When my Mom passed away, I was truly in shock. We (me and my brothers) were all in shock. She managed to escape death for so many years and with so many unusual challenges that the average person never would have dealt with like she did and survived. However, the last time was too much for her heart to handle.
So when we went to close out her estate and clean out the house, we tried to do it in an organized fashion and yet enjoyed looking through our memories that filled our parent's home. My mom had a box filled with all kinds of scrap books, newspaper clipping pictures, etc. I basically took all the contents and added more and taped it up to go through another day.
That box has remained taped up for almost 4 years and I finally took it aside and began going through the contents. I knew this would be a teary moment as your memories begin to grow as each picture, newspaper clipping or written card was touched with careful hands due to its age and opened.
I was really surprised at the memories my mom and dad kept from each of their children. I was amazed and yet so emotional when I found this item...and as the memories unlocked the cobwebs of my brain...I felt happiness and knew that what I am doing today is what I am meant to do.
My mom kept "My Fist Cookbook". I was overcome with emotion. I remember hanging out in the kitchen with my mom. She didn't like to cook, however, she loved to bake and make sweets. AND what would we enjoy our sweet with???? Yes...a cup of coffee. That was our "mantra". We would bake up something sweet and one of us would always say..."You know what would be great with this? A cup of coffee."
I digress...You see? The memories are flowing right now as I write. Anyway, my parents purchased a lot of the Imperial Sugar products and at the time (probably around 1972) you could save up proof of purchase and box tops to send in and receive a free cookbook (however you had to pay for shipping).
I saved every box top and proof of purchase from Imperial Sugar and really worked hard to bake a lot during that time so someone would have to head to the store to get more Imperial Sugar products. (wink wink smiley face)
FINALLY, I placed all the saved items in a manilla envelope plus a check for shipping and mailed off. Now I waited...and waited...and waited...and waited. It took forever to come, I believe it was at least six weeks. That is an eternity for a 7 year old. It finally arrived.
My mom brought it in and we sat at the kitchen table turning the pages and seeing what I was going to create. She immediately wrote in the inside cover my name, address and phone number solidifying this was my cookbook...my very first cookbook and I was thrilled.
They were simple recipes for a young baker/cook looking to begin their culinary skills in the kitchen. I went through this book and made every single item. I'm sure there were some that my parents weren't thrilled about, but they would never let me know. They were happy and proud to be served something I created.
I truly don't like showing my emotions...I don't like "wearing' (my emotions) for all to see. However, I miss my mom every day. She made me who I am. She gave me her wonderful traits in creativity and spark of life. As I age, I hear words coming out of my mouth that my mom used to say that I thought I would never repeat...but I do.
My love of baking and creating remains today, Many of my years were spent in corporate America and now I embrace what I was meant to do. I love roasting coffee and delivering fresh roasted coffee that tastes great and you can enjoy at home. AND...I love baking and making confections too.
So tears have welled up and streamed down my cheeks with each paragraph I write...I am so proud to have had such a crazy and wonderful mom in Phyllis. I am so happy that she saved this little cookbook for over 40 years! It will be cherished and placed on my shelf with my other cookbooks and homemade recipes.
Maybe Johnny would like to enjoy a recipe or two in my very first cookbook.