Like I told you in the last post, I'm not the greatest of granddaughters, and before my recent trip to Buffalo, it had been quite a while since the last visit to upstate New York to see my grandma. This time, I took advantage of our stay together to convince her to share one of her most powerful areas of expertise: baking cinnamon rolls.
She has long been known throughout our family and her group of friends for her special touch with these tasty spiraled treats. My sister and I share antagonistic photos whenever one of us is lucky enough to get a full pan of her own in the mail. Despite my grandma's desires to spend the trip showing me around the Grand Island Golden Age center, she kindly agreed to spend a day in the kitchen walking me through all the mixing, rising, and rolling steps. And, even though the instructions have never been exact, the batch she guided me through came out pretty deliciously!
As the people we love grow older and begin to downsize in their living spaces, it's usually inevitable that we'll end up inheriting some of their precious possessions. Even better than the invaluable antique jewelry and multi-generational family heirlooms are the pieces of knowledge we can pick up along the way. A few years ago, my grandma taught me how to crochet, and now I think of her anytime I'm working on a project. And I've only made a few pierogi on my own, but I'll never forget holidays spent making them in a flour-filled kitchen with my aunt and uncle. It's a reward on two levels: you get to spend a special time together learning the craft, and then end up with lifelong memories that spring up whenever you decide to attempt it on your own. While I might not have perfected the kneading and measuring processes yet, it makes my heart happy that my grandma had the time to pass her unrivaled ability along to me. Hopefully I'll get to carry it with me for a long, long while, even if I'd rather not know how much powdered sugar ends up in the glaze.
Disclaimer: I did also come away with more than a few vintage skirts from the guest room closet, so don't go thinking that this post is wholly immaterial.