Friday, December 5, 2014

Secret Subject Swap: Only Five Things

Welcome to the December Secret Subject Swap. This month 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject Swap participants.

Secret Subject Swap | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


My subject is: Your area is going to be hit by a massive natural disaster. You’ve been forced to evacuate. There will be necessities like food, clothes, and shelter where you’re going. Outside of family members and pets, what are 5 things you would bring and why?
It was submitted by: Climaxed.

This situation is a truly devastating experience. When I was in college, I dated a boy whose home had burned down. I didn’t know him or his family previous to the fire. Their home was beautiful. built just as his parents wanted it with state-of-the-art everything, but that family was traumatized. All of them, without a doubt, had suffered the loss of their past. All of their precious memories as a family had no physical manifestation. There were no treasured belongings they could hold in their hands to evoke (or represent) memories.

I’m so glad that my scenario is make believe because, honestly, I can’t imagine losing everything. Even with the ability to grab my 5 most meaningful belongings I can’t imagine losing the rest. My first thought is “well, since this is imaginary, the first thing I’ll bring is my whole house.” But, of course, that’s not allowed.

So for my five things I choose:

1) My kids’ scrapbook/memory books. I kept these for many years so there’s probably about 5 for each child but for this post I’m lumping them together as one item. The scrapbooks hold not only pictures but art work, a clip of hair from their first haircuts, report cards, developmental milestone history, cards, and so much more. Without a doubt if I could only grab one thing, it would be these.

2) My jewelry box. It’s pretty big, a beautiful piece of furniture in its own right, about 3 feet tall. It’s about the jewelry and its value of course, but so many of my jewelry pieces came from others or from my own travels and have a story that, to me, increases the value to priceless.

3) My recipes. I once wrote a Secret Subject Swap in which I was prompted to write about buried treasure I’d found. What I chose to have found and the story behind it can be found here: Secret Subject Swap: Buried Treasure.

So many of my recipes came from my mother and hold value other than what you’d imagine. They’re in her handwriting and were mostly given to me when I moved to my first apartment. Over the years I’ve not only developed my own recipes, but many came from other friends and family, both living and now gone, and were lovingly written out for me as well. I treasure them.

But I also know that food provides comfort. As we, as a family, recover from this imagined disaster, I want to be able to make all of the comfort foods we’d grown accustomed to through the years.

Toffee Pecan Sandwich Cookies | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake
Toffee Pecan Sandwich Cookies

 4) Either my laptop or my memory stick.
Many of our pictures over the last number of years since I stopped scrapbooking are on my laptop. I’d be devastated if I lost them.

It’s also true that I do so much work to produce a blog post. I write the piece, make my own graphics, develop a recipe, execute and photograph the food. I write about a month out and keep drafts in documents and graphics and food pics in files. I cannot imagine losing all of that work. I also run 5 different monthly group posts and need all of those records too. I’d imagine that during whatever time I’d be gone from my home, working on blog posts would be a comfort to me, another reason I’d want to have access to all of my files.

5) My New England Patriots decorative pillow and Kindle sleeve. Yes, I know I may be cheating here, these are two separate and different items, but they are bundled together in my mind.

When my kids were in middle school they had to take a class that included the need to make a sewing project. A year apart I took both boys to a few different stores to choose fabric for their projects. We couldn’t find any Red Sox fabric but each boy chose Patriots material.

When his class ended, my older son handed me a New England Patriots pillow. It sits on my bed and always will.

I love to read. Anyone who knows me knows that. When my younger son’s class ended, he handed me a New England Patriots sleeve to keep my Kindle in. It’s stored in there and always will be.

As difficult as it’s been to imagine a scenario where I loose all but 5 of my belongings, I have to admit that I’ve benefitted from having to give some serious thought to my priorities.

What five things would you choose?

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup and check them all out. See you there:


Baking In A Tornado | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


Toffee Pecan Sandwich Cookies
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients (makes about 20):
1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
½ cup heath toffee bits
¼ cup chopped pecans
6 oz caramels
1 TBSP water
 
Directions:
*Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Cream the butter, margarine and both sugars. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Mix in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until it forms a dough.
*Mix the toffee bits and pecans into the dough. OPT: can wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to a day if you don’t want to make the cookies right away.
*Roll the dough into approximately ¾ inch balls. Place on prepared cookie sheets and bake for about 12 to 13 minutes. The bottoms will begin to brown.
*Carefully slide the parchment paper with the cookies on it off of the cookie sheets. Allow cookies to cool completely.
*Melt the caramels with the water in a small pan at medium low heat, mixing until smooth.
*Drop about a tsp of the melted caramel onto the center of the flat side of one cookie. Carefully top with the flat side of another cookie. Repeat with all the cookies. NOTE: As they start to set, the top half may start to slide a little, gently push back into place.
*Allow the cookies to set completely before moving.

38 comments:

  1. As someone that has lost all mementos from their childhood, I know exactly how devastating it can be.
    We bought a fireproof/waterproof safe where I keep as much stuff as I can cram in it. I think we need a bigger one!

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    1. We lost some pictures to water when I was little. It's just so sad to lose a piece of our family history.

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  2. I can;t imagine losing everything...it's just to horrific of a thought. I think you chose well and did better than I would have...I might have cheated somehow unable to write it.

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    1. It really was difficult to choose, but it was a good opportunity to think through my priorities.

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  3. Ohh I'm not sure I could do only 5 in the imaginary scenario that is. I would definitely grab photo albums and scrap books but man I just want to throw everything else in there too!

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    1. I did too, I really had to think it through pretty carefully. Things made the list and then got bumped off.

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  4. I can relate to your items. I love my stuff!
    These days I'd probably add the elf ;-)
    I hope your home will be spared from desasters of any kind!

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  5. I remember when I was about 20 my brother and his wife had their house burn down and I will never forget how scary that was for them. I am the daughter of a fireman so between these two things I try to do everything humanly possible to keep this from happening, it's one of my worst fears. I don't know what I would pick other than the tote of my children's childhood and also my jewelry box but then I am stuck. It's hard to narrow it down to just 3 more! great job though!

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    1. It really was a difficult process to come up with my final list.

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  6. Oh, my! You've started a thought process here! Love this! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. It's really something we'd all rather not think about, and yet I'm glad I did.

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  7. I'm always terrified of losing everything in a hurricane one of these days. Other than grabbing my family and pets, I'd grab the 30 photo albums I own, baby books, heirloom jewelry, family recipes and my stretch pants. I have to be comfortable in a disaster, right?

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    1. Absolutely. Since I have no more room on my list I'm just going to have to assume that I'm already wearing them.

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  8. Ah! I fixed the problem.

    As I was saying - I think about this a lot and every time my list of things I'd save changes.

    Like my books. They counts as one item, right?

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely, the books all count as one. That way you don't have to play favorites.

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  9. I use to have Boy and Girl Child's baby books, as well as one for Lil Bit, little mementos, things like that. I lost them all in a storage unit auction. The person who won my unit threw everything away, saying none of it held any value. My only pictures of the kids' as newborns was in that, all of their bring home outfits, things like that. They were in a box that was left in the unit by mistake. I still hurt over that. :(

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    1. I'm sorry, Sarah, that's a devastating loss.

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  10. When I was little my aunt's house burnt to the group and they lost everything, they were injured and scared for some time. My aunts feet were several burnt on the bottom and she lost part of them but thank God they did not lose their lives. The man who woke them up did die. It was tramatic.
    Now on to a happier note, I LOVE these cookies.

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    1. What a horrible experience. I honestly can't even imagine.

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  11. I read this and smiled. I'm so glad you got this one reading your answer. I would definitely need my laptop... all the drafts to my novel are on here. I have a teddy bear that my mom bought for me when she was still pregnant with me. I'd want that. And even though I'd have clothes available to me, I'd want to bring some of my own and some of my jewelry like the Frankenstein necklace my kiddo bought for me for my birthday. I've really cultivated my own style and still being in clothes that make me feel like me would maybe make the transition a little easier to swallow. I'd definitely bring these two huge photo albums I have filled with Evan's pictures. The photos are priceless but the albums themselves are also the last gift my dad ever gave me. I'd also bring some of the albums I inherited from him that are irreplaceable... not for their monetary value but the emotion tied to forgiveness, to the music...

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    1. I love that we both placed greater value in sentimental belongings than in expensive ones. Priorities.

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  12. Oh my...what a decision. I'm not terribly tied to a lot of things. My Grans clock is on my mantle. It hasn't worked since my father put her in a home, and it's very precious to me...although likely not actually worth anything. I'd also keep her photo albums and the pics of my family.

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    1. I'd keep the clock with sentimental ties too, whether or not it works doesn't matter. The pictures though, would be irreplaceable. Gotta grab those.

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    2. As long as the family is safe, I'd trade it all though. You can always make new memories.

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  13. I am increasingly uncomfortable the more I think about this, because I don't have a good plan in place. Even though we worry about the risk of wildfires, I would need some time to gather up the really important stuff. I really need to think this through - and bake some of those cookies!

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    1. I agree. This was way out of my comfort zone, but once I really started working on it my priorities took shape.

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  14. Great post, and really makes you think. Fire is so devastating. We have a huge gun safe that is supposed to be fire proof, but I only have important papers in there. I would definitely grab photos - after that, I have no idea. Need to give it some thought!

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    1. And that's exactly what this prompt did, made me really give it some thought.

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  15. I lost everything in a fire in 2006. In some ways, I'm not sure I'll ever fully recover. It bothers me to no end, that I don't have pics of young me to show Weewee. :(
    I think you chose your items perfectly! These cookies look divine!!

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    1. I can definitely imagine that part of you will never get over the trauma. Imagining that is part of what made writing this so difficult.

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  16. Oh my goodness. There is so scary to think about but really makes you think about what truly matters? I completely agree in the value of things that hold memories. My photos would be on the top of my list. I love that you included your recipes! Also - sadly my Manhattan apartment was broken into over 10 years ago and all of my jewelery and "things" of value were taken. It was devastating as things that held memories and were passed on for generations were taken. But strangely, I made peace with it. And although I was sad - in a twisted way in taught me the value of my life and that of my loved ones. xxx

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    1. Although I feel badly that your things were taken, I have so much respect for you for having made peace with it and used the situation to think through your priorities. I did the same when writing this piece.

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  17. Toffee Pecan Sandwich Cookies? Good God you're trying to kill my diet I'm on!

    I never really thought much about what to take other than important documents and info that I would need. I guess family pictures and sentimental stuff but enough to got in a pillow case.

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  18. I can't imagine losing everything....a family here just lost their home and one of the children is in class with one of my children. She said he misses his pillow. I think I'd grab my scrapbooks, a wooden box next to my bed, and a bowl from my grandpa. I can't even imagine....

    Thanks for all the hard work you do each and every time. You've made these events more than a blogging assignment - you check in on people and take care of us all! Hugs to you!

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    1. I love that you all come out to play with me on these challenges every month. They're fun and thought inspiring and just wouldn't be the same if I had to do them myself. XO

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