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CHILDHOOD MEMORIES AND LESSONS TOO

September 15, 2013

I think we are all aware that sometimes a childhood memory will creep into our thoughts without any warning. Sometimes they are happy, others not so much. Sometimes it is such a minor detail that you wonder why it even crossed your mind, and where had it been hiding all of these years?

I had a very full weekend that involved a couple of days of preparation ahead of time. Two full days of assembly line baking for a couple of church events that just happened to fall on the same day. Wishing that I had a couple of grandkids nearby, so they could lick the beaters, so I wouldn’t be tempted to be a kid again and lick them myself! (Yes,of course I did!)
As I had the spatula in hand to scrape the excess cake batter from the beaters, I had a sudden flash of watching my Mother meticulously scraping the beaters clean. So clean, there was nothing left to lick, nor to be wasted in the dishwater. She could scrape a beater “slicker than a whistle!” I can remember commenting that she had left nothing to lick. She told me that she thought I was too old to lick the beaters, but with a smile on her face, she quickly dipped the beater back into the bowl, so that I would have something to lick!
Why the marathon baking sessions?
The second Saturday of the month is our parish Healing Mass and Prayer Shawl Blessing followed by a social hour with coffee and sweets. I usually bake or sometimes buy something to contribute to the event. It also happened to be our parish picnic. Cakes, pies, cookies and brownies were needed for desserts for the chicken dinner as well as prizes at the cake stand. Following in my Grandma Wayne’s footsteps, I baked a little bit of everything, to make sure that all bases were covered. Of course there were a couple new recipes that I wanted to try out, and then there is the no fail standbys’ that you just have to take. Must bake a little extra to insure that there is enough. Oh and don’t forget some cupcakes for the kids!
Saturday morning had arrived, up at 6:00 and at church by 7:30 with two different treats plated. I set up the prayer shawls for the blessing. Other ladies are setting up the coffee and snacks, tables and chairs. Mass starts at 8:00. Followed by fellowship with friends. I return home at 10 to pick up hubby so that we can go downtown to the farmers market for fresh fruits and veggies. Home at noon, time for a nap! Lunch and pack up for my afternoon duties! I carry four different baked goods out to the car for the picnic. (In a flash I visualize Grandma loading up her big red Plymouth with all of her homemade goodies!)

I worked from 2-4 serving fried chicken at the carry-out line, then I changed clothes and shoes, to head across the parking lot to church for evening Mass, where I was scheduled as a Eucharistic Minister, hubby had arrived in time for Mass, afterwards, we sat down to eat dinner with friends that we haven’t seen since last year’s picnic. We then went outside to participate in several games, except for the cake booth!!! I had no desire to win one!! I guess I could have donated it back, if I did win it. I should have played, I would have paid true homage to Grandma. She always ran the cake stand at the Cahokia Fireman’s picnics. She also made aprons for the apron booth, and had done more than her fair share of quilting on the raffle quilts, as well as embroidered pillowcases for the pillowcase booth. Not to mention the group of ladies who gathered in her kitchen to make the homemade potato salad and coleslaw. (And I helped!)

People have always asked me why I thought I had to do it all, especially my Mom. It’s simple, I learned it from my Grandma!

Did she know that she was teaching lessons that would be passed on to future generations? I hope she knows I was paying attention and that I have passed the gene on to my daughters!

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