I was with my mother in her room at her new abode. I’ve mentioned in past posts that at ninety-nine she moved out of her apartment into the nursing home. Her eyes are failing her and though she is still able to see, reading is no longer a pleasure she can indulge in.
As I sat facing her, I began to read last week’s post, Cooking through a Child’s Eyes, about the time we baked a marble cake together. I wondered if she remembered the event that had so impacted the six-year-old little girl that I was. I read our pouring, mixing, and combining the ingredients until they were smooth, then creamy, and finally the consistency we needed. I continued with adding chocolate to one of the bowls and vanilla to the other; now, alternating between the rich chocolate and glistening yellow cream, we slowly and carefully poured both into the pan until it was full.
Out of the corner of my eye, I watched her listen as I described how surprised I was when she cut the cake and I saw the magical design that appeared on the cake slices; I expressed my bewilderment, not understanding how the cake could look like that.
As I got to the bottom of the page and there were no more words; I looked up at my mother’s face, and then into her eyes, hoping to see recognition. She didn’t say anything. I started to feel let down—sad that she didn’t remember the moment we’d shared, the one I remembered with such awe. All of a sudden, her face came alive with a big smile and she said, “I remember, that was a good cake—I love that you wrote it down into a story.” I couldn’t help but grin, feeling great that she too remembered that magical moment.
The ability to connect with my mother about a memory that happened so many years ago would not have happened, in the same way, if I hadn’t had the story to read to her.
I’m so grateful for everyone that emailed me to say they liked the story and would I please post the recipe. I found my mother’s original recipe in French. Instead of trying to translate it, I tested a few and found one that is delicious. Just to make certain it was Maman-approved, I packed it up so my mother could have some with her afternoon tea. Her reaction: “This is so good!” When she finished her entire slice, she added, “I’ve always loved marble cake.”
Of the three recipes I tested, this was by far the best. I found it on an interesting site called Munaty Cooking.
Marble Pound Cake Recipe
What about you?
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Do you find that family recipes connect you with your family history?
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