Suzy Homemaker

When I was a little girl, I wanted a toy oven that really worked. Actually, now that I think of it, I’m not sure it was the oven I wanted but the accessories — small baking pans, child-size utensils, and especially the miniature boxes of cake and muffin mixes.

My mother, being the practical woman that she was, thought those mixes ridiculously high priced for the little that came in the package. (I’m sure she thought the adult-size mixes too high-priced, because she baked everything from scratch.)

On Christmas morning, I found huge present, almost as tall as I was. Instead of the tiny boxes of mixes that I wanted, she had given me dozens of full-size mixes as well as a full-size Pyrex mixing bowl set.

Somehow, she just didn’t get it.

Still, it was sweet and thoughtful of her. I enjoyed using those mixes, of course, and the bowls, which I kept for many years, though I don’t know what eventually happened to them. (I think the orange Pyrex bowl I found in her kitchen when I cleaned out the house after my father died was mine, but I couldn’t keep it — I already had too much stuff.)

Well, now I have my very own kitchen, and though all my utensils and such are adult-sized, I still love small things. I spent several days baking, not just making my pretty flower cookies, but miniature cranberry muffins,

Miniature toffee bars,

And, even some full-size cookies that I baked and painted free-hand for an upcoming Snowman (Snowperson? Snowfolk? Snowpal?) exhibit at the museum.

In another couple of weeks, it will be the twelfth anniversary of my mother’s death, and I wonder what she thinks of me now, in my own house, in my own kitchen, using my own oven to make baked goods from scratch — and not a cake mix in sight!


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.