Feel Too Much

Is there such a thing as feeling too much? An event occurs no matter the magnitude and I wonder, what is the appropriate amount to feel? When something involves my family, I’ve always felt things a little deeper. A trait I gained from my father.

It’ll be fifteen years since my father passed away in a few days. Family was everything to him. Everything he did was to benefit family. Everything I do is to benefit whoever is around me. I’m not married nor have children, so my compassion goes much broader, but no less intense.

I was doing some baking to prepare for Christmas and I always do more than I need because there’s always someone else to which I give. I was baking some things at my work at Ocean Odyssey Inland and a customer was almost taken aback by me offering a simple gingerbread cookie. Kindness shouldn’t be a surprise. Kindness should be normal. Kindness should be expected. Kindness should be the immediate response to any situation.

I give only for the simple purpose of the receiver enjoying what I give. I expect nothing further. I don’t ask for a pedestal to stand upon. I don’t ask for greater accolades. I only wish for others to feel the kindness within the gift and perhaps share that kindness with someone else. Change their day for the better.

One of the pastries I was doing was another traditional pastry I had growing up that I gave the “Red Fife treatment (ie. experimented with Gold Forest Grains heritage variety of wheat). We never had a proper name for them except Raspberry Jam Roll Up Things. I used strawberry jam today, but you get the idea.

Strawberry Jam Roll Up Things

1 cup August Organics strawberry jam

For the dough:

1 cup Gold Forest Grains Red Fife flour

75g/3oz cream cheese

1/2 cup butter

In a medium bowl, crumble in the butter and cream cheese into the flour and knead the dough until it is smooth. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Divide the dough in two pieces. Roll each piece to a thickness of 1/4cm(1/8″). Cut into 6cm/3″ x 6cm/3” squares. Add 1/2 teaspoon of jam to the corner of each square. Roll it up diagonally into a tube shaped pastry, pinching the tip of the seam closed. Place, pinched seam down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and jam. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until just browned on the bottom. Allow to cool on the baking sheets.

For the topping:

2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup icing sugar

2 Tbsp finely chopped walnuts

In a small bowl, whisk the icing sugar into the lemon juice with a fork until a smooth icing is achieved. Drizzle over the centre of each rolled pastry and before the icing dries, add a small sprinkle of chopped walnuts on each pastry. Makes about 4 dozen. Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or in a freezer for a month.

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