Saturday, April 11, 2009
~Easter Baking With Mom~
Each year when we were growing up, my mom made us her traditional Easter Bunny Cake : white cake, gooey seven-minute frosting, coconut..... Every year. So once I had my sons, I followed her lead, and made an Easter Bunny Cake just like my Mom's. Every year.
Last year, I decided to make 3 Bunny Cakes: a Mama, and two Babies.... one for Ella and one for Jackson. When I proudly set them on the table, Ella asked me who the bunnies were. I told her there was a Mama Bunny, an Ella Bunny and a Jackson Bunny. She looked up at me with her big green eyes and said, "Grandma.....that is VERY sad." I looked over the three cakes. They LOOKED okay. They each had jelly bean eyes and nose. And pink paper ears. Just like MY Mom used to make us. I was puzzled until she explained: "There's NO Papa Bunny, Grandma". Okay. I admit it. I felt awful. I had left out the Papa Bunny (my son!) . Bad Grandma. I learned my lesson. So this year, I baked the complete family: A Papa Bunny, A Mama Bunny, and two Babies.
And guess who spent this Holy Saturday with me? The original Bunny Baker herself: my Mom! She is out of the hospital and back at her assisted living home. She's on two new alzheimer's medications that are helping with her memory and delusions. She still gets confused at times, and talks about 'going home to her parents'. No....she doesn't mean heaven....she means back to the farm house in Uniontown, Pa, where she grew up once they came over from Italy. She forgets she's all-grown-up now at almost 89 years of age....and she gets confused. But when we picked her up this morning so she could come and help make the Bunny Cakes and pies....there was NO confusion on her face. She was a happy, determined mother-with-a-purpose: helping her daughter bake for Easter!
We had lunch and she laid down on the sofa with the puppies and snoozed while I made the seven-minute frosting for the cakes I had baked last nite. When she woke up, we iced the bunnies together. She giggled like a school girl and licked her fingers when they got too gooey....then headed for the sink to wash them and begin again. We had coconut everywhere!
I don't often stop to remember long-ago memories like watching my mother ice the Bunny Cake when I was seven...or eight....or nine. They came flooding back to me: my beautiful mom with her dark curls and big brown eyes standing in the kitchen, old-fashioned apron tied in a big bow behind her back. Determinedly icing that cake. I can see her like it was yesterday.
It was a beautiful Holy Saturday. One I will always remember. I pray that God let's us have her for a few more Easters. After all....there are still a whole lot of Bunny Cakes that will need to be baked!