19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Sunday, December 6, 1914: <<no entry>>
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
As we send Grandma off to live the rest of her life with the Bake-a-thon, I had an “ah ha” moment. Sometimes our best baking memories are the failures rather than the successes.
I recently told Uncle Carl (Grandma’s son) about my plans for the Bake-a-thon. He thought for a moment and then said:
You know, Mom’s cookies weren’t always the best. She’d burn them.
When, she did that, she’d say, “They’ll go.”
And, they did “go” because kids were always hungry.
Mom used that expression without any sense of guilt in burning them. We were grateful to get them, and they were still very good, as was the homemade bread, which never seemed to get burned.
You must remember they were baked in the oven of a coal or wood fired stove without any thermometer. That requires quite a bit of guess work.
Uncle Carl’s comment made me think about my first draft of the post I did about my memories of baking cookies. It originally included a paragraph about the time we forgot to put baking powder into the chocolate cookies. (It was a too many cooks thing).
After I’d written that paragraph, I decided that a story about a cookie failure didn’t belong in a post about baking memories so I deleted it. I now realize that I should have kept that paragraph.
Both baking successes and baking failures have the makings of wonderful memories.