Don’t we adore, more than anything, to cause the light of appreciation and happiness on the faces of those we love the most?
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
9 replies on “To Make Life Better…”
Oooohhhh buttery goodness! They sound delectable!
OK, I’m inpsired! We have a quiet weekend & I think I might have all the ingredients. Your descriptions are TOO accurate, they are making my mouth water in anticipation. Now, where IS that 3 age recipe passed on to me.
What a lovely tribute to your lovely mother! Thanks both of you for sharing with our family!
Now, this lovely lady, mother to Mary, is my sister. I don’t think I’ve ever had one of her croissants – not that she’s not generous, she is, but because of the butter… tsk tsk here come the calories. Is there anything she cannot tackle in the kitchen.
I did it!!! And forthe most part they turned out good…all except that one pan that I left in there for like 45!!! minutes because we had company and we got to singing around the fire and I totally forgot. And here is how utterly sweet my dh is…he says he LOVES them that way!! 🙂
mmm yum! your mom must be talented to make croissants! I agree, great traditions like these are worth passing onto our children. One of ours is to make xmas cookies in the 1st week of December, we have them from our xmas tree but they don’t last long lol
Mary! I looked in my culinary mirror this morning and woe is me! I can’t find my halo anywhere! By the way, one of the best cookbooks I have, and huge, is Beard’s “Breads”. That croissant recipe is a combination of several different ones. And now I’ve found one that is easier to make but the flavor isn’t up to the 3-page one (Ha, Jana). Have Mary give you her recipe for bagels sometime. Now THEY are fun to make!
Hey Mary, I am back! Hee.
And I am a huge fan of croissants! Do you mind sharing the recipe with me?
What a lot of great comments! Even one from Aunt Ruth! 🙂 (The butter is worth at least one taste, Auntie, but the problem is stopping at ONE!)
Again, you all make my day…Jana I’m so glad it inspired you to dig out the recipe! Your singing time around the fireside–now *that’s* inspiring!
Amy, I can just see the pretty cookies hanging on your tree…just long enough to take pictures of it! Of course they don’t last long! Mmm!
Leticia, I’d love to share the recipe, but it truly is 3 pages long, I might have to scan it and send it as an attachment!
As for the croissants, we have one gallon size Ziplock left after sharing with the family this Thanksgiving…
Mom, your culinary halo was in place Thursday and Friday! Did you leave it here? (Here’s hoping) 🙂