This morning I woke up craving cookies my grandmother used to bake. I remember walking over to her house and getting excited when she made a fresh batch. In Italian, they are called “biscotti di latte”, which translates to “milk cookies”. They aren’t meant to be pretty, they are meant to be simply delicious.
Baking was a huge part of my childhood. I would love coming home from school and walk into a home that was fragrant of freshly made cookies. Living in a small neighbourhood I was always surrounded by family and close friends that would frequent my home, spending time with my mom, making the most delectable treats.
Today most of these women have become nothing more than a distant memory, yet their strength and passion lives fiercely in my heart and soul. So many stories were shared, tears of laughter and sadness were cried and most importantly, words of wisdom were passed on. This is probably why the kitchen is my favourite room in the home and cooking and baking is not just another chore, but a passion that I treasure.
I looked up to these women as pillars of strength. They came from hardly anything (a small town in Italy, they were practically serfs living off land in a very medieval way) and managed to make a life for themselves and their families. They gave a future for their children they knew they couldn’t give back home. English was not their first language and they couldn’t help us with our homework, but they made sure we were well fed, washed and clothed and had the best education we could have had. With one another, these women supported each other through thick and thin, a special bond that couldn’t be broken. They were the glue that held our families together, something I didn’t truly understand until now that I am married and have a family of my own.
I honour the legacies of my aunts, close friends and my grandmother through baking. It is one way where I feel like I can travel back in time, to be able to see and feel them with my heart.