sweet delights

As a little kid, when I wasn’t doing chores, I spent a lot of time just hanging at home, alone in my room drawing, or loitering in the kitchen with my mom while she cooked. My five older siblings were either swimming their brains out, cavorting with friends or at jobs while my dad was at work.

On rainy days I’d sit at the bar in our kitchen and eye my mother beneath glass-enclosed cabinets as she flitted around the space, her plump form draped in a cotton apron tied over a patchwork printed blouse. Endless muzak streamed from a faux wood box radio perched on top of the refrigerator. I half liked listening to it.

Mom showed me how to bake—cakes, cookies, bread, pies—you name it. Flour and sugar lived side by side in a deep drawer divided by plexiglass, beat up aluminum measuring scoops half buried in the white mounds. She used a long-handled wooden spoon to stir batters and doughs in shiny wide-mouthed mixing bowls. I loved the dull din of moistened wood on metal and its gritty, sugary scrape against rounded sides.

With no exception my mom let me lick the bowl. She was sweet, always leaving ample chunks of sticky, buttery clumps of dough or wide silky smooth swaths of batter. She seemed to enjoy seeing me delight in the goodies, though she was less than happy with the eight cavities I soon developed.

Savory-sweet aromas filled my nostrils as piping hot confections emerged from the oven into thick quilted mitts. My mother wrapped her arms around my elfin frame, mine around her soft, thick, warm middle as raindrops pattered on the shingle roof of our cozy ranch style home. We lingered.

It’d be fun to show Calvin how to bake, to reserve a gooey sweet treasure for him to lick clean, to see his eyes, large as moons, and his impish grin as he buries his face deep into a bowl emerging with a chocolaty smudge on the tip of his nose.

Perhaps in another lifetime.

No comments:

Post a Comment