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.