeing His glory, I try to create it on my own.

Doesn't work.

God's plan is beautiful and perfect. His thoughts and ways are infinitely above my own, so even when it doesn't make sense or doesn't feel like I think it should, I have to learn to be still. To trust Him and rely on His goodness instead of trying to help Him out.

Cannoli verdict? The shells were amazing. I'll definitely make them again (and I'm so glad I went with the wine!). The cream filling? Eh. We'll have to tweak that a bit.


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