Childhood Memory: Baked with Love

One of my favorite childhood memories is my great-grandmother’s baking. Her cakes and pies were in such demand that many local restaurants would buy them from her directly so they could advertise “homemade” desserts. This little side-hustle kept her busy well into her 80’s.

Though delivering to restaurants twice a week requires quite a few cakes and pies to be baked, the majority of what my great-grandmother made wasn’t for commerical purposes. Most of what she baked was to be given away to neighbors, friends, family, and just whomever may drift through the community and have a sweet tooth.

Often times she’d spend the morning baking and in the early afternoon we’d drive around and make drop offs. Given her age, she knew many who were without family and living alone or in a rest home. So she tried her best to make sure everyone got a weekly delivery of a freshly baked cake or pie of their choice.

Though at the time as a young whipper snapper I may not have always wanted to drive around and visit “old” people. However, as hindsight is always 20/20, as I look back now what I can clearly remember as if I was walking in the rooms/houses as I type this post, I can vividly recall the smiles that would be on the recipient’s face as they saw us approach. (As I got older, I was entrusted with the carrying of the baked goods to the door.)

This past week while doing our exercise of walking up and down the grocery aisles, my lady asked if she got cake mix if I’d bake it. I agreed. Earlier today I was cleaning the kitchen and upon opening one of the cabinets to put something away, I saw the cake mix which had been purchased just days before. I decided then that today was the day for me to uphold my end of the deal and bake the cake.

As it was baking, I could feel my late great-grandmother’s presence with me at every step. Though this cake isn’t likely to win any beauty contests anytime soon, when I once asked my great-grandmother what her secret was to baking she replied, “I bake with love.” So looks aside, this cake is as good now as I remember it being then.

* P.S. Despite how this may read, I’ve never been a big sweet eater. I prefer salt to sugar. Yet I can still bake my a** off when I want to.