Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Life and Death/ Sadness and Joy

On Monday, January 10th, the baking world lost one of the last remaining old time bakers, my mother in law. She was one of those bakers, that learned how to bake on an old wood stove, of which temperatures were told by the way the heat felt on your hands, not an oven thermometer.  Water had to pumped from the hand pump, and heated on the stove. The cream was the best, as it came from the cows that had recently been milked. There were no mixers in those early days, just hand beaters and wooden spoons.  As we fret about the temperatures of the ingredients we use, and the dough we bake, they did not even have refrigeration in those early days!

And yet, this woman learned to turn out the best cream puffs, kringles and pies I have ever tasted.  Her baked goods were prized at many bake sales and church meetings, many people ate her pies on a Monday summer evening at Snowshoe Baseball in Lake Tomahawk. 

Like most woman born in the early 1900's, the boxed cake mix was a blessing to her.  There were no bakeries around, no fast food, and the guys always had to be fed.  I sit back and think of just what a time saver that must have been for them, and what it treat it was if they could actually afford to buy one!

She will surely be missed, as she was so loved by her family and friends. Always willing to help and lend a hand.  She was also one of the kindest woman I have ever had the pleasure to know.

Death is a sad thing for those who are left behind, as we mourn our loss of the loved one. But, in that death is also the joy and belief in knowing she is now free!  Free from pain and sickness, free from the boundaries of our humanness. It is up to the ones left, to carry on in joy, the memories of those who have gone before us.  Time heals our wounds, and it is in each other that we find support to carry us through.

When she was first became very sick a few weeks agom I sent my husband and daughter to the hospital, while I stayed home and made supper for us and my brother in law. While I was doing this, I had the thought that it was the thing she would do, send others to make sure things were taken care of, while she stayed behind to do the cooking.  While she was in the hospital, I also made a big casserole in the slow cooker for all of us to be fed, while there visiting her.  It is in those little things, that I realize how much I am carrying on her memories.  I only hope I can continue, and keep up her baking tradition!

Zoe posted an almond chiffon cake on her Zoe Bakes website today, which will be so fitting for our family get together tomorrow night. My mother in law really enjoyed almond, and chiffon and angel food cakes were some of her favorites.

In closing, let the BAKING BEGIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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