Baking is evocative. Certain desserts resonate for me and making them transports me to a different time and place. These sweets are touchstones to the past and to those who no longer are here to bake in the present. Rolling out Christmas cookies across generations ties the years together. I stand behind my grandmother and mother, with my daughters behind me, sharing stolen bites of that rich, molasses-dark, cinnamon-scented dough. There’s comfort in the repetition and ritual.mediterranean-rolling-pins

403620_2832763903517_1447130366_nBaking is traditional. Each season and holiday has its iconic desserts. Sticky buns herald Christmas.    Strawberry rhDSCN0244ubarb pie ushers in spring. Freshly baked apple crisp marks the official advent of fall. The latter isn’t simply apples, sugar, cinnamon, oats and flour. It embodies those crisp fall days with a taste of winter chill in the morning– The “Mandatory Family Fun Day” orchard trip with now-recalcitrant teens to pick apples–The crisp snap of a bite into a freshly picked apple–The peels and slices snapped up by our much-loved and missed family dog.  All wrapped together, heated and served with creamy mounds of vanilla ice cream. Transcendent.

DSCN0225Baking is restorative. Magical. The ingredients rest separately, pristine in their containers.  Fluffy, soft flour, crystalline sugar, golden sticks of butter.  Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice: Those lushly scented spices speak of comfort, warmth, acceptance and love. Separate, awaiting transformation. Rich in potential.

In these crazy end-of-the-year school days, I set my work aside and take comfort in measuring, blending, creaming. Mixing ingredients, I step away from the chaos and move into a slower, gentler pace. Baking soothes me.

7 thoughts on “Baking

  1. Kathleen says:

    What a lovely post! I love the part about standing behind your grandmother and mother while your daughters stand behind you- such a powerful, comforting image of baking connecting you all. I am the world’s worst cook and baker, though I fully enjoy eating the baked goods! I’m glad you have something creative, delicious and comforting to soothe you during this stressful time. This was a beautiful piece of writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. mbhmaine says:

    Thanks, Kathleen! Baking always makes me feel closer to my mother and grandmother.


  3. Amy says:

    Looks super yummy! My comfort zone is definitely not in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loralee says:

    Beautiful writing about family and memories and the joy of baking.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Can i come to your house molly


  6. Anonymous says:

    Love reading your prose. It is so you. And, btw……coconut cake is not restorative, soothing or any of your other beautiful adjectives.


  7. SJR says:

    this is so evocative of the meaning of food and sharing and memories and connection. i love to cook, so i can connect with your feelings.


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