As promised, cookies were baked this morning. My girlies love to bake and it is a sweet moment to share this love with them. My Grandmother fostered this love in me, as she always baked with my sister and I when we were little. I cherish memories of the delectable smells of freshly baked bread, sugar cookies, thimble cookies, jam jams and so much more. If we were patient, it was a treat to be given a beater or spoon to lick the sweet confections off of them. The bowl was the "icing on the cake", if you will. There was never a fear of becoming ill from the raw eggs in the batter. I have eaten so much raw batter that I do not worry about it, although the baked cookies are more to my taste now. My children's delighted faces that light up with the promise of their own spoon to lick is a beautiful reminder of my youth. I cannot help but smile and send lovely little "thank yous" through the air to dear Grammy that gave me this gift in the first place.
My Grandfather also comes to my heart and mind, as the baking progresses. I have two of my Grandmothers baking sheets that my Grandfather made. While I have a cupboard full of baking sheets, the two Grandpa made are my favourite. The cookies always come off perfectly and the sheets clean up easily. They look brand new and I know that is a sign of quality. They have seen umpteen number of treats and they will see numerous more if my children have anything to say about it.
My Grandparents were a special part of my childhood that I hold close and cherish more as my days go on. I appreciate their self-sufficiency in a world they literally built from the ground up. They constructed a house blasted from the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia. Grandpa kept chickens and we gathered eggs by the dozen when we visited. The fowls also graced the soup pot when they were done laying, a fact that bothered my childhood sensibilities.
Today I let nothing go to waste and boil chicken carcasses into stock with a nod to Grandma again. A raised garden bed filled their kitchen table and larders with veggies. Raspberries, peas, strawberries and beans were thinned out by my sister and my little hands with glee. The canning process that saw their produce saved for winter serving was something I attempted to recreate this Fall. I aspire to get better at it as the years go by. My modern family thinks I am a little goofy for spending so much time at these menial tasks, but my jams are always accepted by all. Should we slow down and appreciate the gifts that are offered us by Mother Earth and memory? I cannot answer for all, but for myself I know the glee glimpsed on my little girls faces when aprons are pulled out tells me yes. Most definitely yes.
Thank you Grandma. Thank you Grandpa. Merry Christmas.