(B)AKING LOVE

cookies, baking with loveI heard it could be done, but never had proof until this week.

In fact, I never really tried until my little grandson broke his leg.dimple, grandson, grandmother

But when a grandson with a smile that turns stone into molten lava gets hurt, what else can a far-away grandmother (known in his world as Grammy Pammy) do?

So yes, I sneak down to the dark corner of my basement, where I hide the thick ancient texts on “cooking magic” and “baking love,” the texts that my family know nothing about.

I race to the store and buy the everyday ingredients of butter and eggs (organic, of course, from a cage-free farm), sugar and vanilla, oats and semi-sweet chips.

I light a softly scented Frasier fir candle and breathe in the aroma of Mother Nature intensified.

And then I close my eyes and visualize the little guy.broken bone, little boy with broken bone

At five, he thinks he can ski with abandon. The ski instructors call him “Turbo,” which spurs him on to race even faster down the feet-thick mounds of Sierra mountain snow.

But his little legs aren’t as strong as his will, and he tumbles hard. His tibia snaps.

I now conjure his Cheshire cat grin. I feel the little-boy hug he gave me earlier this month when I played with him, in person, on the other coast.cooking spells, magic book

And then I read page 744, Chapter 52, on baking love.

I hardly feel my fingers as they measure the flour, beat the sugar concoction, pour the chips and oatmeal into the bowl, then transfer the entire mix into a baking pan and slide it into the hot oven.

The aroma of the sweet bars fills the house, and my guy stumbles down from his home office, sniffing wildly, embracing me with abandon in hopes for a bite.

“Not for you!” I say, softly pushing him away.

When it’s time, I lay the baked and cooling bars gently on a towel and add another ingredient.chocolate chips, chocolate chip oatmeal bars

A secret love ingredient known only to grandmothers.

An hour later, quietly and reverently, I cut the bars into squares and begin to pack them in a special mailing bag. Not quietly enough. My guy sneaks in, distracts me, and reaches for a bar.

“Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh,” he moans ecstatically. “These are the best you’ve ever baked. What did you do?”

I take a bite. Y E S! The special recipe worked! I can feel the love pour within my organs and my brain, the tips of my fingers and the soles of my feet.

With the patience of a wife, I don’t answer my guy’s question as I shush him out of the kitchen. My spell cannot be interrupted! The delicacies are wrapped and given the last treatment suggested in the magical cookbook.

Then, I mail them, with special instructions to the postal clerk, who peers at me with wonder, but complies with my request.

Baked Love in a Box, due to arrive in two days.

ornament, ornament heart

May your holidays be full of baking LOVE.

98 thoughts on “(B)AKING LOVE

  1. My Mom did all our Christmas cookie baking after her Mom’s hands got too arthritic, but my daughter picked up the reins after her Nana died! Bless her! I love to cook, bake not so much. I pick one easy, no fail, fun cookie recipe that I make with the grandgirls and that’s it! Well, I do our daughter’s birthday cake on Dec 23rd and yes, I use plenty of that special love ingredient in all my holiday cooking ❤️🎄

  2. Well, you’ve done it again — managed to pull me right into the kitchen with you and fill my heart with the recognition of a grandmother’s love and my eyes with a few tears for the power of the beautiful scene you painted for us. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and wishing that little guy lots of healing energy. Now, I’m off to bake some cookies 🙂

  3. Oh, the memories you invoked with your magic, Pam! Our grandson, Brennan, broke his leg in two places during a hockey game when he was around 10. We were in Paris and I’m sure it was the first game we had missed. I could not get home fast enough. We left the next day! A lot of brownies and cookie dough ice cream made their way to him over the next few months. His Iove for the sport he had started playing at age 4 was not abated a bit by this setback. He went on to play for another 8 years and still coaches a sled hockey yeam and plays in a men’s league. I’m sure yours will be racing down those slopes as soon as the doctor gives him the “go!”😀

    • Thanks for the story of your Brennan, Melaney. I must admit, I’m not sure I want my little 5-year-old grandson, ‘Turbo,’ to get back on those ski slopes, but I bet no one will be able to stop him!

  4. Oh Pam, I can feel the love oozing out of your cookies. I hope your little guy feels better soon .
    I was going to avoid Christmas altogether this year but I made two batches of cookies yesterday and before I knew it I was in the mood for Christmas.
    Fröhliche Weihnachten to you and your loved ones.

    • Thanks, Dianne. I kinda get misty thinking of little ‘Turbo’ sitting still with a cast while his two brothers run circles around him. Hope he’s munching on a c.c. bar and feelin’ the love, instead.

  5. Lovely! I never had any grandparents so missed out on all that grandparents mean to people. I’m sure whatever the secret ingredient is is known not just to grandparents but to grandkids too.

    Beautiful expressed. I hope the little guy’s leg mends soon.

    • You are so right! Grandkids exude amazing love to their grandparents. I’m not quite sure why there’s such accepting love between grand adult and grand kid, but it’s a special bond, indeed.

  6. We need more people like you in the world, Pamela. Thanks for the heartwarming story, and for the cliffhanger of a different variety 😉 Thanks for sharing and best wishes for a speedy, er turbo, recovery for your grandson 🙂

    • Karen – so nice to have you drop by (I had to use that term – drop – like a drop of Christmas cookie dough on a greased and ready cookie sheet). 🙂 Merry, Merry Christmas to you and yours. ❤

  7. That’s a great concept Pam, actually baking your love into the product. Like giving something you have created yourself as a present, not shop-bought. Happy Christmas you you and your family from Jersey, Channel Isles.

    • After the thrill of a cast, he’s not so thrilled anymore. At five, he can’t work the crutches so is using a wheelchair. Perhaps he’ll slow down the slopes a bit next winter?? Merry, Merry, Carrie.

      • And here I thought “Grammy” was part of a secret cloaking technology, capable of hiding all sorts of love in its folds. When I became an aunt at age 10, I insisted my nieces and nephews call me Annie instead of Aunt Jil. It stuck. So I’ve never been an “official” aunt. And since my son is only 12, I’ve got a long way to go before I see myself as a Grammy. Maybe I’ll want to be called “Grannie” when the time comes. 😀

    • And warm! The holidays have been happily warm in this neck of the woods. No skiing in New England right now. Which is probably good news for me, because I’m neither fearless any more on the slopes, nor a fast healer. In fact, the best thing about skiing is staying in the lodge with some hot cocoa in front of the fireplace. 🙂 To smiles and sun and cookies and love in the New Year.

    • Yesterday was 65 degrees and sunny – almost “Spain-like” weather! But I didn’t wear my sandals. :-0 Hope you had a marvelous holiday and can ring in the New Year with smiles and hugs.. . and flip flops.

  8. Pam, you did the magical healing “thing” and it worked it’s magic on me. I felt the distance melt between the past baker and her recipes sent to the “Turbo” skiing grandson. . . Across miles and time. Makes me wish to dig through my Mom’s recipe book which holds yellowed index cards (“ancient texts” 🙂 ) written in my grandmother’s handwriting. ♡♡♡♡ to Turbo, family and you, Pam.

    • Ahhh, those old recipes from grandmother’s/friends past are the BEST. That’s one of the reason I still write and share recipes – I hope that decades after I’m gone, they’ll still be used, and my spirit will somehow be inside the meal/baked goods. Weird, huh?

  9. What an endearing post!

    I have often wondered what is it in our genes that makes Love and Sacrifice with no expectations such a one-way street that it flows downwards to our children and grand-children. While those ‘smiles’ that flow up do hold the capacity to melt lava as you say, they are never without expectations. Is this some innate way to protect and survive the species?

    Shakti

    • Thank you for traveling this way to roughwighting. Interesting question. I like to think that “Love” is beyond explanation for genetic description. That it’s actually something deep deep within us – if we drill far enough, and allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough, to let the love shimmer out.

  10. Are you taking orders? 🙂 Even the description was so beautiful and vivid that I could practically smell the melted chocolate chips and love intermingling in my own oven (which sadly is empty and cold…) So sorry about your little guy, but he looks none the worse for wear in that picture. Tough little peanut!

    • Tough little peanut – what a grand description of my 5-year-old with cast and a great tush for sliding from one room to the other. 🙂
      I hope your oven gets some heat on, with a bit of melting chocolate in the new year.

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