Everyday Dose Of Reality
Every year when fall blows in I feel an incredible urge to bake. I’m not sure if it is because I am a woman or if it is some deep seeded tradition. Fond memories of a table and counters at my grandmother’s house, draped with goodies fresh out of the oven. Cookies piled high on cooling racks, apple and pecan pie wafting in the air. The main dining table was large with a train circling its tracks. Carrying from one person to another fresh donuts cooled to room temperature. A car would stop in front of my seat and I would dip or glaze a few cake donuts. Next stop my cousin David, sprinkles or shaved chocolate scattered on top. We decorated cookies and wrapped popcorn balls the same way every year. The time it must have taken to set up the train, and the hours unseen of baking must have been obscene. Now that I am older and understand the amount of time and cleaning she went through just to make those moments for us, I have to smile immensely to myself.
A few years ago, before we had our house fire, fall would blow in. Trees in the yard were stripped of their apples and plums. Pots of homemade applesauce bubbled on my stove. Jars of plum jams stacked in a pyramid in the corner. Pies lined my counters and filled the oven to later be frozen and or given to the neighbors. Cookies piled high on platters, while popcorn balls spilled over in baskets. Giant cinnamon pecan rolls perched on cooling racks stacked four feet tall, and the kids fingers testing to see if the caramel was cool enough for a bite. The chime of a train whistle heard from my dining room table as it chugged down the tracks. Stopping from child to child, decorating fresh cake donuts. Sprinkles scattered on the floor, the dogs asleep under the table dreaming of the next morsel to fall. All the while my husband stood there in utter amazement. Stunned by the mess, taken aback at the kitchen turned bakery on a whim and dazzled, as if a little kid himself, watching the train of donuts make its rounds.
Although my train has not been replaced yet, that does not slow us down. It is early Saturday morning, the little kids are awake, the mixer is out. Cooling racks stacked up, cookie sheets line the counters and my rolling pin is floured. Bowls of cookie mix, pie dough, chocolate chip muffins and peanut butter dog treats wait for them. An icy white frost covers the ground outside, there is a crisp chill in the air. Fall has blown in again, and for me this is natural, normal. I smile to myself as I see their little faces light up, through a thin cloud of powdered sugar as they mix, cut and take the first bit of a chocolate muffin and the semi sweetness melts on their tongues.