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I am back from probably the longest break from blogging I have ever taken since the creation of The Fresh Fridge. I was almost nervous to come and write a new post after being absent for so long. Not only that, but my trepidation was increased, once I realized that this post is also a milestone for me, the 100th post.
The contents of this post then must be of more importance and special regard than any other regular post. Like any milestones, I knew I wanted to regard this post with recognition and celebration for having come this far.
So, with this post I have decided to share something a little bigger than food. The story of the inner struggle of a blogger who is really just a girl, who is a wife, who stays at home and cleans dishes, reads her Bible, dreams about cooking adventures, and who faces the reality that life is too short.
In June of 2009, my husband was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system. He received 8 rounds of chemotherapy over 3 months and was pronounced clear that November. The whole time during treatment still seems somewhat like a dream, one that we are only reminded of at 3 month check-ups when he goes back in for scans and follow-ups. For two people in their 20s, cancer always seemed something somewhat foreign and inconceivable, which became undeniably real for us.
But the point is, despite the reality of cancer, we won and we will keep on winning (we are a team). Over the next few months, my husband’s hair grew back (nice and blonde for our wedding) and we began to live and laugh and plan again. We started worrying about work and having kids rather than doctors appointments. I started a food blog to share all of my new and wonderful (and hopefully yummy) creations. We went on walks, drank new and exciting kinds of tea, went to the art gallery, and tried new restaurants. Sometimes people will wonder what you do after cancer, the answer is, you live.
But, with all good things sometimes still will come the hard things. Two weeks ago we got to attend another routine follow-up where we found out that his cells have become active once again. Part of the reason I have not submitted a new blog post is because, in part, I have struggled with a distaste for food since that day. But, I am not without hope or joy or perseverance.
First, my husband is the most amazingly strong person I know – a man of steel – he really can withstand very, very much. Second, I recognize and fully trust that the worst thing is never the last thing, no matter what. Thirdly, as I said earlier, even if we have to fight this again…and again…and again…we will continue to live and hope and dream.
Through the course of the last couple of years, we have really, truly learned what it means to trust and to love. It is so easy to say the words “I Love You” or to go to church and sing songs about how good God is. It is quite another thing to be faced with something that turns your world over and around and turns you inside out until you don’t really know how you feel anymore. During these moments is where we have learned just how deep love goes. In the midst of all the fear and doubt and uncertainty is where faith begins to find a place to glimmer in all its glory. The Bible says that God has shed his love abroad in our hearts, and this is something that has to become more than just something you read and acknowledge- it has to be something you experience in all the wonder and heartache of life. Through the darkest places we have discovered that our love for each other gets stripped of all the superficiality that we are all prone to, until what remains is love in its rawest and most beautiful form.
So although things have been hard and are getting hard again, we can be thankful with confidence in God’s love.
Soon we hope, we will have more information about what the next steps are. I will continue to share my love for all things culinary and hopefully have some yummy pictures to gaze at as well. I am so glad to be a part of the blogging community, especially with all of you foodies, and hope you can help me celebrate 100 posts and counting.
Soooo…about that food! This is one of my favorite super easy, super delicious desserts EVER. Cored strawberries, low-fat whipped cream, and a few blueberries stacked/stuffed inside…sheer amazingness. And one can easily say it is one of the healthier desserts out there.
With Memorial Day coming up, I have been obsessively dreaming about all of my favorite cook out favorites. So, of course, these came to mind immediately. They are so lite and refreshing, I decided that giving them another try at home was a must this week.
The best part about these, besides the delicious treat that they are is that they are really, super easy AND they look so pretty! So great for an appetizer for guests at a party or small get together.
Of course, I made them the easiest way possible by just coring strawberries, using store bought low-fat whipped cream and topping them with blueberries, BUT there are many, many more ways you can make these unique.
Some of my favorites for cored strawberries stuffings are:
- Mixed fruit (berries, melon, mandarin oranges, kiwi)
- Vanilla or chocolate pudding
- Lemon curd
- Ice Cream
- Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate (or all 3!)
- 1/2 pound large strawberries, washed and cored
- 1/4 pound washed blueberries
- whipped cream (store-bought or homemade)
- Wash, hull, and core strawberries (a melon scoop works nicely). Make sure to find large strawberries to use to make it easier.
- Fill each strawberry with whipped cream (if homemade, pour whipped cream into a pastry bag).
- Top with washed blueberries and serve immediately.
- Tip: These are best served right away since the whipped cream will melt. If making for later, prepare fruit and then fill with whipped cream just before serving. You can try refrigerating these for a short time before serving to keep cool too.
Source: Baker’s Royale Creme Filled Fruit Cups.