Last week, the Scots celebrated “Hogmanay,” or New Year’s Eve. A particularly delicious treat often consumed there on this holiday is shortbread, which is a Scottish invention. It’s not really a bread, but rather a buttery, rich, crumbly type of cookie (recipe below).
But why is it called “short” bread? Is it vertically challenged? Well, yes, it’s quite a flat cookie, but in this case the word “short” means something different.
When we’re talking about pastry and baking, “short” means having a high proportion of fat to flour: that’s what makes shortbread crumbly. Compared to other cookie recipes, it almost seems short of flour. But what appears to be a deficiency is actually what makes shortbread so rich and delectable.
In the same way, we often think we’re short of something essential. We look at others and think they have more of what we should have. We wish we had more maturity, patience, self-control, a bigger car or house, a slimmer or taller body, a better job, nicer clothes, and so on. We think we’re deficient in certain areas, falling short. Compared to others, we feel we’re not measuring up. We come up short in our own eyes.
But this type of thinking can be damaging not only to our self-esteem, but to our relationship with God. We can start to think that God is short-changing us in some way, that He’s giving us the short end of the stick.
But He isn’t: we should give short shrift to this type of thinking. In God’s eyes, we’re already in the perfect proportions. We’re not missing anything we need to live out His will for our lives. God didn’t run short of ingredients when He made you; His recipe was complete. And His gifts and His grace are never in short supply.
“Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need.” (Psalm 23:1)
Don’t sell yourself short and be dismayed at what you feel are your inadequacies. Trust that God has already given you the qualities and talents you need to fulfill His purpose for your life. Don’t discount those gifts, because they make you unique. God made you just the way He intended you to be. You’re one of a kind, and are well equipped!
“Those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.” (Psalm 34:10b)
In short, don’t concern yourself with the things other people have that you don’t. Life is too short to waste time comparing yourself to others anyway. Trust that God made you carefully and in exactly the right way; He didn’t take any shortcuts. Believe that God will give you whatever you need, and if He doesn’t, it means you didn’t really need it in the first place.
If you do that, your trust in His sovereignty will grow, and your life will be nothing short of wonderful.
The Faith Cafe is pleased to present our short-but-sweet recipe for shortbread, a slight variation on the traditional Scottish recipe. This version is especially light and delicate thanks to the fine-textured flours used. If you’re short of cake and pastry flour and rice flour, you can use equivalent amounts of regular flour. This is a simple recipe which doesn’t take long to make: you can have these cookies ready at short notice.
1 cup salted butter, cubed, at room temperature
2/3 cup icing sugar
1 3/4 cups cake and pastry flour
1/2 rice flour
Preheat oven to 325º F.
In a mixer or by hand, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in flours and blend well. Remove dough from bowl and knead it with your hands; in short order it’ll be combined thoroughly.
Using a rolling pin, roll out dough on a floured surface until it’s about 1/2-inch thick. Using cookie cutters or a knife, cut dough into shapes or rectangles. Re-roll dough scraps until it’s all used up: you should be able to make short work of this task.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. If you like, prick each cookie with a fork several times, so they won’t be short on looks.
Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden. Stop short of letting these cookies over-bake.
© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.