Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Twenty Seven Phone Calls

I made twenty seven phone calls yesterday. Karma made me do it.

I think I've mentioned before that I still have a land line. I know, archaic, but I have it for a reason. Whenever I have to provide a phone number to sign up for something, I give the home number. For the most part, only friends and family have my cell phone number. All of the robo-calls and telemarketing calls go to the home phone. I've turned off the answering service, turn the ringer all the way down so I can barely hear it and they can call away. 

Twenty Seven Phone Calls, reconnecting through speech | www.BakingInATornado.com

I get almost none of those unwanted calls on my cell. Genius, right? 

The land line keeps track of missed calls so a few times a day I'll check the phone numbers of the missed calls to be sure that someone who I actually know hasn't been trying to reach me. For the most part they call my cell, but you never know. And that's where this story begins. 

It was a mistake, really, and one I can't explain. Yesterday, one of those missed calls was from a friend I hadn't talked to in ages. We connect on FB, but, looking at that number I realized we hadn't actually talked in quite some time. I called her back, apologizing for having missed her call. A call she hadn't made. She hadn't called me, she hadn't butt dialed me, I was not in her call log at all. We got to talking and when we hung up I gave a little "thank you" to Karma. I have no idea why my land line thinks she called, but I'm glad it did. Keeping in touch and talking are two very different things. I didn't realize it, but I missed talking to her.

Inspired, I grabbed that land line and toggled through its phone book. A phone book I programmed at least 15 years ago, btw. And I started calling. Anyone I haven't talked to in a long time, I pressed that button. There were people I'd lost touch with and some of those calls were quite short and stilted. There were a few business relationships long gone (sorry, insurance agent who we dropped years ago, I'm sure you didn't appreciate being reminded of that). There were also quite a few people though, like the parents of my kids' elementary school friends who I really enjoyed catching up with. I talked to friends and even neighbors who, due to social media, I felt currently in touch with, but (it turns out) not in a personal way. We picked up as if we'd just spoken yesterday. And so much was said that you just don't put out there on FB. 

So I made twenty seven phone calls yesterday. And here's what I decided when I was done. I'm baking a special treat this holiday season, Devil's Food Chambord Cake Balls. And I'm thinking that quite a few people will be finding me on their doorstep holding a plate of them. If you're busy, that's fine. But I hope you invite me in and put on a pot of coffee. Let's talk.

Devil’s Food Chambord Cake Balls, as delicious as they are festive. Rich, thick, chocolate raspberry flavored holiday treats | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #holiday
Devil's Food Chambord Cake Balls

Chanukah's in 3 weeks, Christmas is in 4. How many phone calls will you be making in that time?

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Devil's Food Chambord Cake Balls        

Printable Recipe

1 Devil's Food cake, from a mix or your favorite recipe

3/4 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP Chambord liqueur
up to 2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa powder

1 (12 oz) bag royal blue candy melts
1 oz vanilla or white almond bark
OPT: sprinkles

*Make cake and cool.  
*Beat the butter and 1/4 cup of the Chambord. Carefully beat in the baking cocoa and 1 3/4 cups of powdered sugar. Add as much of the other 1/4 cup of powdered sugar by tablespoons as needed. You want your frosting to be looser than piping consistency but not runny.
*Break up the cooled cake into a large bowl. Drizzle the remaining 2 TBSP Chambord over the cake, then add the frosting and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours (I refrigerate overnight).
*Remove the cake from the refrigerator and roll into about 1 inch balls. You should have about 3 dozen. Place separately onto a baking sheet and put into the freezer until hard. 
*You can coat at this point or move the balls into a sealed bag in the freezer and coat up to a few weeks later.
*NOTE: There are multiple ways to decorate:
1. Melt the royal blue candy melts according to the package directions. Place about 1/3 cup in a separate bowl and set aside. Dip the cake balls into the remaining melted candy to coat. Remove to a piece of wax paper. Melt the 1 oz of white bark into the bowl you set aside until melted together. Drizzle onto the cake balls. Add sprinkles.
2. Melt 1/2 of the royal blue candy melts according to package directions. Drizzle onto cake balls. Add sprinkles.
3: Melt 1/2 of the royal blue candy melts according to package directions. Drizzle onto cake balls. Melt 1/2 of the remaining royal blue candy melts with 1 oz of white bark. Drizzle over the the royal candy onto the cake balls. Add sprinkles.
*Refrigerate cake balls until completely set.


  1. I will never get rid of my hard line for the reasons you listed above and more. One is that we live in an area that is heavily treed and often get wind storms that take out our power. With a land line, you always have phone service. I make it a practice to communicate, stay in touch, and regularly call people just to say "how are you doing" or "miss chatting with you." No matter how busy I am, this is crucial.

    1. I agree. I didn't realize how much I was missing out on peoples' lives until I actually sat down and made the effort.

  2. We were just considering losing our landline. I will consider this post Karma.
    And my door is wide open. Come in! Hot chocolate's on!

    1. If you do get rid of that land line, toggle through the phone book first. Bet you won't be sorry.

  3. I have an address book I started 24 years ago from an older one that was falling apart. What treasures it must hold. But you are probably shaking your head when I say I will never pick up that phone. The thought that someone in there may be long dead frightens me too much to risk it. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

  4. Good for you! It does take time but well worth it. I send out Christmas and Chanukah cards. I have them out and need to sign them and write a bit on some. I don't think you will be at my door but the welcome mat is always open for you, hell the door is wide open if you show up with treats!

  5. Cake balls look amazing! What a great thing to do! 27? Oh my....more than I am up to these days

    1. Well, I may have a little more free time than you do these days. Hope you're feeling better.

  6. I love caller ID if I don't recognise the number I don't answer it, I am getting better at making phone calls, when I was younger I would freak out when I had to make a phone call

  7. Love this post! Time well spent! I bet your old friends were so pleased ♥
    Growing up phone calls were expensive, and we were only allowed to make "necessary" ones like to make a doctor's appointment. So as soon as I moved into my own apartment I spent HOURS just chatting with my friends. These days? Same as you: landline is here to screen marketing harassment.
    I'm just thinking I might write a Christmas card every day between Dec 1 - 24, you know, I'm always good for a special kind of advent calendar ;-)

    1. So funny to think that first we couldn't call and wanted to, now we can call all we want and mostly we text.

  8. I agree that talking on the phone and through social media are two entirely different things. I for one miss talking on the phone. Seems no one has time to chat anymore. I did talk with my middle son yesterday for 2 glorious hours, and he called me! WOO HOO
    Now when can I expect that plate of goodies? wink wink

    1. You're such a nomad these days I don't think I'd know where to find you. Aren't you moving for the 3rd time shortly?


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