My grandma was like Wonder Woman to me when I was growing up. She had already raised my mom and aunt, ran a successful dairy farm, and owned a hardware store.
Sure we did all the girly stuff we could, she liked to put my hair in curlers and set me under the blow-dryer while we played barbies.
Or we would go for walks out in the old cow pasture, plant things in the garden and filling my flower basket with fresh flowers. But there was one thing that really stuck out when I went to visit - this was her baking.
Image by yooperann on Flickr
I remember as a little girl, staying at my grandparents and baking up a storm. Grandma and I would bake delicious cookies, gourmet brownies, scrumptious cakes, you name it, we baked it! I guess you could say that Grandma was a "horrible" influence on me. But I loved every second of it!
She single-handedly got me addicted to baking at a very young age. There were many times when my mom would come to pick me up and I would be in the kitchen, covered head to toe with flour from our baking.
Mom never scolded though, because she knew I was doing something good. Grandma was teaching me a life lesson that I wouldn't soon forget, and still haven't to this day! I hold those lessons tight, and the memories even tighter.
There was one occasion that I woke up to the smell of something delicious baking. I was both excited and sad that she didn't wait for me to wake up before she started baking. I hurried down the stairs in my pajamas with my teddy bear in tow, to see her pulling a delicious blueberry breakfast cake out of the oven.
The smell was intoxicating and I shuffled over to the stove top where she placed the pan so I could inhale the warm blueberry scent. It was the best thing I had ever smelled. How did she do it? She must have magic powers!
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, egg, and melted butter with a mixer on low speed until combined. Fold in the blueberries and corn flakes then pour it into a 9" x 13" greased pan.
Combine, and cut in butter until all the particles are nice and fine then sprinkle the topping over the cake. Bake the cake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
Grandma was (and still is) an incredible baker. She taught me to be creative. So in my teen years, my best friend and I would have sleep overs and bake cakes. We'd always start with a white cake mix and white frosting so we could get crazy with the food coloring. There was one cake that was bright pink with electric blue frosting, it was so bright we had to eat it with sunglasses on.
Even though my best friend and I are miles apart, and older now, we still send each other thinking of you gift baskets that usually have some brightly colored cakes and goodies. I always make sure to put in a bag of iced cookies for her kids.
Now that I'm older, I'm instilling those same cooking values in my kids. My son and I like to make Grandma's (now Great-Grandma's) Blueberry Breakfast Cake on Saturday mornings. He pulls out his step stool, gathers all the ingredients and we spend time together talking about what we did during the week. I can only hope that he carries on this tradition with his kids.
I'm hoping that when my youngest son is old enough that he can help bake as well, he's already shown a great desire. He and I do the "no-bake" stuff, like pudding pies and no bake cookies. His favorite part is mixing up the ingredients with his hands.
I still love baking anything I can. Of course, I've got to try out the recipe before I can put it on here right?