Brush of An Angel’s Wing by Charlie Shedd was gifted to me in 2015. It’s a quick read of miraculous, but true stories of healing, rescues and sweet waves of comforts. The book is as uplifting as having an angel on your shoulder.
While I did not need convincing that God’s messengers do exist I wondered if this book of divine intervention could help or inspire other parents who have lost a child. After such a harrowing experience finally believing my son is an angel among us was a real positive turning point in my own grief experience. Whoosh moments inspire me to celebrate him.
The brush of an angel’s wing eases the torment. It happens at unexpected times and when needed most. The book and its wonderful message needs to be shared. So, here is what I did.
I wrote William’s name on the inside cover with his date of birth and the day he died. I then mailed the book to a friend who had also lost a child with instructions to add her child’s name to the “Angels Among Us” list and then to pass it on after reading. I then forgot all about it until now.
Fast forward to a month or so ago when I received an apology note from a mom who had lost her son last year. She said she was sorry for holding onto the book for so long, but she just could not bring herself to write her son’s name in the cover. Suddenly, I recalled my own first year of numbness, shock and disbelief. I knew exactly what she felt. I still have days when I can’t believe it. Back then I would not have been able to write my son’s name in the book either. Glad I was able to pick myself up and in time you will, too.
Hang On Pain Eases (H.O.P.E.)
Have you been apple picking? Have you tried angel biscuits? I suppose they got their name because they are not only made with the typical baking powder, but also leavened with yeast making them rise to heavenly heights. I made some spicy apple butter with all those apples that Annabelle picked adding it to the biscuit mix for some fall flavor. These would be an unexpected pleasure on your Thanksgiving day table and easy to do because the dough is made in advance and can be refrigerated for a day or two.
Apple Butter Angel Biscuits
1 teaspoon active dry yeast*
1/4 cup warm water (105º-115º F)
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour*
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
½-teaspoon baking powder
½-teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2-stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
½ cup apple butter
½ cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons heavy cream and 2 tablespoons turbinado (demera) sugar
In a small bowl, stir yeast in warm water to dissolve it; set aside.
In large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Scatter the butter over the flour mixture and cut in with a pastry blender (or rub together with your fingers) until the butter is the size of small peas. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée and buttermilk. Add the buttermilk mixture and the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the ingredients are moistened. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or as long as overnight.
Heat the oven to 450º F. Line a 9-10-round baking pan with parchment paper.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead 4-5 times. Roll or pat the dough to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Cut the dough with a 2-inch floured cutter using a straight up and down motion; don’t twist the cutter. Cut out as many biscuits as you can. Fit as many biscuits in the baking pan as you can with just a slight space between them. You can also put them side-by-side on a baking sheet. Gather the remaining dough scraps, then gently roll out the dough again. Cut out the remaining biscuits and place on the baking sheet. Brush tops with heavy cream. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake biscuits until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. As soon as the biscuits come out of the oven, brush the tops with the melted butter. Serve warm with butter and apple butter.
*as always I recommend Redstar yeast and King Arthur Flour for consistent, tasty results