Sunday, March 15, 2009

Baking Traditions

My grandmother's measuring cups and my mom's recipe book are treasures.

I never had an opportunity to bake with my grandmother. It is comforting to know that I use them just as she did, scooping flour and sugar into the cups, leveling the contents with a knife. Lovingly preparing goodies for her family. Though she is gone from the earth, she lingers in my memory, and we are connected.

My mom and I frequently use her recipe book though its backbone is torn and has been repaired with duct tape, its well worn pages are stained, creased, and smudged. Mom was industrious so some of the pages have typewritten recipes, but most pages are in my mom's lovely handwriting. The book has long since outgrown the envelopes after each section for inserting recipe cards or clippings from magazines or newspapers and instead the book bulges a bit from all the recipes stuffed under the front cover. I am quite familiar with the family favorite recipes, but there are many recipes that mom collected that have yet to be tested and tasted.

My mom passed her love of baking on to me and many of my siblings, patiently teaching us how to read recipes, measure ingredients, explaining mixing versus folding, preparing the pans, and testing for doneness. Mom was giving us more than life skills, she was giving part of herself. Time in the kitchen with mom was truly a gift of love.

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