Thursday, December 6, 2012

Here We Come A Baking

I love baking during the holiday season. And I come by it honestly. My grandmother was the absolute, hands down, without a doubt BEST BAKER IN THE WORLD. Everything she made was from scratch and I loved spending time with her in the kitchen any time she was baking any of her many deliciously delectable delights.

She made homemade biscuits every single day of her life. Biscuits that she learned how to make from my great grandmother. They were TO DIE FOR. And I'm not exaggerating. And she made cakes throughout the year for people. As well as her yeast rolls. But, during the holidays, the baking was taken to a whole new level.

At Thanksgiving, she served up a feast of turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, rice, gravy, homemade yeast rolls, broccoli casserole, cranberry sauce, and homemade pies and cakes. How in the world I was a thin youngster I will never know.

At Christmas the dining room table was filled with homemade cakes with no less than 4 to 6 layers- coconut, pineapple, chocolate. The house would fill up with the sweetest, warmest baking aromas and there was always just enough left in the bowl for licking. There were cookies, fudge, and other candies- all homemade. A ham with cloves, pineapple slices and cherries all over the surface covered with a sweet honey and mustard glaze sliced to perfection.

It's no wonder that I enjoy baking so much. There are so many wonderful memories associated with every part of holiday baking. And so, every year, I look forward to this season of my favorite holidays and all the baking that I do. Most of the recipes are the old, reliable ones of my childhood. I do try a few new ones every couple of years, but they're rarely good enough to win a spot on our holiday table.

The lovelies look forward to the holiday baking as well. They started helping out as soon as they were old enough to stand on a chair to reach the kitchen counter. Now, as each one comes home for the holidays, they pitch in with the baking. As a matter of fact, they insist that I save some things for them to do instead of having it all done for them when they arrive.

We have such fun during this time. Our dining area was the place for many things throughout the years besides family meals- creating school projects, studying, reading, playing telephone, board games, card games, jigsaw puzzles, girl talk, heated discussions, words of encouragement, silly-girl-giggly-tales with friends...and sisters.

But the best times of all were, and continue to be, the cherished moments baking those holiday goodies. When we come together and catch each other up on what's going on in our lives since everyone got so grown up so quickly. No matter that we talk daily, it's still better up close and in person. And no one ever minds hearing it again. And again. Because it's the holiday season. There's baking to be done. Memories to recall. Stories to tell.

And, best of all, we're all here. Together.


  1. Two of the things that came to California were my mother's rolling pin and her cookie press. I look forward to baking with Freja when she can stand on a chair and help stir. Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family.

  2. Suzanne- Aunt Betty still has Grandmother's rolling pin. I can remember standing there watching her roll out biscuits. I can just imagine you and Freja making cookies! What a sweet sight! Wish you were going to be here for the oyster roast!

  3. Sounds like a blast. I did some baking today too, but alone :(. They do enjoy it, when I bring them cookies though....haha

  4. Betty- I know that I would certainly enjoy it if you brought me some cookies! :)

  5. LOVE Christmas cookie baking!! When i was a kid we did it the Friday after Thanksgiving!! I love those times with my mom and my sister!!!

  6. Deb- Me too! I still love it when the lovelies are home. But I always miss my grandmother- she was the best!

  7. I'm not a baker, my grandmother was but she did not pass the art on to me! Our family has an Annual Cookie Day. My daughters, all the grandkiddo's and this year a niece who recently moved to Colorado, will meet at my lovely daughter's (by marriage) home, for a day of baking! We each make two recipes ( the kids each pick one recipe to bake ) then we exchange at the end of the day. This tradition has become one of our favorite days of the year.

  8. Can you please adopt me? Really, I'm no trouble and always clean up after myself. I really want to try all those baked goodies....and I need a new family now anyway...:)

  9. What wonderful memories of your grandmother! She did sound like a great cook/baker! I love how they just made things from scratch with no written down recipes and no measurements. My mom would tell stories of my grandmother making bread every day and putting in a handful of this, a handful of that; no measuring cups or spoons used, but always delicious.

    Sounds like a fantastic experience you have carried through to your daughters with baking and the special bonds that come with times spent in the kitchen!


  10. We have a cookie baking day. We don't need the cookies ... and I'm at the age where it's pretty exhausting by the end of the day, but the memories we make are so worth it, especially now that the grands are big enough to join in.

  11. I love to bake, but we just can't eat it as often as I'd like to make it. I love Christmas because I can bake and give away. My mom is a champion when it comes to the Christmas cookie. She is famous for the quality and quantity she still produces. Everyone has their favorites so it's hard for her to cut back. We all tell her she should, but then when she says she's not making a particular variety, someone revolts : )

    Enjoy your weekend!

  12. It's always so much more fun to do that Christmas baking when others are there with you, isn't it! It's 11:45 AM and I'm reading your account of all those delicious goodies - makes me hungry! :-)

  13. Yum!
    It sounds wonderful, warm and fuzzy!
    I have similar memories with my mother, she was the best baker this side of the Atlantic! We used to have a kind of production line for mince funny, it was! With 5 big hungry boys and lots of their friends, everything got eaten, and we were all stick thin!

  14. I remember baking with my kids - and with the Brownies - some long years ago. But I don't bake much at all any more. No one to eat that great stuff who should be eating it. If you know what I mean.

  15. Gosh Pam, how wonderful your grandma sounds with all that amazing baking! It all sounded divine i must admit. How lovely that you are carrying on with thetradition and spending good times with your lovelies as well. Oh! Can you adopt me as well!!

  16. Shawn- I remember that y’all have the cookie day! I always look forward to the pictures that you share with us! Your family is so lovely and y’all always seem to be having such fun.

    Alessandra- YES! You are always welcome here and we would LOVE to be your new family!

    Betty- My grandmother was the BEST! Actually, both of them were great, I was just a bit closer to this one. She baked like that too- no recipes. She always said things like, “Just put enough in until it feels right.” LOL No wonder we can’t reproduce her recipes!

    Kathy- I understand the part about it being exhausting by the end of the day. But, like you, I find it all worth it!

    Joyce- That’s one nice thing about hosting the oyster roast- everyone eats up everything and I don’t eat it all when they leave. LOL Your mom is just like my dad. He keeps saying he’s going to cut back on the cookies or not make a certain kind and everyone (including me) goes NUTS!

    Judy- It sure is more fun with others around. Ha! I got hungry writing it! LOL

    Mimi- I have absolutely GOT to try a mince pie one day. I’ve never had one. I don’t even know what goes into one. But I’ve always been curious. I was stick thin once too. Even when eating all of grandmother’s goodies. Wish they had at least shared THAT secret ingredient with us. LOL

    Stephanie- I know exactly what you mean. Which is one reason why we host the oyster roast every year. LOL

    Diane- She was so great! And yes! I will adopt you too! Come on over! And bring the grands! We’ll have such a great time!

  17. Your grandmother sounds like an amazing woman. I love to bake. I would rather bake than cook a meal.
    I do enjoy the holidays and all the baking. I will be starting next week and I can't wait. Enjoy your time in the kitchen.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It makes me feel connected to everyone even though we may live far apart! Have a wonderful day!

Design by Imagination Designs
Illustration by MerryLittleDoodle
Background by CinnamonDove