It’s mid-October. For anyone who is in school or who’s partner is in school, you know what that means. The library becomes a permanent residence and the Dominos pizza tracker becomes a personal friend.
Fall is a busy season for Andrew and me. From now until Christmas, his schedule overflows with assignments, papers, and tests. And that works because I’m also really busy at this time of the year, completing projects, planning events, and writing new stories. Though I can’t speak for Andrew, I can tell you that my stress levels are starting to creep up.
To help subdue stress and maintain that cozy, nostalgic fall feeling, I made a double batch of honey spice cake this weekend.
Also called honingkoek (literally honey cake), this dense spice cake falls into the ontbijtkoek (literally breakfast cake) category of traditional Dutch cake breads. A favourite of my family’s, honingkoek brings back warm, nutmegy memories of Sunday’s after church. Though it does not need to be eaten at breakfast, it definitely requires a good knob of butter.
HONEY SPICE CAKE (HONINGKOEK)
This recipe was passed down to me from Willy Zuiderveen, a member of the church I grew up attending. Many years ago at Sunday coffee hour, she verbally gave the recipe to my mom, who hand wrote it into her recipe book and has been making it ever since. This year, she re-wrote it into the recipe book she hand made me as a wedding gift.
I’m not much of a cook, and I’m an even worse baker, but you have to start somewhere right? Willy’s honingkoek recipe is as good a place as any. It’s straightfoward, vegan, and delicious.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp cloves, ground
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tbsp liquid honey
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease loaf pan.
Blend all dry ingredients together. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add 1 cup of water and honey. Using a wooden spoon, mix the wet and dry ingredients. If mixture is too sticky, add a bit more water (but only up to 1/2 cup more).
Pour mixture into greased loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Note: Make a double batch – give one away.
SCRIPTURES FOR STRESS
Obviously a delicious cake is not the recipe for clearing away the stresses in our lives. It may help, but only for a few bites. Listening to this morning’s New Testament reading at church, I was reminded of a more effective approach to put stress in its proper place. Coincidentally or not (I choose to think not), it was from our wedding scripture.
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
With some help from Maria Wolf’s blog post on blog.bible, here are five more Bible verses for those days when you’re feeling stressed out:
I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3: 5-6)
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6: 25-27)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.(John 14:27)
Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.(1 Peter 5:7)