Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Broken Heart and Monkey Bread

Today our great-niece is driving over to spend part of the day with us.  She has three days, Thursday, and Friday...and she let us pick which day worked best.

This little sweetheart was born with a heart condition that resulted in four open-heart surgeries and far too much of her childhood being spent in the hospital.  Her heart's wiring was a huge interest to the medical field, and a doctor out east wrote and published an article about her in a medical journal.  We tease that she was a centerfold from day one.

That was 23 years ago.  Her life has been terribly hard.  Besides fighting for her own survival, she tragically  lost her only sibling.  She forges through her days like a soldier, works a full-time job for one of the top convenience store chains, maintains her own apartment, and baffles Mayo cardiologists. Her heart isn't fixed by any means, but it's the best it can be with present-day medical knowledge and treatment.

So, today she and I are going to have fun in my kitchen.  We're going to make monkey bread.  I figure it's appropriate cuz I've always teased her that our family is a bunch of monkeys.  In fact, I'm able to replicate the screech of a monkey so well that I scare myself.

This is the recipe we'll use......

2 loaves of frozen bread dough
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2 T. cinnamon
1-1/2 stick butter

Put frozen bread dough in the refrigerator the night before.  Take out in the morning.  Pinch the dough in small pieces, roll in melted butter and then in the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  Place pieces of dough in layers.  You can add nuts if you want.  Cover and set on stove top until it doubles in size.  Bake 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until brown.  Turn pan upside down and let cool.
  ~Dig in!

Spending fun time with another person is our #1 blessing.  Nothing compares.  It's an opportunity to pass on a simple recipe, share a skill or hobby, act silly, and simply let that other person know they will forever live deep inside our heart.

Oh, I spent many an hour and many a day sitting beside this little girl's bedside, watching and praying, comforting and praying some more.  She's our shining star, and only the Great Spirit can feel the joy that this day holds for me.