Love can come in many different forms and in different ways. Bernie and Tallie’s love grew throughout their years of marriage, as they adopted boys who Bernie rescued from traumatic situations and Tallie became a loving mom with a reputation for kid-approved cookies. But Tallie’s baking didn’t start out so well…
“Collin, come on out, son. You’re not in trouble. We just want to know you’re alright.” Bernie put a finger to his lips for quiet as they listened. After a moment, they heard a rustling from the hayloft, then hesitant footsteps as Collin descended the ladder. As he appeared before them, Tallie’s tears spilled over. “I was afraid we wouldn’t find you.”
She had tried not to be too physical with the boys and frighten them, but was so glad to see Collin she pulled him into her arms, tears spilling in his hair. “I’m so glad you’re safe.”
To Tallie’s surprise, Collin wrapped his skinny arms around her waist and hung on tight. Then she felt Bernie’s strong arms surround them both, and Patrick joined in with the protest, “I want hugged too.”
The tearful hug turned to laughter as they all joined hands and ran through the rain toward the house. Inside, they dried off and Bernie asked, “What started this?”
“The cake.” Tallie pointed toward the lopsided dessert still sitting on the counter.
“It’s the cake’s fault?”
…When Tallie returned to the kitchen, her beautiful cake looked like a volcanic crater, collapsed in the middle. Tallie stared at the cake, not sure whether to laugh or cry. Her first attempt at baking bore little resemblance to the beautifully decorated cake in the recipe book…
“Doesn’t mean it won’t still taste good,” Bernie said. “And if we fill the low part with frosting, it will all look the same.”
Doubt filled Tallie’s gaze, but she mixed extra powdered sugar and butter together for the frosting, then turned the bowl over to Bernie.
“Watch this.” Bernie globbed frosting onto the low part of the cake to level it out, then smoothed the creamy mixture over the rest of the cake. Sure enough, it all looked even. “Now for the taste test.”
Bernie cut hunks of cake and placed them on four plates. He took a big forkful of the dessert–mostly frosting with a thin layer of cake on the bottom. “Mphit’s good.”
Following his example, Tallie also took a bite–but smaller. “If you like frosting, it’s good.”
“Yum,” Patrick said, and Collin nodded as they both sampled the cake. Everyone but Tallie finished their frosting with cake, agreeing this could be a new dessert sensation.
Bernie set his empty plate in the sink and grinned. “Now that we’ve had dessert, what shall we eat for dinner?”
© Genie Gabriel, Wild Irish Rogue
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DESSERT BECAME ONE OF TALLIE’S SPECIALITIES. NOT JUST CAKE, BUT COOKIES… I learned to bake as soon as I could stand on a chair and help my mom stir up the batter. However, she didn’t measure much–grab a cup out of the cupboard and dump in the sugar, add eggs plus pinch of this and a pinch of that. Doesn’t taste quite right? Maybe it needs more butter or another pinch of salt.