Other days, we can sit on the floor, head in our hands, and wonder how we'll survive so much pain. Obstacles, suffering, confusion, fear...these struggles can come just as often as these moments of beauty.
And yet we press on. We laugh and celebrate the good times. We take long walks and enjoy warm or cool drinks, plates full of well-flavored food. And then when the darkness does come, we hold onto each other, we cry together, we encourage each other to eat, to sleep, to keep on fighting through the pain.
Over this past week, my family has felt the love and support of hundreds, thousands. We have held each other, we have prayed together, we have put aside other worldly cares to just be in this moment.
My words cannot express how thankful I am for the love and support I have received from many of you. Although I can't thank you all individually, please know that I'm truly touched and bolstered by your kindness.
I am coming to learn that this is what life is about--being there for people in times of joy, in times of pain.
The road ahead is still long. There is still a chance that he could get worse, that his recovery could be halted. But we have faith that this baby is meant to grow into a strong and spirit-filled boy. Over the next few days, baby Ryan will be slowly weaned off of his anti-seizure medication. Please pray that this transition goes smoothly, and that the seizures stay far away.
They arrived the day after Ryan nearly drowned in the pool. My sister and I were sitting on the floor when the UPS man rang the bell. As I opened the package, tears filled my eyes. Her small act of kindness exploded in a shower of love over both me and my younger sister.
That Saturday, I got into my kitchen and began baking to quell the anxiety and fear in my heart. These ricotta jam stacks were born. The dough itself is rich and flavorful from the Ricotta cheese. Eating one of these rolls on its own is heavenly. The lightness and the sweet melding of honey and ricotta makes these worth sharing.
But spreading a thin layer of Marionberry jam in between layers of dough takes this baked good to a whole new level of wonder. The stacks might tilt to the right or the left; they won't come out of the oven looking "perfect", but I can assure you, they taste better than anything you've had in quite some time.
So thank you Lindsey for sending me that beautiful package. Your blog is a source of joy for me. It is one of those places that inspires me to create, to think and to love those around me more. These rolls are dedicated to Lindsey and to all of the wonderful people that are supporting us through this hard time. We love you all.
1 tablespoon warm milk (70 to 80 degrees F)
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
4 teaspoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
Your favorite Jam
1. In a large bowl, combine milk, ricotta cheese, butter, egg and honey. Mix until well-combined. Add yeast, stir and then slowly add in flour and salt.
2. Using the dough hook on your stand mixer, (or your own two hands) knead dough for 6-8 minutes or until a smooth, elastic ball forms. You may need to add more flour...your dough shouldn't be too sticky.
3. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
4. Roll your dough out on a lightly floured surface. Using a 1.5 inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles. Begin "stacking" your rolls, by spreading a thin layer of jam on the top of each circle, and then repeating with two more circles, leaving the top circle without jam. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30-40 minutes.
5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until light golden brown.