Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Secret

My mother was a professional cake decorator for much of the time I was growing up, through graduate school and beyond.  For a time, when they were working in Saudi, my parents saved everything my dad made and lived off my mother's revenue from cake decorating.

In Khamis, 7,000 feet about sea level, she had a thriving business.  Her cakes were much better cakes than her major competitor, who constantly strove to find my mother's baking secret.  Every time she asked, my mom told her, and every time she told the other woman, she was not believed.

Finally, the day came that my parents left Khamis.  The other woman came to her and asked my mom to finally share the secret.  My mother told her and the other woman responded with profanity and abuse, refusing to believe that she had been told.

The secret? "Follow the directions on the box."  My mom followed the high altitude directions on the cake mix boxes, down to beating the mix for the recommended period of time.  The other woman refused to believe that following the directions was either the secret or would work.

But so often, following the directions is the secret.

I thought of that this morning as I made a bundt cake for the high priest's group and I followed the directions.