Chucking the Buckle: A Marriage Word

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“Buckle is a dessert which combines fresh seasonal fruit, a rich cake batter, and a streusel topping. The result is a rich, dense cake with a moist crumb which is sometimes compared to coffee cake. It is an excellent summer dessert, and can be served hot or cold, plain or dressed with drizzles of sauce. Making buckle at home is relatively easy, and a great way to use fresh fruit.” — Mary McMahon from

I have no idea who this is, but I thought it was a pretty good definition, and one that you needed to read in order to understand and picture what the heck I am talking about today.

(Side note: If you have been hanging on every word of this blog, you are perhaps waiting for the root canal story. All I can really say at the moment is, according to the interwebs, which we know never lie, the heavier you are, the more you can get paid for donating plasma. So my current plan for paying for all the dental work involves me finishing a Costco sized assortment of Drumsticks within about a fifteen minute period and then sticking out my arm to the nearest donation center. I think it cannot fail.)

While we have established that I am not terribly diligent about following instructions, and recipes feel more like suggestions than actual directions, I do generally try to do it as written at least once (no, I still don’t measure…) so when I found a recipe for a nectarine brown butter buckle, I took the author at her word and piled four cups of sliced, juicy nectarines on top of my batter (which smelled incredible), blindly trusting that something magical must happen to all that liquid at some point. Imagine, then, my disillusionment when after an hour in the oven, the center of my buckle still resembled a streusel topped swamp with brightly colored logs of fruit floating in the middle.

The people were getting hungry by this point, and the rest of the breakfast was prepared, so I cut slices from the edges (which were fantastic, by the way. Have we talked about brown butter? Just when you thought butter couldn’t get any better, God went and created this heat-induced nirvana) and fed the people, leaving the sloppy buckle center in the pan.

I pondered whether it made better sense to just accept the flaw in the recipe and throw away the soggy mess, but I love nectarines and I am a huge fan of buckles and brown butter, so instead, I shoved it back in the oven. Several times. For long periods of time. It, sadly, never grew more appealing than watery pudding and landed itself in the bin.

This put me in mind of the sort of conversations that can happen between husband and wife. For all the excellent communication tips and skills that we can learn in our marriages, sometimes you simply cannot beat 11 o’clock at night. Are you sitting down? I don’t want to accidentally give you a concussion when you fall over with shock, but…

You married a sinner.

So did he.

That means you both actually get physically tired, that you are not always concise and careful with your words, that your reasoning is affected by things like hunger and kids not sleeping. And while it is worth it to learn how best to communicate with your spouse (you should), I wonder how many of our more fractious interactions reach their boiling point when we are more concerned with being personally understood than we are with loving anyone but ourselves. Do you find yourself covering and recovering the same ground, because he either didn’t fully understand you, or perhaps he disagreed with you and you are convinced he wouldn’t if he actually understood what you were saying and why? Are you constantly throwing that uncooked mess back into the oven, when perhaps love demands that you chuck it in the bin? And not with malice, but in being truly willing to be misunderstood, to be willing to defer and to not have your viewpoint vindicated? Can you let the man sleep?

Love covers a multitude of sins, Love Himself who came down and took your mess onto Himself, freeing you from the slog of needing to be right, of needing to be understood at the expense of another person. Christ is the perfect love that casts out all the fears that keep you fighting when you should lay down arms.

Do you have a buckle to chuck today?

4 Responses

  1. Ellen
    | Reply

    Reading this on our anniversary. Wishing I had chucked so many sloppy buckles over the past 42 years. Thanks for wise exhortation! And, given the sorry state of my culinary prowess, I shall be reminded regularly of this good advice.

    • barb
      | Reply

      Praise God for your 42 years together!! Happy anniversary!

  2. Melinda
    | Reply

    Ouch. That one went right to the heart. Good honesty and an encouragement that now is the time to just clean out…or at least let the pan soak in warm, soapy water

    • Ellen
      | Reply

      Love: “soak the pan” !!

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