Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tribute to My Style Icon

On the anniversary of my sweetest mother's death, my daughters and sister and nieces like to bake something to give away in her honor. Mother was the ultimate baker of fine gourmet treats and taught all her daughters the tricks or her years of experience. She often baked to save herself from being bored and gave the fruits of her labor to neighbors, friends and often, my sister Denise, who lived a few blocks away.

This year, I baked a cake that I have many fond memories of from my childhood. As I sifted (3 times, a must, according to mother), mixed and poured the batter, my heart was flooded with memories and awe for that woman. She taught me so much and was an example of unconditional love and service. I had the image of her making that cake so many times. I always liked to lick the frosting pan, and she always indulged....even as an adult!

I turned to my Betty Crocker cookbook given to my by my mother on my birthday in the year 2000. This cookbook was a standard in my mother's eyes and she had found this vintage 1st edition copy that was in stellar condition. Priceless.

This tender note was penned by her to me. Just a few years later, her eyesight was virtually taken from her with sever macular degeneration. This hand written note is very special. By the way, she cooked and baked to perfection without being able to see how to write anymore.

Here are the cakes going into the oven...

I was happy as I turned out what I think might be the finest cake I've baked in a while!

The layers were full and perfectly shaped (no high-center!). The texture looked fine and delicate and moist.

As mentioned, I haven't made this cake (chocolate with white mountain frosting) for several years, so the success for this occasion was rewarding.

I found some blooming vinca from the front yard and thought it made for a sweet little decorative touch.

Fred (Sneelock) and I discussed several possible recipients and decided on a friend who had done a favor for me when she had no more time than I and never made a mention of it...just quickly agreed and it was taken care of. Tina reminds me a lot of my mother in her selflessness and Christ-like commitment.

Fred drove, I steadied the cake. This brought another flood of memories of how many times I had helped my mother deliver this very cake to a friend, a new mother, an ailing woman, or a friend who was having a birthday.

It seemed like the perfect honor to mother.

I'm so grateful that my mother was the lady that she was. She is my hero.

No comments: