While I was growing up, there were two places my mom could be found; outside or in the kitchen. She was forever baking, yet rarely eating. Though, I'm told batter that drips from a spoon has fewer calories than batter that is baked into a brownie.
My mom believed children should be engaged with as peers, so she elevated my height to counter-level. I sat a few feet taller, and chatted to her about the tales of my day and then periodically pondered my future, all as she whipped eggs and taught butter a lesson with the end of a wooden spoon. Bowls meant for licking and beaters meant for sucking would be passed to me as I regaled my mom with the stories in my head. I still love to hop up on a counter and chat someone's ear off, and I can still be found with a face shiny and wet from an overzealous tongue attempting to reach the center rod of a metal beater. (Beaters are never licked when these birds bake for customers)
It wasn't all about bowl-licking. I did my fair share of cooking too. Though, with a bristle of confinement at having to bake indoors, I often grabbed up my gear and head to nature. And I did it naked. If you're already cooking outdoors, then why adhere to the rigid, moral structure of the modest indoor apron?
Baking is in my blood. . .or bones. . . or something a little less physically unappetizing. Rather, baking is in my mouth. It is in the conversations I have with myself while baking alone, and the conversations I have with Meg as we bake together. It's about the taste on my tongue that gives me a sensory story of the ingredients and their origin. And like a shared piece of cake on a single fork, my baking is in your mouth too.
Baking binds us, not with eggs or flax seed, but with time and connectivity.
What's your childhood food story?