I was making bread yesterday, just loving the alone-time in my kitchen, with all the available counter space and a pantry that had been recently filled with all sorts of ingredients. I find this calm when I’m baking, get into my own little groove, making something from individual things with my own two hands. There’s a satisfaction I get from seeing my baked goods piled high on a fancy plate. And it’s all thanks to my mom.

My mom always invited me to help out in the kitchen and she taught me everything I know about baking (because she’s an amazing baker/cook herself). Whenever I’m in the kitchen preparing something I clean as I go (so as not to have a huge mess afterward, a lesson my husband never learned apparently). I can pretty much flawlessly follow a recipe thanks to mom’s cooking lessons, and my best recipes are the ones from a little cookbook she made me when I moved out to attend college of all the dishes I loved that she made… the most decadent brownies and fudgy icing to go with em, raisin hermit cookies, oatmeal lace cookies, and the like. The one thing I can’t seem to master are Hungarian Palacsintas – thin crepes that are filled with marmalade or raspberry jam – only mom can perfect these irresistible treats.

Baking grounds me. I love it, and it’s all thanks to those many afternoons that my mom let me shadow her in the kitchen, learning how to crack eggs without getting shell in the batter, measure things accurately, and most importantly, licking spoons.

Thanks mom.