Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Little Baker...

Baking is one of my favorite things to do, especially when the weather starts to get cooler.  There's nothing like the sweet smell of something yummy baking.  It makes me feel all warm and happy inside. 

My youngest niece Haley also loves to bake.  Although sometimes our ideas of "baking"  aren't on the same page.  We love baking from scratch, she on the other hand thinks placing a Pillsbury break and bake cookie on a tray is "baking".  So this weekend we compromised, we baked from a cake mix.  We always keep a few mixes and frosting on hand to use in a pinch.

My little baker had decided she was going to bake cupcakes.  There were all kinds of noises coming from the kitchen. I could hear doors and drawers being opened and closed, and the sound of metal as it crashed on the kitchen floor!  I shook my head as I rose from my chair.  I bravely walked to the kitchen, as I approached Haley looked at me and announced "we don't have any cupcake mix, I'll have to make brownies instead!"  I explained that you use a cake mix to bake cupcakes, we didn't need a special mix.  The look of happiness returned!  On the kitchen table she had already gathered all of the things we would need.  There were eggs, oil, a mixing bowl and whisk, and all sorts of measuring cups just waiting to be used.  

Haley informed me she didn't really need me to help, I could sit and watch...with great trepidation I took a seat at the kitchen table.  With the skills of a master baker she carefully measured.  She mixed and mixed until the batter looked just right.  I poured the batter into a large measuring cup to make putting the batter into the cupcake pan easier.  Chef Haley slowly poured the batter into each cup, licking her fingers every chance she could.  With her approval I placed them in the oven. She set the timer and waited as patiently as an eight year old could. Their sweet aroma began to fill the kitchen. It would only be a matter of time before they would be ready.

We placed the cupcakes on the rack, while they cooled Chef Haley gathered some frosting and sprinkles to decorate with.  Each cupcake was carefully frosted and covered in Halloween sprinkles.  Cleanup came next!  After licking bowls and whisks Haley even did her own dishes...She was so proud of all her work, and so was I!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Six Years Ago...

Six years ago today I lost someone, 
I lost a friend, a confidant, a mentor, I lost the most important person in my life, I lost my mother.

She was kind and gentle, or a force to be reckoned with!
I learned many of life's lessons from her...how to treat and respect others, to be true to myself, have faith in God, no matter what hand I was dealt, and to be responsible for my own actions.  

When we shopped she always bought extra food for those in need.  The bag was always left on the back porch of the rectory without any fanfare.  There was never a need for recognition. She prayed for those who were in need of God's blessings. She always looked after our elderly neighbors. She visited them, brought them meals and treats.

She worked as a nurse, sometimes caring for those forgotten by their families.  She cared for the elderly, mentally and physically disabled, and for prison inmates.  No matter what their affliction, they were cared for with kindness and compassion.  

Losing her has gotten easier over the years. But now and then a song will come on the radio, or I'll be cooking one of her favorites and I begin to cry. Sometimes out of sadness, other times, joy and happiness. I miss watching Jeopardy and crocheting with her, mother daughter vacations and lunches are now a pleasant memory.  She is always in my thoughts, I talk to her daily.  I find comfort in knowing she is resting in God's hands...

Harriet Grace
August 27, 1940-Ocotber 18, 2005