Today is the start of a new series “On Baking” which is a natural fit for me and my blog. Although I started the blog quickly last year just before the holidays (not hastily, however, as I included three (3) in-depth tutorials), I wanted to take the time to share with my readers some of my baking experiences and the memories associated with them. In Part 1 of the series, I will be sharing my very first baking experience.
Ever since I was very young, I loved baking. In fact, I baked my first pies at the tender age of 5, along with my partner in crime, my 3-year-old little sister. One hot summer day, we decided to bake some pies. The rain had just stopped and we were allowed to go back outside. There we were, working away making and baking our mud pies. Together. Me and my sister. Having fun. In the summer. In our “babin’ suits”. (It is what we called our little string bikini bathing suits. In fact, during the summer months, we went straight from our PJs into our babin’ suits.) We were in the squishy mud. And, we loved it. We were not afraid of getting down and dirty either. In fact, as I recall, we were pretty much covered in mud from head to toe!
We carefully pat each tiny handful of mud into a round ball in our hands squeezing out any excess water. Then, we carefully placed the rounds on the perfect hot baking surface—the flat edge of concrete along the driveway. It was hot from the sun and ideal for baking our mud pies. Next, we carefully pat each round out into a flat circle. And, just as we were watching and waiting for our mud pies to bake, and crackle just as the top layer of mud does in a ditch following rain and adequate sunshine, my mother came running out of the front door of our house to find her little girls all muddy in the front ditch.
To say she was horrified is an understatement. She really did worry what the neighbors would think of her, and us. She shouted (and, I am paraphrasing quite closely to what she said), “My girls! What are you doing? Get out of that muddy ditch, this instant!” Well, we must have been moving too slowly for her. As I recall, I had replied, “We’re waiting for our pies to bake.” My sister and I were fixated. We were just waiting for the crackling to happen at any moment. This delay had our mother running over to see what we were up to. Seconds later, I remember her pulling my arm and body out of the ditch and then out came my sister. She yelled, “Get in the house. Get in that house and wash up! Now!” Why she didn’t run for the camera, I will never know!
What a fond memory to recall. Me and my little sister. Bakin’. Mud pies. Together. In our babin’ suits. Childhood memories just do not get much better than this—especially for two little girls. Sisters. To this day, we both love to bake—especially during the holidays—with family heirloom recipes handed down to us from our German-Hungarian great grandmothers.
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