Recipes: Pounding Christians and Christmas Pound Cake

 

butter-cake

Christmas is a holiday of light.  It began so very long ago, when kings were led by the light of the Star of Bethlehem to a stable to worship the infant Messiah. It continues today, with lights on homes making neighborhoods sparkle with holiday color and joy.  Lights on Christmas Tree’s announcing that Santa will soon arrive, bringing those anxiously awaited gifts. Lighted candles on the table revealing a delicious traditional Christmas dinner. Unless the entree is Lute Fisk, delicious is not an adjective I would choose to describe that stuff.

Light is important in a world that seems so full of darkness.  Light illuminates.  Light brightens.  Most importantly light chases away shadows.

During the Christmas holiday seasons shadows oftentimes loom large.  Shadows can come out of nowhere like an unexpected pounce by a large wet puppy.  Sometimes you are just muddied up a bit, but there are those times when you get knocked completely off your feet and are so hurt that you cannot get back up. The key to not being afraid of and to surviving life’s shadows is, always has been and always will be….light.

Yes, Christmas is a season of light, because Christmas is solely about the birth of Jesus Christ…the light of the world.

God saves us by grace, but the brightest lights in this world of so much darkness should be the acts of Christians.  Our love of God should shine through our works. By sharing the love, mercy and kindness given to us by our heavenly Father, we should be the brightest lights in our homes, schools, communities and world.

One of the first songs that I learned in Sunday School was about light.  It was called, “This Little Light of Mine, I Am Going To Let It Shine.”  When I was a Christian preschool teacher it was always one of the first songs I taught my students.  It goes like this:

This little light of mine,
I’m going to let it shine.
This little of mine,
I’m going to let it shine.
Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.

All around my neighborhood,
I’m going to let it shine.
All around my neighborhood,
I’m going to let it shine.
Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel, Oh, NO!
I’m going to let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel, Oh, NO!
I’m going to let it shine.
Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.

Won’t let anybody blow it out,
I’m going to let it shine.
Won’t let anybody blow it out,
I’m going to let it shine.
Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.

Faith is about action.  I believe in the power of prayer, but without concrete action on the part of believers to render aid to our fellow earthly travelers…”prayer” can quickly become a whole lot of empty words and phrases meant only to stroke religious egos and justify indifference.

This Christmas season be a light of God in action! Let your little light shine by visiting the lonely, elderly, disabled, sick and imprisoned.  Be there, in person, to help those who are mourning a lost loved one. Feed the hungry.  Care and love those who are less fortunate or different than ourselves.  Show kindness, mercy and tolerance.  Be the very embodiment of love.

Now, here is the part of this message that I want to pound on ….Pray for sure!  Then, show up and be an answer to prayer!

Christmas Pound Cake

This cake is very rich, moist, buttery and by far the best pound cake I have ever tasted.   The almond favoring transports me right back to my Swedish roots. It is a show stopper for any holiday table or a great gift of love to bring with on a visit to help to cheer up a sick or lonely neighbor.  Enjoy and share!

Preheat Oven to 300 degrees (this is not a typo).  Butter and flour and angel food cake pan.

1 pound of butter, softened
3 cups of sugar
6 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract (I used imitation extract, because I have a nut allergy.)
4 cups of flour, sifted
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup of colored cookie sprinkles (red and green for Christmas).

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high cream butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat again until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and almond extract and beat until combined.  Add flour alternately with the milk.  Beat until smooth and well combined.  Add in cookie sprinkle and stir by hand to combine.

Spoon batter into prepared cake pan.  Bake until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  This cake does require a long baking time due to the low heat.  Mine took about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

When done remove from oven and rest for about 15 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool completely.  Dust with powered sugar and serve.

 

 

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