The Ballestero Blog

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The Little Biscuit Girl

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The Little Biscuit Girl

Carlene Branham

My sister, Carlene Branham, is among the world’s best. That’s no joke. This is not just a big brother talking and bragging on his sister. She’s Good. She’s Good with a capital ‘G’.

I’ve eaten in 48 states, and 17 countries. Can’t ‘nobody’ bake better breads, cakes, cookies, cookie bars, or pastries better than hers. She wins hands down.

She makes the ‘Best’ Wedding cakes. They are beautiful AND delicious. Anything that goes into an oven just seems to know Carlene by her first name.

Not only her family, but even her friends and church family look to her for the superb dessert. Her job counts on her to do the companies’ meals for their clients. Even the kids at Bible School, three hours away, know her. They call her ‘Aunt’ Carlene. She currently has a niece named Erica, at I.B.C. that she pampers with goodies and other sweets. She catered to her nephews when they were there. She also panders to the appetites of Erica’s friends by bringing zip-locked bags with their names on them for some of the kids. They love her like family.

At our Ballestero family gatherings, Carlene endears herself to the maximum with her homemade goodies. Carlene smiles her thanks. Her desserts are scarfed up by the chow hounds in the family, of which I am chief.

But that’s not how it started.

I know. I’m the big brother. I’m five years older. I remember the day she didn’t smile.

Let me tell you about the first time Carlene, the Bakery Wizard Girl, made biscuits. In those days, no one ever heard of buying biscuits in a can. They all were made from ‘scratch’.

Carlene was in Elementary School. She was in the 3rd or 4th grade, if I recall right. She had always tried to help Mom in the kitchen and quickly picked up a desire to bake. Mother consented to letting her make biscuits by herself one Saturday.

As we gathered around the table to eat, Mother proudly announced to Dad that Carlene had made the biscuits. Carlene smiled. This was her first attempt at baking. Every girl wants her cooking to meet the approval of her Father. Carlene was no exception.

After the prayer, and the passing of bowls and plates of food, the eating began. Slyly Carlene watched to see if Dad had taken a bite of his biscuit.

Dad picked up the biscuit with great ceremony. He cut it open and then buttered it. After placing the two halves together, Dad raised it to his mouth and took a bite.

Immediately, Dad let his biscuit fall to his plate. Unknown to any of us, Dad had slipped his other hand under the table. When the biscuit hit the plate, Dad thumped the underside of the table with his knuckles at the same time. It was timed perfectly. It sounded like a brick hitting the plate instead of a biscuit.

Carlene immediately burst into tears. Her dream of making good biscuits, was dashed in her mind. Her little heart was broken.

The meal was stopped long enough for Dad to comfort her and make amends.

(I’m her brother and I wouldn’t lie… they were good.)

Who knew that little girl in Elementary School would have such a gift? All it needed was time. Who knew what marvels she would create in years to come.

Yet at that moment in her little life, she came close to feeling like a failure and a disappointment to her Father.

One might say, that was nice family story. What was your point?

Actually, I have two points.

Point 1. If your attempts in living for God sometimes make you feel that you are a failure because of other people’s reactions. Be encouraged. The end is not yet. I would love to think that the day will come when you are the one that is the role model.

God sees the end from the beginning. Your day will come. Don’t cry, just keep trying.

Point 2.  I love you so much Carlene. I need some cookie bars real bad!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 30, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Posted in Family, Personal Growth

4 Responses

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  1. That was a precious story, and two great points at the end!

    Charlotte Mills

    October 30, 2010 at 7:46 pm

  2. “Now THAT’S what I’M talkin’ ’bout!” 😉


    October 30, 2010 at 7:50 pm

  3. Carlene has always been passionate about baking. She bakes to give away. Always thinking of others. I love that about her, she is so selfless, giving of her self and her time to others. I will never forget the night she and I stayed up baking rolls, cakes, pies and cookies all night long for a bake sale at our church in LA. We were wiped out, but it was a great sale!

    I also love the application. Wow!

    Nila Marxer

    October 30, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    • That was so sweet Nila, thank you. You said wonderful things about her. (It probably would not be in good taste for me to mention that she’s not married, so I won’t bring that up. That way we won’t have to fight off some ugly guys trying to come for supper and swipe our cookie bars and such. Shhhhh.)


      October 31, 2010 at 1:09 am

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