Taking a Moment to Find What's Missing

Let's examine the consequences of becoming a distracted baker.

Several years ago, I decided to bake my favorite pound cake for my cousin's housewarming. Since it is my favorite cake, I decided to bake a cake for home the day before I made the cake for the special occasion. I was disappointed when I took my first bite of the warm cake. Something was not right. Although I could taste the distinct flavor of the cake, the taste of flour overpowered everything else. I revisited the recipe because my first inclination was that I had added too much flour and not enough sugar. To my surprise, I had added the correct amount of both ingredients. Still, something was "off" with this cake. The next morning when I walked into the kitchen and looked at the cake, I immediately knew what went wrong. I looked at the recipe again and "lo and behold," I had forgotten the salt! After the error was revealed to me, I checked Google to verify the role of salt in baking a cake. According to The Science of Cooking website, the main function of salt in cake recipes is to enhance the flavor of the other ingredients. Its presence perks up the depth and complexity of other flavors as the ingredients meld. Salt also provides a balance to the sweetness of cake batters—but a salty flavor should not be discernible. You can reduce the salt according to your taste, but if you leave it out completely, you'll likely find your cakes taste a little "flat." Flat was exactly how the cake tasted the night before. Trust me, this cake was not "housewarming worthy."

While preparing the cake, I had been called away. A phone call caused me to divert my attention from the cake to the caller. Once I returned to my assignment, I forgot to add a key ingredient.

As I prepared the cake for the next day's celebration, I couldn't help but think about the impact of a single ingredient. As I looked at the recipe, the most insignificant ingredient had made a significant impact on the finished product. There were cups of butter, flour and sugar, several eggs, teaspoons of flavorings, but simply one half teaspoon of salt.

It is amazing how one simple action--me answering a phone call had cause my assignment to fall flat.

Allow my cake experience to remind you that a small distraction can make a big impact.

The enemy may try to convince you that it is just a phone call, but the phone call took me away from my assignment.

The enemy may try to convince you that "it's just not that serious." However, it is the little foxes that spoil the vine.

Don't allow a seemingly innocent action to prevent you from completing your assignment with excellence.

By the way, the second cake included the salt and it was delicious!

So, my friends it is not too late. Revisit your assignment. Read the recipe and assemble your ingredients. This cake (your assignment) must be completed!

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