My First Taste Tester
When I began baking at the age of 14, I wasn’t aware of how cakes and cookies were made. I thought they came out of boxed mixes. It wasn’t until I was 23 and had my first baby that I learned to bake from scratch – that’s a story for another day, but back to when I was 14.
At that age, I had no idea that cookies should be baked for 8-10 minutes max. I would open the oven, see the almost raw cookies, and bake them for another 5-7 minutes. By then, the cookies would inevitably burn and be rock-hard. (Cookies bake as they cool from residual heat, so always remove them from the oven after the allotted time and just be patient!)
My grandmother, the sweetest, most gentle soul you would have ever met, would eat the overly-baked cookies and tell me they were delicious every single time.
My g-ma was my best friend, and I remember calling her every day after school to talk to her over the phone until my g-pa would scold her for being on the phone for too long. Unfortunately, she passed away a few months after my first baby was born, so I never had the chance to bake her anything from scratch, which I’m so very wretchedly sad about.
When I founded Mrs. Bakewell’s, I decided to include Bonne Maman preserves in our Cream Tea boxes as a tribute to my grandma. Bonne Maman is possibly the best preserves out there, but the main reason is that the name translates to “granny” in French. So, it means with every cream tea box I send out, she’s a small part of this incredible journey.
Be Like The Lotus
On those really tough days, I think about the positive affirmations and stories she would tell me, which gives me strength, and I am so thankful that she was my grandma. One lesson I think about every day is her telling me to be like the lotus. She would say a lotus grows and is surrounded by dirty pond water but doesn’t absorb it; instead, it rolls right off the petals. (Lotus petals have a waxy substance that repels water.) Likewise, she would instruct me to let people and problems roll off me and continue growing beautifully.
I am so lucky to have had such a wise and loving grandmother. In fact, all of my grandparents were brilliantly splendid and wise. I will forever be grateful for them and hope they know how much I love them.