This time I would like to honor the very special teachers I have had in my life. Since a tender age they helped me become the woman I am now and they also taught me the joy and appreciation of handmade objects like knitting and crochet. The above picture shows the very first crochet piece I did at age 7. It is a little tea carpet I crocheted under the patient and loving guidance of my maternal grandmother. It was such fun to see how magically my tiny hands were able to make something out of a hook and a thread! I believe that since that moment an important part of my life was decided: working with fibers.
The above and below pictures show a bit of my maternal grandmother's ability with crochet. She did this pair of gloves that have such a romantic flair and they fit my hands.
The following is another example of her crochet. I think she loved crochet more than knitting!
On the other hand my paternal grandmother was very good at knitting and eventhough she did not teach me how to knit she inherited me the first ever knitted baby sweater she did for my dear father when he was just born. Isn't it lovely?
Now comes my mother who happens to be an excellent crocheter, knitter and was amazing at needle point. I say was because now her eyesight prefers knitting. Here is a little example of what she used to do as a young girl. It is a crocheted carpet (1 of 4) with incredibly tiny cross-stitching.
I hope I will be able to carry on this tradition as sometimes unfortunately it seems to be escaping from the attention of the newer generations. Now it seems there is less time to dedicate oneself into working with a needle or a hook and a thread. This makes me feel even more compromised into making sure that what was inherited to me will pass on and will not stay as "things our grandmothers used to do".
Now to finish honoring the women in my family I baked a very easy and homely cake, one of my mom's favourite: Maple Cake.
- 16 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature plus more for pan.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for pan.
- 2 teaspoons baking powder.
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup.
- 1/2 cup sugar.
- 2 large eggs.
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
- 3/4 cup sour cream.
Preheat oven at 350oF. Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
With an electric mixer, beat butter, maple syrup, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; mix in vanilla.
With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour mixture and sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 45 minutes. Cool ten minutes in pan. Turn out of pan, and cool completely on a rack, right side up.
From Food Everyday/ Holiday Baking 2007.