food, gratitude, journey, parenting

Senile sentiments…

Yesterday Genny and I decided that we wanted to while away the blustery, below zero afternoon with a little baking. I don’t know how this looks in your house, but in our house it looks a little like this-

I hate to bake, but allow her to talk me into it.

She stresses me out with flightiness and refusal to pay attention because once the process has started, she decides she wants to do forty-five other things instead, thus leaving me to do the baking alone. Which really is ok because it isn’t really that I hate to bake as much as I hate building up to the baking. It just sounds exhausting.

Ridiculous, isn’t it? Give me a complicated four course dinner party to cook for and my energy levels soar through the roof. Ask me to make a batch of cookies and I feel as though the life has been sucked out of me.

It sounds so complicated.

I’m too tired.

Blah, blah, blah…

I’m not proud.

009Once I am in the process though, I’m fine and I enjoy it. I psych myself out for all of the amazing baking adventures I am going to have now that I courageously faced my fears and realized baking isn’t so bad and scary after all. This lasts until the dishes are done.

Anyway, before all of that though, {at least “all of that” in yesterday’s episode of “hey mom, do you want to bake with me?”} I was pouring through my recipe box in search of something to make. I don’t do that often enough. In this season of life it’s all about the blog recipes and the Pinterest finds. My tried & trues sit collecting dust, and it’s sad.

A recipe box should be full of such happy things. Things like the recipe for grandma’s buttermilk cookies and my mom’s incredible egg rolls. The truth is though, that there are a lot of mixed emotion treasures in there too. Things passed down from my grandmother, whose penmanship I’ll never see again. Once merely a chicken scratched list of dumpling ingredients is now sacred. Theย Spanishย rice bake to accompany last night’s chicken is written in my mother’s beautiful handwriting- handwriting that disappeared when she had her stroke.

And they are silly things really- handwriting, chicken scratch. But they are final things too, things that saw their end and now one visit through the recipe box becomes a breathtaking and painful reminder that things change.

One day I will walk into my kitchen and mix up a batch of muffins. I will feel a jabbing ache in my heart that there is no one there to eat them, or better yet- no one there to demand I make them and then run off to watch the Disney channel. I won’t be annoyed, like I was today- abandoned in the kitchen when I’d rather be reading. I will be sad. A normal moment will become huge and leave me gaping.

I know what I have to do.

While I still have the chance, I’m going to sucker her into baking something and then I’m going to go watch a movie and leave her with the work, the dishes and the mess. That way, when I am sixty, mixing muffins all sad and lonely- I’ll remember that, laugh and realize I am crazy for baking anything in the first place.

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15 thoughts on “Senile sentiments…”

  1. I loved your observation about the penmanship of old recipes. My mother has several that were written in a script that can only be described as elegant and remind me of a lost generation.

    1. There is an application on Pinterest that shows how you can convert these to dishtowels, which i think would be really cool. It’s funny how something that was once so traded and shared, is now such a precious item.

  2. hahaha – didn’t see that last one coming….totally get her to start something and say “oh, i forgot to do something” and walk away to read a book in the next room over :)

  3. Love this piece – and the memory it conjours of how it took us years to get my grandmother to give us her receipe for sweet rolls… and how no matter how many times the rest of us try – we can’t seem to get them as good as hers. We all swear she left out an ingredient… or was it just a Grandmother’s love that made them soooooo good? :)

    1. I am not kidding- I have the SAME story re: my grandmother’s apple butter. She LOVED that everyone loved it and she was the only one who made it so amazing… And truthfully, knowing my grandma- she left something out ;)

  4. I want to make pot roast the way grandma made it, but I never can seem too and it was not written down. I wish I has spent more time in her kitchen. My daugher likes to cook dinner more than she likes to bake. She will stand over the onions and garlic and sate them with no encourgament with me, but baking isn’t as fun unless she is allowed to lick the spoon, and that is actually the only part about baking she seems to like.

  5. I also love your thoughts on old recipes!! My great grandpas is OLD and old world. Thank you for dropping by our blog. I really enjoy yours!

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