Love-Me-Downs

Often times when we think of hand-me-downs, material items come to mind. Things. The problem with things…they can be lost, damaged or stolen.

The Daily Prompt asked, “Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.” I decided to share a few verbal hand-me-downs that have stayed with me through the years.

From My Grandma Josie:

“Never love a man more than you love yourself.”

“One of the reasons I decided to marry your Grandpa was because he was sincere.”

“Don’t expect to be paid for everything you do.”

“Praying is your letter to God.”

From My Mom:

“I know you think you are too impatient to be a Mother, but I see the capacity in you. You will see it one day too.”

“The sooner you realize that life isn’t always fair the better equipped you will be to handle it.”

“I wish you could see the beauty I see when I look at you.” 🙂

There really are so many nuggets of wisdom my Mom and Grandma shared not only with me but, with so many others over the years, I could really write a longer post. Even though I selfishly wish I had more time with them both, their many hand-me-downs always provide me with what I need, when I need it most. Comfort, laughter, strength, support or direction.

And they will never be lost, damaged or stolen.

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What Is That, Red Velvet?

This year, I decided to celebrate my Mother’s birthday by doing something to honor her memory! My Cousin Unfiltered (she has this name for obvious reasons) pointed out to me on our beloved Grandma’s birthday this year, “Birthdays are to be celebrated.” And with that simple yet, poignant statement a fresh perspective and new tradition was born. On my Grandma’s birthday this September, I did a little something in honor of her and I thought on my Mom’s birthday (December 2) it would be cool if I learned how to make a cake from scratch. 🙂

346846Here’s why…

  • My Mom made some things from scratch + she was a great Mother = I will instantly become a great Mother upon making this cake. 😉

  • Baking is not a bad skill to have, right?

  • I will be able to teach Georgia Peach (GP) how to bake from scratch too!

All good reasons in my book so, I set out to make it happen.

First, I looked through the cookbooks and recipes my Mom and Uncle gave me to see if I could find a simple white cake recipe. Couldn’t find one. So, I took to the internet and came across a recipe. Red Velvet Cake. Yes! I thought, ‘if I can make this cake, my baking status in the family would most definitely elevate PLUS it requires fancy red food coloring…sweet!’

Now, I’m excited! I printed off my list for the grocery store and headed out to gather my ingredients. Since I am known to glance over recipe instructions when I should be paying attention to the details this time I actually noticed that I needed to sift the flour. Umm excuse me, sift you say? I don’t have a sifter, maybe I should have registered for one of those when we got married? Looks like I am getting one of those as well. Vamonos!

While at the store with GP, we weaved in and out of the 3 aisles dedicated to baking, like we are braiding hair. First the aisle with flour, then the aisle with the baking tins and next the one with the cocoa then back to the flour aisle…mainly because I was obsessed with getting the exact ingredients, I am not ready nor equipped to substitute things yet. We paid for the groceries and headed back home…without a sifter.

Now, I’m not sure who occupied my body earlier in the day but, I had dinner ready for The Coach (with two options) by the time he hit the door at 5 p.m. This allowed me to dedicate the majority of my evening to my cake project so, I was able to run to another store solely to locate and purchase a sifter. After feeding, bathing and putting GP to bed I began to prepare my work space for my latest masterpiece. I pulled all of my ingredients out and placed them on the counter. When I reached for the vegetable oil, I discovered we didn’t have enough for the recipe.

Focused and determined…I headed back to the store!

I returned home and jumped in, only to realize the eggs needed to be room temperature! I took 2 eggs out and laid them on the stove that had been pre-heating for about an hour now to help speed up the process. In the meantime, I decided to start measuring out my dry ingredients. I packed them ALL at once into the sifter measuring cup and tried to sift it. This was my first time using a sifter aka the devil’s kitchen instrument, I had no clue what I was doing outside of making a mess! Finally, I figured it out and saw why it was needed, those dry ingredients combined were as smooth as box cake mix. Nice!

Now, we are getting somewhere or so I thought.

As I moved to the wet ingredients, the recipe as clear as day, said the buttermilk should be at room temperature too! SERIOUSLY? I took it out of the refrigerator and put it in a warm bowl of water when my phone rang. It was my sweet Aunt J, checking on my progress and reassuring me that the cake would turn out fine. 🙂 I gave up on the room temperature buttermilk, the eggs were the appropriate temperature now, so in my mind it would all balance out. Ha! I combined the wet and dry ingredients with my mixer and poured the batter into 2 round tins and put them in the oven.

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26 minutes later…my first cakes from scratch were finished! Once the cakes were cool, I flipped, frosted and presented my masterpiece to my Husband who at this point had been asleep for nearly 2.5 hours. It was now midnight. The only way to determine if it was all worth it was to get Mikey er the Coach to “try it”.

The Coach: This is good. Can I get a glass of water?

Me: I thought you said it was good and moist, why do you need something to drink?

The Coach: Because you just woke me up to eat cake, I’m thirsty.

Me: Hmmm…20131203_003957

I tried it for myself and it was pretty decent for the first go around. For a project that had a targeted total (prep and bake) time of 1 hour, I finished in about 4. Whaaatttt?

There is definitely room for improvement. 🙂

What have you done or do to celebrate/honor the memory of your loved ones?

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