In celebration of Mother’s Day, we asked Wilton employees to share some special memories and stories. For many of us, our moms – or someone who is like a mom to us – piqued our interest in baking. Who did you learn from? What special memories do you have? Or, are you a mom who enjoys baking with her kids? In this series, we will feature a different story each day. We hope you enjoy reading the stories of those who chose to share their MOMent!
I have a big old, yellow, crackled glaze mixing bowl that sits up in my cabinet…it belonged to my grandmother. One look at it and I’m back in my childhood, in her kitchen in the house she lived in for over 60 years – the house I first learned to bake in. And by bake I mean from scratch: no boxes, no ready-made mixes or “just add water” for her or my mom. I didn’t even know boxed mixes existed until I was well into my teens and exploring baking on my own! I can easily recall standing in grandma’s kitchen, watching her hands knead the dough for cinnamon rolls, or for “kuchen”, a diabolically good cream cheese yeast dough dessert (or was it a breakfast? I think I ate it whenever I could) and telling, showing, teaching me along the way.
I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my mom, too. She had learned from her mom, and passed on the tradition to me and my sisters. That may not seem remarkable unless you know that I have five sisters and four brothers – and that she created delicious desserts for us almost every single night – from scratch. As my sisters and I got older we helped of course, but these were my grandmother and my mom’s recipes, their love and care put into every ingredient, every slice.
Now I bake with my daughters, and teach them how to do it “the old fashioned way”. I know they appreciate it, but I also know they convince me to buy box mixes for when there’s no time for homemade. I can only hope they look back on these times the way I do and think about how much love went into the making of those treats, and decide to carry on the tradition. If they have children of their own, I’ll make sure it happens!
The photo here is “kuchen” – my first attempt at making it by myself, without my mom coaching or watching me – which was 2 years ago! Don’t judge me – it’s a 2-day recipe that requires one’s full time and attention throughout the process. In the end, it’s worth it!