It began to Snow when I arose this morning. Here in the Cariboo, Snow covers the ground very quickly, once it begins. It isn't very cold...only -5C...but still cold enough that a day indoors sounds extraordinarily wonderful!
It is the kind of day where I can imagine sitting by the Fire with a hot cup of Tea and a good book. I promise myself I will do this exact thing...but first, I am on a mission.
I dreamt last night about my mother. She is close to me, these days. Perhaps because it is near Christmas, her favourite holiday when she was still alive.
The dream involved making Gingerbread with her. And when I awoke, I remembered that afternoon my mother and I made a very sticky loaf of Gingerbread. I don't believe it ever became a family favourite, since I only remember that one time...but it was an afternoon made in Heaven.
I was very young; many of the ingredients in this loaf were exotic and strange to me. It was the first time I tasted Molasses; I have loved it ever since. And then there was candied Ginger, Almond paste, Honey, Almonds, Sugar Beet syrup...for a budding foodie, these ingredients made a huge impression on me.
The whole afternoon became a memory instilled deep within. I can still vividly recall a Stormy day with steamy windows and Air redolent of the scent of Ginger, Allspice and Cinnamon. That day, it was only me and my mother...other family members were not there. I had her complete attention all to myself, not something which happened very often.
The loaf my mother baked came out of the oven very black and sticky. It was beyond good...I recall licking bowls and utensils while the loaf baked and being in utter awe at how such sticky batter could ever bake into something like a loaf of bread. And yet it did...
I once had this recipe. But I wrote it down in my twenties as my mother recited it to me, in pencil. I can no longer read it well enough...the writing is faded and the paper is thin, after having been folded so many times. The ingredient amounts have been erased with time. I wish I had asked my mother once again for this recipe, while she was still alive.
That's the thing...regret can become a friend once one's parents are gone...
So this is my mission today...to find a recipe which is as good as the one my mother baked that long ago afternoon.
Perhaps this new recipe will not have all the ingredients my mother used, since many of them would have been European, but I will adapt it to include as many of them as I can remember. And I will cover the baked loaf with Almond paste, just as my mother did.
Recipes are all about adapting, aren't they? No matter what the recipe is for...
And then...then the Fire will still beckon. With a cup of hot Tea in hand and a slice of Gingerbread, I promise myself I will spend the rest of the afternoon in warmth and comfort, watching the Snow fall with silent speed.
With my mission accomplished.
" Had I but one penny in the world thou shouldst have it to buy ginger-bread." Love's Labour Lost...Shakespeare