By Annamaria Bazzi
Going through my teens in Fraser, Michigan, living on Cecil Court, on occasions, turned into several exciting adventures. The house on Cecil Court had three ovens in the modern kitchen because my grandmother, who lived with us, loved to bake—cakes, breads, pizza, cookies. She had a passion for the culinary arts. Following in my grandmother’s footsteps, my mother loved to cook fancy dinners—many times to show off her wonderful abilities she held small dinner parties.
We had just moved into our new home, my uncles had a builder friend of theirs build the house, and Thanksgiving was the first holiday we would be celebrating there. Mother and grandmother were excited about using the new kitchen because with three ovens they could accomplish more in less time. The large kitchen would also fit all my aunts with comfort—they wouldn’t be bumping into each other anymore.
The women prepared the usual huge turkey early in the morning, stuck it in the oven, and now they fussed over all the trimmings. My grandmother decided to bake a fresh cake for dessert. After all, she had three ovens at her disposal.
As teenagers, my cousins and sister, wanted nothing to do with the cooking, or the football games the men engrossed themselves in, so we’d spend the time in my bedroom listening to the latest popular songs, discussing boys.
Even though the music played loud, the commotion from downstairs reached our ears. We all ran downstairs to see what was happening. Something unexplainable, the lights of half the house went out. My uncles, all four of them, dashed for the laundry room to check the circuit breaker—everything in order there, but the television and the ovens were out.
My grandmother worried about the bird. “The turkey still needs a few hours of cooking.”
The men were of no help—normal.
My mother sent us to the neighbors to see if we could use their ovens—boy, did we feel stupid.
Carol, at the beginning of the cul de sac said we could use her oven. The bird found a house to finish cooking. Dr. Cozes’ wife, next door, offered her oven as well. Grandmother’s cake would be able to cook. The neighbor across the street said we could use the oven to finish cooking grandmother’s wonderful Italian sausage.
When we returned with the messages, the women scurried off, carrying their sweet burdens to the various houses to finish the cooking. Thank God for good Michigan neighbors.
I didn’t inherit any culinary abilities from my mother. I struggle to make half-decent meals, and definitely no baking…
But here is my daughter Amanda’s favorite cookie recipe, who inherited the culinary bone from my grandmother.
¾ cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 jar of red jelly or preserves
Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; blend well. Stir in flour and baking powder, mix well. Make small balls, or as big as you want the cookie to be, then use your thumb to create ¼ inch deep depression to fill with jelly.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.
Hope you enjoy the cookies as much as we do.
Meet The Author
Annamaria Bazzi spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.