Buckle up, friends. This might be a long post.
It’s been a while since I’ve written here. In fact, it had been so long that my Aunt called to make sure she wasn’t missing posts on my blog. #bloggingfail.
It’s not that I didn’t want to write. I almost felt like I was running out of ways to explain how I miss my mother with every single fiber of my being. I also needed to take a tiny step back from cooking. In some ways, I find cooking extremely therapeutic. In others, it just stirs up my grief and brings it to a boiling point until it bubbles over and pours out in a steady stream of tears.
Grief isn’t linear. Sure, there are stages of grief…but just because you go through one stage, it doesn’t mean you won’t return to it later. There’s no end to this process and you don’t go through the stages and then poof, you’re done grieving.
Also, summer gets crazy. The kiddo was at camp and we had a busy schedule. We also went on a family vacation and I didn’t feel the need to blog the recipes I made (they weren’t that exciting.) Is blog a verb? It is now.
We’re in more of a routine now. Kiddo is in school. First grade. How. Did. That. Happen? This week is the first school-wide activity. Because I’m a
good mom sucker, I signed up to bake two batches of brownies for the bake sale. I could have signed up for cookies or Rice Krispie treats, but I chose brownies.
Why? Because brownies make me think about baking with my Mom.
Some of my earliest childhood cooking memories involve brownies. It’s kind of amusing because Mom wasn’t really into baking. But, I distinctly remember making multiple batches of brownies with her. She’d let me help measure the ingredients, pour them into the bowl, stir it up, pour it into the pan…and then the best part, lick the spoon.
After the brownies cooled, we always tasted a piece for “quality control” as she called it. I watched as she carefully cut them into squares. What I was really watching for is where those prized corner pieces would end up on the platter. Those pieces were Mom’s favorite and quickly became mine too. When she realized that I loved them as much as she did, she made sure she got one, but often set aside the other three for me.
On a somewhat recent trip to a thrift store with Mom, I spotted a Baker’s Edge pan. I immediately squealed with delight because I had always been intrigued by these. A pan that promises crispy edges on ALL of the brownies? I remember telling her that I was going to use it whenever I made brownies and that we’d have to try it out, to make sure it really worked, you know, for “quality control” purposes. I never did get the chance to make brownies for her using the pan.
I used it for the first time tonight. She would have loved it. Crispy edges on EVERY piece. Also, easy clean up. I love this pan! I wanted to call Mom and tell her how amazing this pan really is.
When my brother and I sorted through everything in Mom’s house, we each found items – often simple items – that had special meaning for us. One of those for me was a basic brownie pan. I used that tonight too.
The kiddo helped me make the brownies just like I did with Mom (except he had no interest in licking the spoon). It was impossible not to think of Mom as we made them. The smell of brownies baking in the oven immediately makes me feel like a kid again. It’s as if I’m back in the kitchen with Mom.
That, my friends, is why I will always make the time to cook brownies for my kiddo’s bake sale at school. Would it be easier to just buy some brownies at the store or even easier…sign up to drop off juice boxes? Yes. But, if I did that, I wouldn’t have the time in the kitchen with my son. I wouldn’t be making more memories with him. I wouldn’t be remembering my own memories with Mom.
Besides, crispy edges are the best.