Holidays really bring that out in a woman, I think. Every little girl remembers the magic of Christmas Eve, the flurry of gift wrapping and candle lighting…the festivity of mothers staying up late into the night, stuffing stockings, setting the table for Christmas breakfast, doing whatever it is that mothers do best.
My mom’s baking specialty, hands down, will always be her French croissants. All my childhood friends are sure to remember them fondly, as well as the various church families to which we belonged. They graced every holiday feast and many school faculty break room tables. The eighteen hour process behind their creation isn’t at all hard to comprehend when you’re sneaking one warm from the cooling rack, or peeling back one of the many flaky layers that mom’s floury hands folded in with love.
In today’s world…it is still women’s business to make life better, to make tomorrow better than today.” Helen Thames Raley
The croissant making tradition is one that my mom passed on to me. I just finished rolling and folding my butter-layered yeast dough for the third time, and have put three batches worth “to bed” for the night. Tomorrow morning will see me using every baking sheet in the house to find enough square inches of rising space for the hopefully 6-7 dozen crescent shaped rolls.
My husband will come home after a morning’s work in freezing weather and he’ll scarf a dozen down without trying. Our girls will have one or two small ones before remembering that they’ll get more later at my in-law’s Thanksgiving get-together…
As for me–I’ll sneak one of the crooked ones, and remember a yellow-tiled counter top in Texas, a mother who loved me, who wanted all my todays and tomorrows to be as special as they could possibly be.
“The spirit of tradition is one way that knowledge is passed from generation to generation. It has filled our lives with many ‘rare and beautiful treasures’ over the years and we have tried to pass those treasure on to our children. We share and celebrate our special ways of doing things, many of which come from the traditions that shaped us.” Emilie Barnes