I’m not one much for making things with my own hands. The most creative I tend to be is when my fingers dance across a keyboard. Now, there are somethings I have tried to accomplish over the years, however, to no avail and to not much success. Although, cooking and baking are something I do enjoy, I tend to use more box then scratch.
My Grandma Teddy, however, that woman, oh, I don’t think there was ever anything she didn’t make from scratch, at least in the kitchen. (translation: She made everything from scratch).
I have memories of walking into her house, the smells permeating from the kitchen were divine. Christmas time brought pies and cakes, but most of all, the plates of snickerdoodles.
Now, if you don’t know what a proper snickerdoodle is, I am so sorry for you luck. Those things they package and sell don’t even come close. The pure sugar and cinnamon delight that gets stuck in the shortening that is currently coating the inside of your mouth while the cookie just melts away is a pleasure I think everyone should have.
You could get so lost in those cookies you would almost forget that there were presents under the tree waiting to be unwrapped.
Or the summer’s I would go up and visit her and beg and torment her to make me a lemon meringue pie. I swear she only made them because she knew it was a great way to make me take a nap. But, before the nap, my job was to go out in the yard and get the lemons from the tree. Off I would truck, grabbing them up, bringing them back and waiting. I’m not sure if I ever helped with any other part of the process, but watching her make it is stuck in my brain.
Now, again, like everything my Grandma Teddy ever made, she did it with this ease that seemed like it was nothing. She also did it to excellence. The lemon meringue pie was tart, so tart your lips would pucker up, your tongue squeeze, and your eyes would water. Then the sweetness of it would take over and you just couldn’t help but put that fork back into that pie and do it again.
And let’s not forget about the meringue. Not that store bought pie meringue. I’m talking 3 inches or more of meringue on top of that pie, she would whip it stiff, dollop it on, and bake it to a golden tipped brown goodness, and it would just melt away in your mouth with each bite.
There were other things she made by hand for me, my blanket, a teddy bear that was a polar bear with a cape (ok, I turned it’s apron around and made it a cape, not sure why a boy would want an apron on a teddy bear, or a teddy bear for that fact at all.. but hey, don’t judge), a train conductor outfit that I so badly wanted to have (I was 9, it was cool)…
Guess the thing I miss the most is not having her in my life anymore. Because for all the things she made me, the most handmade thing she ever made me was to feel loved.
And you can’t buy that in a store.