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Published on February 23, 2021

Chasing the Creator

Who is the fairest one of all? Look inside for answer

By Shirley Prihoda
The Bulletin

The world has never been short of naysayers; however, 2021 may set an all-time high record.

We will have to travel a little farther down that road for confirmation since the New Year’s Baby hasn’t even had a diaper change yet!

One thing is certain, the naysayer’s passion for rebuttals has developed into an artform that would be the envy of any IA, well, maybe IIA, high school debate team.

With the abundance and abandon of words flying, where does that leave the average Tom, Dick, or Harriet who’s simply trying to make sense in a world that seems to have lost theirs? I’m certain the naysayers are ready with arguments that being average is not O.K. - it’s fairest one of all or nothing!

Walt Disney faced his share of naysayers as he sought to bring the first full-length animated picture to the adult audience in 1937. Based on the famous fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, “Snow White” opened with the Wicked Queen asking her magic mirror the question, “Who is the fairest one of all?” It wasn’t her. This led to trouble for Snow White, who was.

What eluded the wicked queen was that Snow White wasn’t the fairest one of all for her outward beauty, but her inward.

This very goodness inside of her totally transformed a rag-tag group we now lovingly call The Seven Dwarfs to look beyond their names to others and find a new potential.

Rarely does one get the privilege of meeting a real-life person characterized in a classic Walt Disney movie. Yet, here I am an average 72-year-old grandmother stating that I have.

Like Snow White, she has the total package of outward and inward beauty, and she changed my life. I’ve been blessed with many wonderful people in my life who have encouraged me, lifted me out of ditches and pointed me toward genuine happiness, but none can compare to this modern-day Snow White.

To describe this woman by her obvious outward beauty would be a disservice. How does one define inward goodness?

The Oxford English dictionary, containing 171,146 words, is completely inadequate.

Creating pictures with words is my bread and butter, and the inability to do that is a frustrating confession. Yet, here I am on the whispered edges of forever, attempting to define a woman who walks in the kind of goodness that most often causes me to search the recesses of my own heart.

Goodness does that. Maybe that’s why we gravitate toward people who make us feel comfortable and unchallenged with the hidden things in our hearts.

That’s also why people, like the wicked queen, who choose to walk on the dark side of life, want to discredit and malign those who don’t agree with them and chose a different path.

My Snow White is a lot like Thomas Kincaid’s paintings where ordinary scenes seem to come alive with light.

Like the “Painter of Light”, she radiates an inward glow of love while not being obvious to the state of people, but looking beyond what is, to what you can be.

She offers encouragement to know it isn’t where you happen to be planted, but the fact that being alive is an opportunity to awaken untapped potential to bloom.

Since she doesn’t seek to promote herself, she sees the truth beyond the confusion where acting badly may have sounded virtuous and authentic. In gentle sweetness, she offers counsel that the path you’re on may not be the end of the world, but you can certainly see it from there!

No matter our station in life, average or fairest of all, we have been given the privilege of composing our life’s music and the lingering melody that’s remembered after our final curtain call.

After my last curtain call, my desire would be that my outward appearance will not be the main topic of discussion, especially if blessings of cornbread dressing are on the buffet table!

Heavenly APPLE BREAD
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
2 Cups Apples, peeled, cored, and diced small
2/3 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup Butter, unsalted and room temperature
2 Large Eggs, room temperature
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Whole Milk, room temperature
1 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
GLAZE
1 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar, sifted
2-3 Tablespoons Milk, depending on the desired consistency

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well. Add the chopped apples and stir well to coat each apple piece. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the granulated sugar and butter. Whip until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and milk and mix on medium speed until incorporated.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
Combine the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in 1 ½ cups of the coated apples. Mix by hand. Pour into a 9x5 loaf pan that has been coated with cooking oil spray. Place remaining apples on the top and tap on counter to settle batter.
Bake for 60-80 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. When the bread is done, remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack until you can safely remove it from the pan.
Place warm bread on serving platter and pour the glaze over the top. You can save some of the glaze for individual pieces if you like.

(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)