Bena Mae's Kitchen: We are more alike than different
“Some people are not happy unless they are hating someone with different ideas, different nationality or creed.” This quote jumped out at me because it is a mirror of the attitude that exists in the world today. And I ask myself why.
Is hate a security blanket for these people? Does it protect them from thinking outside the box? Would opening up their minds to different ideas, ideologies, differences of opinion, shatter their comfortable little world and threaten their “head in the sand” beliefs? I say this because of the prevalence of hate-filled rhetoric we hear on the airwaves, daily, incessantly. And it needn’t be that way.
Because we are more alike than different. I see signs of it every day. And it gives me hope. Over the years I have received letters and e-mails from readers that tell me we are on the same page when it comes to down home values, love for one another, and an appreciation of what is really important in their lives. I have never, and I repeat NEVER, received a letter that was controversial or bigoted in any way. My readers are kind benevolent people and I treasure them more than I can say.
A case in point is a package containing a letter and a book I received from Betty Lawson of Emlyn yesterday. I know of Emlyn personally through my nephew Donnie Rains of Willamsburg who grew up there. If Donnie is an example of the people of that little community, then it speaks well of the rest of its citizens. If you know Donnie, you know what I’m saying.
The book was a nice gesture and I look forward to reading it. The letter that accompanied it was heartwarming and spoke to me as if I had written it myself. It was proof again that we are more alike than different.
The letter was in reference to an article I wrote a few weeks ago titled “Daddy’s Chair.” She describes her own father and grandfather’s chair in ways that were very similar to my own father’s chair. And Sunday afternoon family gatherings that were echoed in homes up and down the creeks and hollows and small towns in the vicinity.
Betty writes in part, “After church we would gather at my mother’s house for Sunday dinner. After we cleared the table, in the winter, we would play cards...hearts, rook, rummy. In the summer we would play croquet if it wasn’t raining.” (In my family, the boys played stickball and the ladies sat on the front porch and watched.)
These are the things that we remember so fondly when we think back to those days. And I thank Betty for taking us back to such a pleasant time. It proves that we do have some common ground that we can cling to, rather than the divisive hate that separates us.
As I said, I could have written Betty’s letter.
Nutella Cupcakes with
1 box Butter Recipe Fudge cake mix (Duncan Hines)
1 stick butter
1/2 cup Nutella spread
2/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350.
Line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup Nutella spread and the stick of butter. Beat at medium speed with a hand-held mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition. Add cake mix and water. Mix on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
Divide batter between muffin cups (I use an ice cream scoop). Bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting with Nutella Buttercream.
1 cup butter
2/3 cup Nutella spread
6 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream (may need a tablespoon or two more)
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and Nutella spread until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, whipping cream; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add more powdered sugar or whipping cream to reach desired consistency.