Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Delicious Dessert - Berry Tart

Berry Tart

1 C crushed ginger snap cookies (about 20 cookies)
3/4 C crushed vanilla wafers (about 25 wafers)
1/4 C finely chopped walnuts
1/3 C butter, melted
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 3/4 C white grape juice
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 C sugar
1 t vanilla
2.5 C fresh blueberries (I used less)
1.5 C sliced fresh strawberries (I used more)

Combine the cookie crumbs, walnuts and butter. Press onto bottom and 1.5 inch up sides of a greased 9 inch springform pan.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.

In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over grape juice; let stand for 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Cover and refrigerate until partially set (about 45 minutes).

Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over crust.

Place berries in a large bowl. Gently stir in gelatin mixture (I didn't use all of it). Spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Remove sides of pan

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thoughts on Welcome to Holland

When we were going through the very difficult child-raising years, I came across something that forced me to view life in a new way. It was called Welcome to Holland.

The gist of this wonderfully simple piece is that we don't plan to have a child with disabilities, but when it happens, we need to look at that child in a new way. Some of the words have resonated with me for 10+ years:

... you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met....

I did learn a new language. Most of my free time was spent reading books and getting information online. I met wonderful, kind, giving people who I would not have met were it not for these circumstances. I learned what is important and what is not.

Our son, at age 20, is doing much better than we ever hoped or expected.

And those words continue to stick with me. And I realized they apply to much more than a child with issues. They apply to any major difficulties anyone experiences. To me, those words are a key to survival when life gets really tough.

And so when my best friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer asked me to go with her to a class teaching how to apply make-up for cancer patients, I thought this will be fun. As I tend to do, I connected what she is going through with the Welcome to Holland piece. As a healthy middle-aged woman, she didn't expect to be going for days of testing, chemotherapy, or spending a few days in a hospital with a low blood count.

But she will learn the language, and she will meet special people.

And I will be there too.

And we will have fun, like we always have.