Saturday, September 27, 2014

Live Love Laugh Bake!

I have wonderful memories of baking while growing up.  My father loved to bake, he still does. In High School, and when I visited on weekends while in college, Sunday mornings usually began with fresh baked muffins. What a beautiful thing to wake up to!  I would rush into the kitchen hoping they were still warm from the oven so the butter would get all soft and melty.

Live Love Laugh Bake, watercolor & ink, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

My Dad was always experimenting and using whatever he had on hand to add to the muffins... zucchini, carrots, ripe bananas.  We never knew what we would get but they were always so delicious.  Such a happy way to start the day, quietly chatting over warm muffins.
Dad was always the Baker in the house especially for the holidays but when my Mom was ill and rapidly losing weight his baking became a staple in the house. He was always baking something special for her. Especially cream puffs, my Mother's favorite! He baked them in hopes she would or could eat them and put on weight. And I think he hoped, that by eating them, somehow she could be saved.  
He baked love and hope and tenderness into those cream puffs, cupcakes and treats. It was love made tangible and edible.  He baked them full of love and joy.  
And hope. 
Lots and lots of hope.  
And even as the cancer ravaged her digestive system and he knew it couldn't save her, he still baked for her. And it was always joyous, festive and filled with love.
We all enjoyed those delicious moments and many are still crystal  clear even after over 30 years.
After Mom passed, Dad continued to bake muffins every weekend for whomever was home that weekend (we were all in college) and the smell, the taste, the heat, the bonding... over melting butter was a moment of sweet happiness to be deeply appreciated. 
All the more as those moments could be found even in all the grief.

What I learned from it was to...
Live fully
Love deeply
Laugh heartily 
Bake often. 
Bake with Joy, Love and Hope.
And to treasure all the sweet moments.  

Since I'd rather be sketching or painting I tend to use mixes or at least baking mixes and here are some GF mixes and flours I have used with excellent results:
King Arthur GF Baking Mix
Betty Crocker baking mixes and Bisquick

For a free pdf printable of my Gluten Free Blessing click here

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