Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Clara/Melissa Project

Grandma Clara taught me how to bake. She was patient enough to give me free lessons in her kitchen during the summer. It was one of my favorite places to be. I would sit at her kitchenette on my knees like a little sous baker and hand her baking tools just like a nurse does for a surgeon. She was my Julia. She taught me how to sift, measure and pour every last drop of batter into a cake pan.

Grandma was a career woman. She baked for the Victoria School District for 30 years. Her banana bread was to die for and everybody coveted Clara's spice bars! Every time we visited, she had a batch waiting along with a pecan pie for Dad and a lemon meringue pie without-the-meringue for my sister.

She always had friends and family drop in and aside from her lovable personality, I think her sweets had a bit to do with it. I would watch her "drop ins" light up when she offered them a piece of fruit cake and I quickly learned how thrilling it could be when someone oohed and ahhed over homemade desserts. What awesome affirmation! I was hooked.

Some time ago, I was somewhere when a man somehow related to my Grandma came up to me and told me that he loved my Grandma's spice bars. Whoever he was, wherever we were and whenever it was I don't even remember. All that mattered to me was that he remembered my grandma's baking. I was so proud.

Looking back, I think what an amazing legacy Grandma left! So, in honor of Grandma Clara, I decided to challenge myself Julie & Julia style and bake my way through the dessert section of the Victoria Schools cookbook and I'm going to start with spice bars!

P.S. Julia Child learned to cook at the same age that I am today. Coincidence?

1 comment:

  1. I think I better try all of these baked goods... you know, just to help you with your project.