We Bake to Remember the Ones We Loved!
A funny, almost coincidental, thing happened between my wife and me the other day. We both came home from two separate shopping trips with similar items. I must say this happens frequently but what does not happen frequently is the reason. She and I thought of our departed mothers and had ingredients for our mother's favorite desserts in our bags.
The unusual thing wasn't so much that we would bake our mothers' favorite items, but it was intriguing that we had done this on the same day. Almost as if they were reaching out to us, if you believe in that sort of thing. I am a little more pragmatic in my line of thinking. My mother's birthday is coming up early next week, and my sister and I had recently talked about her favorite cake, which happened to be Tomato Soup Cake. My wife is still going through the grieving process as her mother's passing was relatively recent.
My discussion with my sister immediately brought back memories of my mother and grandmother, who would bake her favorite cake. I remember how excited my sister and I were when we knew Grandma was arriving to celebrate the birthday and how tasty this spice cake was. It was something we looked forward to every year. Grandma was one heck of a baker! Then it got me thinking about the other baked goods she made and whether those recipes were still floating in the family. She also made one heck of a German Chocolate Cake!
My wife's mother was known for a few baked goods, not the least of which was her homemade apple pies. The apples came directly from the trees; they picked them from outside their house. She made the pie crusts from scratch, and my kids raved about them. Don't get them started on the cookie dough, as it never seemed to make it from the bowl to the oven. I can still hear her barking at the kids for their snakelike thievery. These were all good memories, and they were all linked to the simple practice of baking.
Although we have pictures and videos of our times together, we bake to remember these women. Whether it be the simple rolls, cakes, muffins, cookies, or pies, there is something to be said for trying to replicate their recipes. In a way, it's like being with them, even for a short time. Sharing these desserts with those who knew them well gets the memory train going.
Now my next task is to locate my grandmother's recipes!