I was so proud of myself. And when one begins that way you know there is trouble ahead! Everyone was invited to bring something to share to the Sunday morning meeting. The week before I determined that I could put it all together Sunday morning. A brave thing considering that if something went wrong there was no time to put something else in the oven. But this week’s culinary undertaking was quite a bit more challenging than the prior week’s “Blueberry Dump Cake,” where all items were thrown into the bowl but still with a great outcome. “I will just prep everything on Saturday night,” I told myself. So first thing Sunday morning I preheated the oven and started peeling those apples. All was going well. Flour, butter, sugar was all measured and waiting. I thought, “Prepping is really the answer to a smooth baking experience.” The caramel was a beautiful brown color. The apples were ready in their lemon juice. I started imagining that I had my own TV baking show. I was talking to my imaginary audience in my head. The cake was in the oven so I started cleaning the kitchen and then I saw it: a little prep bowl with 2 teaspoons of baking powder. NOooo! I grabbed the dishtowel, turned the knob to the oven (though I didn’t remember doing this) and pulled out the uncooked cake. I added the baking powder as much as I could but I was sure it was not going to rise as high. Oh well. Cake back in and no real harm done….until I went to take the cake out of the oven….NOoooo! I had SHUT OFF THE OVEN! There was still time, I put the oven back up to 350 and slid the cake back in. What was wrong with me? I was not ready for a TV baking show afterall. Then the house began to fill with smoke. It must be the caramelized top burning. But why? The caramel top must have pooled off, sitting there in a barely warm oven for 45 minutes, and now it is burning. Maybe there would be nothing to bring to the meeting. What an idiot I am. Yes, that’s a good spiritual thought as I prepare for a meeting where they will talk about enlightenment. Failing on all counts! The cake is done but the flip-upside-down reveal does not work because the top layers of apples don’t flip—they are stuck to the pan. Still I persevere. In the past I may have cried, but now I channel my Higher Self and calmly place the lonely unflipped apple slices with the rest of the cake. It looks ok. I lost the caramel top. I’ll just call it a cake with apples. The lessons are many. Drop the pride. Preparation doesn’t replace Now-Consciousness. One still has to be diligent about using all the ingredients. Don’t over react (shutting the oven off). And certainly still go to the Sunday meeting even if it isn’t perfect. I mean the cake and myself!