Baking with Grandma
I grew up baking with my Grandma. I love this picture of her teaching 2-year-old me how to use a rolling pin. She would give us our own pieces of dough to play with, and taught us how to measure and level and sift the flour, and always let us lick the bowl. I remember the big plastic tubs she kept the flour and sugar in, and I still have a set of her measuring spoons.
Grandma would bake anything, for any occasion. If you casually mentioned brownies, or scones, or yellow cake with chocolate frosting, it would be there next time you visited. We told her so many times that she should open a bakery, but she would just laugh.
Things got really serious at Christmas time. She was still working in her 70s, but every December she would take a week off from work just to bake cookies. One of the last years we counted, she had made 17 different kinds, and each of her recipes was huge, so we're talking thousands of cookies. She made platters with a few of each to give to everyone she knew.
After she passed, we dug through her recipe binders to find all the Christmas cookies. The night I attempted what I thought was a simple butter cookie, I realized how much I had underestimated what she was doing...4 hours into the project, I still had only half of them dipped in chocolate and what seemed like a zillion more to go. Mental note to review the quantities on Grandma's recipes before starting one after dinner on a weeknight.
I'd like to say I got my biscotti recipes from her, but it's the one thing she never made. That's part of why I started making them...it was different than what she was already the master of, and something I could give to her, and she loved it.
For many years now, I've also been taking days off in December just to bake biscotti and always thought about Grandma when I did. I've been thinking about her a lot now as I'm launching Biscotti Road...even though she was never particularly interested in opening a bakery herself, I think she'd love that I'm doing this too.
MY mother had a little cookbook typed on green index cards, given to her by my dad’s aunt Jenny, with some of his favorite cookies. Those, and the one’s from the Betty Crocker Children’s Cookbook, were our go-to Christmas baking favorites. Now that I’ve married into a large Italian family, I’m amazed by how my mother-in-law bakes hundreds of cookies in the weeks before the holidays, to be able to share platters of several varieties at our family gatherings. Ooh, this is making me want to bake—but if I don’t have time (likely) I’ll buy your again. Best of luck to you in your new endeavor—your sampler pack was wonderful! I
I’ve been fortunate to have taken part in enjoying some of those magical cookies made with love, and of course the great company. I am now still able to do so through your love for Biscotti Danielle. I’m enjoying one right now! Bellissimo! Ciao Ciao.
I love this story! Working with you for over ten years in the corporate world, I can attest to all the time and love you put into making every batch of cookies for friends and loved ones. I’m so happy that you’ve taken this adventure and am here to taste test as needed! All the best to you <3
Such a beautiful tribute Danielle. I know Grandma C and all your grandparents would be proud of you just as I am. Lots of love and good wishes.