Dinner or Dessert: Which do you prefer?

I grew-up knowing how to cook.  Correction.  I learned how to cook, by default.  I remember my grandmother taught me how to bake.  Cooking and baking are two different things.  One is a science; the other is to taste.

Anyone ever have a salty Angle Food Cake?  Or sour whipped cream?

The thing I love most about my grandmother's cooking is simple:  I had to earn her trust to learn how to cook like her.

It took thirteen years to earn that privledge. 

I was the bastard child who had to fight her way to the top.  But when I did, boy, did I win her heart!

For some reason, I'm in the mood to make cookies today.

The Old Woman (as I used to call her) used to make Russian Rocks.  They were dry chocolate-chip cookies.  They were my favorites.  She gave me her recipie.  Considering I was not "one of hers", it meant so much more to me, to be given something so personal as her own brand of cooking.  A woman's cooking is her trademark.  It's her way of making sure her family keeps coming back for more. (Provided it's good and yummy, of course!)

My grandmother was Old-World Sicilian, but she married a man from Naples.  Food was complex but delicious.  Gravy was gravy... meaning macaroni was made with red meat sauce called "gravy".  It had meatballs, sausage, braciole, pork in it ..and  just writing about it makes me salivate.  She was funny, because she would tell people how she made her food, but she'd always leave key ingredients out.  She wouldn't necessarily  lie, per se, she'd just leave certain details out.  A cook can do that.  A dash here, a pinch there... it's all a matter to taste, right?

Baking... now that's where a person cannot be a fake.

So for the Old Woman to share a part of herself with me... well... that's special.

Today I'm baking cookies for my children.

It was the first full-week of school for them.

It was tough for them, and for me.

Separation always is.

I need them to be happy coming home.

Baking always does the trick for all of us.  They love my chocolate-chip cookies.  I make sure they each get what they want.  Some like them with chips... some like them without chips... others like the dough.  Great thing about being The Mom... a mother always knows!

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