Memories Baking with Mawmaw

My grandmother (Mawmaw) did a lot of baking when I was growing up. When I was about 3 or 4 years old is when she started pulling a chair up next to the counter, let me stand in the chair and help her. I have so many memories of making cakes, pies and various other goodies with Mawmaw. Thanksgiving always had those wonderful pies you find in the south. Pecan pies, sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie, 7-Up Cake, just to name a few. And Christmas, not only did she make a marvelous cake, she also made some candies like divinity which would just melt in your mouth. How I miss those days and wish Mawmaw had lived longer so I could remember how she made each pie, cake, etc. she made. Luckily, I have her recipe box and plan on starting to make something from her recipes once a month.

I was baking a Finnish oven pancake (Pannu Kakku) the other day for my grown son. It’s a recipe a dear friend who is Finnish shared with me and my family loves it. As I was mixing the ingredients, this memory of me and Mawmaw standing at the kitchen counter making some type of cake came flooding back. I must have been around 5 or 6 years old. She was letting me measure and pour the ingredients into the mixing bowl. Apparently, there was an ingredient that should have gone in last. I can’t remember what the ingredient was just that I had gone ahead and put it in and started stirring and for some reason I always stirred clockwise. Mawmaw stopped me and asked if I had just put that specific ingredient in. When I said yes, she stopped me and said that was supposed to go in last. Standing there staring down at the mixing bowl and thinking fast I immediately started stirring counter clockwise. Mawmaw asked what I was doing. I quickly replied, “I’m stirring it backwards to unstir the ingredients so we can take out the wrong ingredient I put in.” Mawmaw, in her sweet and loving voice told me that I could not unstir ingredients because once they are mixed in then it’s all mixed up. Then she started laughing so hard she had tears running down her face. Thinking back, while I didn’t think her laughing was funny at the time, I can laugh now. Oh, the mind of a child!

Since my son was young, my husband and I have had him in the kitchen teaching him to cook. And, if I do say so myself, the boy can cook! I have recently taken up some baking thanks to my dear friend who LOVES to be in the kitchen baking. She and I share our memories with each other of being in the kitchen with our grandmothers. She has taught me so much about baking which I am so thankful for since I cannot remember all of the tricks my grandmother used in her baking. Baking has helped bring back so many happy memories of being in the kitchen with Mawmaw. I also did a little baking with my granddaughter when she was younger. She now has a love of baking and bakes some amazing goodies.

Do you ever step into the kitchen and find yourself reminiscing about the smells of your favorite things cooking and/or baking when you were a child? I always love all of my fond memories with my Mawmaw but if I had to pick just one, it would always be when I was in the kitchen with her standing on a chair so I could reach the counter helping her mix ingredients of the next pie or cake she was baking. She would always let me lick the batter from the bowl, mixer or spoon. The smell of whatever was in the oven would test my patience as I waited for whatever was baking to come out of the oven so I could share a piece with Mawmaw.

Make sure you make memories with your children or grandchildren when they are young. One day, they will think back on those times with a smile and a warmth in their heart that cannot be defined.

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