Baking With Mom

Fresh Baked Bread via Photopin

It had been a month. But, my heart cried out that it was only yesterday. Raindrops covered the window and slowly trickled down. This morning the weatherman had predicted rain changing to snow this evening. I hope so, I feel as if the world is crying with me and I don’t think I have many more tears. Mom loved snow.

Coffee Pot Percolator via Photopin
photo credit: coffee-pot-percolator.jpg via photopin

I scooped coffee into the chamber and assembled the old blue speckled percolator. I set it on the stove and turned to face my sister, Jenny. She worked up a small smile and sat down at the table. “It’s hard to believe Mom’s gone,” Jenny said. “I miss her so much.”

I gave her a hug. “We will get through this, I know we will,” I whispered. Grabbing a kleenex from the box on the table, I lowered myself into the other chair.

The percolator began perking. The sound immediately took me back to our childhood home in Oregon. On rainy afternoons Mom would put Postum in the percolator so that my sister and I could enjoy it with her. While we ate our breakfast before school each morning the smell and sound of percolating coffee would waft around the kitchen. Mom would fidget in her chair, waiting impatiently for the coffee to finish. She jokingly said it was the only way she could keep up with us.

“Are you hungry?” I asked.

“A little, but nothing sounds good,” Jenny responded.

“I dreamed of Mom’s homemade bread last night. I could smell it and taste it,” I sighed, vividly remembering the dream.

“Oh, Tina, let’s make some. Do you have her recipe?” Jenny spoke with the first sign of excitement she’d shown in a month.

“I do! She made it a few times after she moved in with me. I have it somewhere.” I rose and retrieved my recipe box. “I know I have the ingredients.”

My fingers shook as I flipped through the index cards. There it was, I stared at it, blinking back tears. I carefully laid Mom’s bread recipe on the table. Tears filled our eyes as we looked at the familiar loops and whirls of her handwriting.

Soon the coffee was ready. We filled our cups and took that first perfect sip. It felt healing and I swear I heard Mom say she loved me. We threw ourselves into the bread making project. After twenty minutes, we sat at the table with fresh cups of coffee, flour covering our faces and hair. The sound of the rain, and the smell of rising dough and coffee triggered so many memories. For the next hour we took turns sharing stories. I started another pot of coffee. The kitchen smelled and sounded just like it did when we were kids.

It was time to make the loaves. We each took have half the dough and formed a loaf. Jenny carefully placed them it into bread pans and I brushed melted butter over the top.

We sat at the table and drank more coffee. “How long do they need to rise?” Jenny asked.

“Mom usually let it sit another five minutes,” I replied, nodding my head as I sipped coffee. “Do you want to score the top?”

“Yeah! I was never old enough, as my big sister always liked to point out.” She winked at me.

“I was a pill,” I agreed and laughed. My little sister was sliding the loaves into the oven when the rain switched to snow. “Jenny, it’s snowing! Mom loved snow,” I said, sniffing. It’d been so long since I felt a crumb of happiness. I couldn’t stop staring out the window.

Jenny closed the oven door and moved next to me. We watched the snow fall past the window for several minutes before she whispered, “Is it okay with you if I spend the night? This has been perfect and I don’t want it to end. I feel like she’s here.”

“I know exactly what you mean. Mom put her all into raising us and teaching us about life. Now here we are without her. You know, all day it’s felt like she was comforting us and reassuring us it will be okay.” I sniffled and blew my nose again. I washed my hands before reaching into the fridge for coffee creamer.

“I’ll never look at bread or coffee the same way,” Jenny said, gazing into the oven window at the baking loaves of bread.

“Or snow.” I filled our coffee cups then carried them to the table. “We were so blessed to have her for our Mom.” With our hands clasped across the table, we watched the snowflakes tumble past the window.

Fresh Baked Bread via Photopin
photo credit: DSC00777.JPG via photopin (license)

Author: Jillian Pearl

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. As an adult, I moved to Denver, Colorado and continue to live there with my family. Over the years, I've had a variety of jobs, including lifeguard, OTR truck driver, and mechanical drafter. Currently, I am a caregiver for my mom, a blogger, and a contemporary romance author.

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