I never baked with my grandmother, Alice. She was a perfectionist who preferred to work alone in the kitchen. She may have spent so much time in the kitchen because she had a family to feed, but I’m not so sure. I think Grandma truly enjoyed spending time in her kitchen workshop. She had precise tools, all properly cared for and stored. She was a skilled craftsman. An artist. (she also painted and played the cello, but we’ll talk about that later).
The kitchen was Grandma’s domain and we all knew she was a wonderful home cook. Holiday tables were overflowing with traditional eats and family weekends at the cabin held no shortage of hearty breakfasts and jeep ride snacks. Her “deep-freeze” in the basement was full of things like home-made strawberry freezer jam and the cellar was stocked with pickled veg and salsas. But, I don’t think any of us knew, at the time, that Grandma was a wizard baker. And, trust me, she was.
Did she bake with a special ingredient? Was it love? Magic? I wish I could ask her, not that she’d tell me. She’d give me a wink, a smile and a peck on the cheek. And I still wouldn’t know how she made the most delightful Christmas cutout cookies we’ve ever tasted. I have the recipe, complete with her notes in the margin. And I still can’t make it work quite like Grandma did. But I’ve fallen in love with trying. Every year I will attempt those treats. Every year I will anticipate sweet success. And every day I will bake as if I’m standing in Grandma’s kitchen beside her, crafting magic memories for my family, friends and neighbors to enjoy.
This blog is for you, Grandma!
Love you more,
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