Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Magic of Baking



Do you remember when you were a kid just how much you looked forward to your mom doing baking? It didn’t matter what kind of baking that she did. The house would smell just fantastic and whether it was bread, cake or cookies, you knew that at some point in time you would be able to hold some home baked goodness in your hands.

Perhaps the best part was when mom had finished mixing the batter and had filled the cup cake tins or dropped the cookies on the sheet and popped the whole shebang in the oven. That isn’t the best part; the best part was when she would say “Who wants to lick the bowl?

I always wanted to be first, but to my way of thinking I shouldn’t be too greedy. My brother Steve didn’t think the same way and more often than not I would get the Christians share of the bowl while Steve took the lions share. I can’t remember, but I am pretty sure there would be tears and mom would give me the spoon to lick. It didn’t have as much batter or icing on it, but it was easier to handle with little hands and a tiny mouth. I don’t think the baked cookies or cake tasted nearly as good as the raw dough.

Now that I am grown, I for some reason don’t like to lick the bowls. When I would do baking while the kids were home, I would make sure that they had the same kind of memory of baking that I had and would give them a fair share of whatever raw dough there was. When I say I would give them, I mean that Louise would give them the dough, because as I said the raw dough doesn’t do too much for me.

Today I am making a cake for Louise’s birthday celebration tomorrow. It will be our family’s version of a Black Forest cake, with lots of whipped cream and cherry filling. On the top will be a poorly written birthday wish and a couple of candles. Inside it will be just delightful! The whipped cream and cherry filling will come tomorrow. Today I made the batter and after I had poured it into the pan and tossed it into the 375° oven to bake, I called out `Who wants to lick the bowl?” From the other room, Louise bellowed “I do!”

I took her the bowl and spatula and watched as she took a tasty trip into her childhood. I’m not sure who felt better about it, her or me. Probably she did because it wasn’t too long before she brought it into the kitchen where I was tidying up.

You know, I never had the opportunity to let my mom and dad lick a bowl of batter or icing. Mom was a great baker and there was no question of me or Louise doing any baking when she was around. Dad was diabetic, so for the most part he shouldn’t have had anything sweet anyways. Even with diabetes, dad was willing to take a chance on a coma for a taste or two of something sweet. Dad believed that you should take everything in moderation, especially the doctor’s advice.

Make sure that you let the kids lick the bowls and spoons clean. If you are able, offer the spoon to a grand parent, and watch to see that old man or woman turn into a child again for a moment or two. That is the magic of baking.

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