Remember my encounter with Jesús? It was while I was on my quest to find cajetas (dulce de leche)? He was so helpful to me, taking me down aisles, looking with me, checking his scanner – and then finding a recipe for this caramel sauce and printing it out. Jesús will remain my Christmas story of 2015.
When he found me in the grocery store and gave me a recipe for making cajetas, which he said was just how his grandmother made it, I told him that if I made the cookies, I would bring him some.
The days rushed by before I did finally find the dulce de leche at one of the larger chain stores, and I did make the Alfajores, which turned out to be quite delectable.
After the little shortbread cookies cooled, I spread the dulce de leche on them, sandwiching its sweet goodness inside. I dusted them with powdered sugar, and put them in tins and on plates, for house gifts and for our little house on the Cutoff. I made sure to set aside some for Jesús, with plans to take them to him on Wednesday: a day when I planned several stops after an early morning appointment.
I made it to the Center for Health in record time, parked my car, and went in for a quick nurse visit. Once done, I walked the inside perimeter of the hospital, which is a pleasant way to get in my “steps. I saw an acquaintance with whom I chatted a bit. All-in-all, this took about 40 minutes.
Just as I stepped out the main door, the heavens opened and a deluge of rain poured down. I hurried to my car, only to find I could not get into the driver’s side. As this was a medical center, he or she could be 20 minutes, or three hours. Fortunately, I was able to open the door on the passenger side. I was at least out of the wind and rain – and I did have a book to read.
Unfortunately, the other driver did not return to his car for an hour and a half.
Off I went, 90+ minutes of my day gone, two days before Christmas. I was cold, damp (actually, wet), annoyed and frustrated. I did have those Frostian “miles to go”, some holiday related errands, and a stop at the grocery store. Once inside, pushing a shopping cart, choosing some vegetables and fruit, and looking about, I asked a stock boy if Jesús was working. He was, and the young man offered to find him.
A few minutes later, there he was, coming around the bend. As soon as he saw me, a smile broke out on his face. “Are you the Jesús who helped me last week?” He was. Hidden, under my purse, a bag of noodles and a loaf of bread was the small cookie tin of Alfajores. Jesús smile grew as I pulled the tin out from undercover and handed it to him. My own angry, annoyed heart at being hemmed in melted as Jesús opened the tin, thanked me profusely, and we both went on our way.
PS The other stock boy, having seen the tin of cookies, asked me several times if I needed any help. 🙂