Tuesday, May 5, 2009

For Stan.

There are few people in this world that can raise your spirits by simply being present. Everybody probably has one or two of them in their lives at any given time - a best friend, a sibling, a lover - and if you are lucky enough to recognize and realize these special people for who they are and what joys they can bring to your life you need never have a day without a smile. For me, one of those perpetual smile-generators (and general goodwill ambassadors!) is a special professor of mine from this past year's Intro to Psychology class named Stan. One of the most selflessly giving people I have ever met, this man has gone through incredible personal turmoil over the years, and yet still manages to come into work every day with a smile, an upbeat attitude and a great story to tell. In his classes, three hours passed in what felt like thirty minutes, we all knew his phone extension because of it's correlation with a Swiss Chalet story he told us on day 1, and somebody would always return from break with a cup of tea from Timmy's for him, which he would always pay for. Stan has run marathons, owns real-estate for profit, raises a family and somehow manages to put together the most entertaining, YouTube video filled lectures I have ever had the pleasure of attending.

I was asked by Stan (shortly after the Copper Chef event) to bake and donate a cake for an event that the Simcoe County branch of Autism Ontario was holding. I jumped at the chance, not only because it meant I got to bake a cake (*happy dance*) but that it meant that I was finally able to do something - even in a small way - to give back to someone who had done so much for me! I was fully prepared to make and give the cake to him gratis, but he wouldn't hear of it after seeing me whine about the chocolate cost! He not only graciously paid for the ingredients, but put himself in charge of transporting my cake - plus two others - to Barrie for the event. What did he get out of all of this, you may ask... after all, he didn't even get a taste of the cake!... well, I can't say for certain, but I have a feeling that Stan is just that type of person - if he can brighten your day, he's succeeded in his own mind. We should all be so lucky to be able to do that!! At the very least, I also gave him a bag of cookies (recipe forthcoming) and a packet of my favourite carrot seeds. Hopefully he and his family will enjoy them as much as I do (and share them with the community - yes, they community garden too!)! So, to Stan and all the people out there like him,

THANK YOU!

The Fourth Annual Evening for Autism was a resounding success - the cake auction alone raised $2300! My donation sold for a hefty $120, blowing me completely out of the water, and I can only say that I honestly hope the top bidders thoroughly enjoyed the decadence that is my Chocolate Stout Cake... since I thoroughly enjoyed making and decorating it! The recipe I used is the same one I made for my mom's birthday, the only exception being that instead of the traditional Guinness, I used a new beer I found at the LCBO: Young's Double Chocolate Stout.

If anybody out there has any information on the dietary / nutritional management of conditions such as Autism, feel free to pass it along. I know that there are many parents out there who would appreciate another resource!

1 comment :

eatme_delicious said...

Stan sounds like an awesome person and a great inspiration. =) And this cake yummmm! I need to try that chocolate stout. In response to the comment you left on my blog, your variation on the salad from the rebar cookbook sounds delicious. I don't eat enough brussel sprouts!