Inquisitive humans that we are, most of us love to understand a little more about the bloggers we visit. Where do they come from? What is the stuffing that fills their lives. I thought I would initiate my blog with the excerpt of an article I published a few years ago. Thought this might give you insight into who I am.
Knee Deep in Flour
Our marathon baking contests are legendary. Over the years, they have not only warmed our kitchen, they have kept our family together, even when distance prevailed.
It all began when the children were young. Four in a row they came: two girls, two boys. Back then, we worked hard, sometimes deploring the experience of too much month at the end of the money. With four children under the age of 10, I was a stay-at-home mom. I worked part-time with occasional sales of home products during the evening, when my husband came home from a hard day at the office to take his watch: homework and baths.
Then one day, we found ourselves eying and circling an old freezer a neighbor displayed on his lawn, at his moving-across-the-country sale. It was huge. My husband and I both looked at each other with the same light bulb gleaming on our forehead.
“You’re an excellent cook,” he began with a compliment.
“I could cook in bulk and freeze it,” I added, my hand squeezing his for the compliment. After all, there were always new shoes to buy, new lunch boxes to fill, new school bags to equip—come September, the itemized list of gets from each teacher was long and extensive.
Thus began our cooking marathons. The children would gather around, even my youngest boy, and each of them had tasks assigned. We canned sauces, blended stews, precooked vegetables, and my chefs in the making learned to stir, mix, and simmer.
It was around thanksgiving that the magic of baking filled our lives. I say filled because the flour came down on us like rain. Pies, cookies, quick breads, dinner rolls, and all sorts of fancy pastries took shape as we became better and better at keeping the flour out of our hair and into the goodies. “Lightly dust the counter,” the recipe would call for. Well, when each one wanted to take his turn at flinging flour to all four corners, we’d have four pairs of eyes peering through a white haze to watch their creation take shape.
We rolled and rolled, four rolling pins of three different sizes, tongues to the side licking floury lips, blowing it off our noses. A lot of laughter went on in that kitchen. Sometimes it would attract others to our area. They’d stomp in to glimpse at the tears streaming down our white faces leaving traces of their passage on our cheeks, and leave perplexed, unknowingly trailing flour to other parts of the house.
As with most good times, winds of change blurred the picture and moved us on. My grown up children left the nest to start their own families. We write from time to time, exchanging recipes, as all of them cook and bake. In fact, my youngest son is the sole Chef in his family while his wife is forever grateful for those days of ‘Knee Deep in Flour’.
Today, I look back with fondness on those days when smiles would stretch to fill our every need; when laughter was all that the house needed to stay warm and cozy. I remember the flour and must admit that it’s true. It makes excellent glue.