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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Cooking/Baking (not recipes) (10/16/08)

TITLE: Memories
By Roberta Lee Small


Snow was piled high on each side of the driveway making a narrow path. No one in the three story house had a car so it did not matter that there was only enough space to walk. We lived on the first floor and I am sure the residents of the two floors above were grateful that my little brother had at least shoveled that much of a path, sparing them the job. They would not have to go out into the deep snow and bitter New England cold. Icicles hung like ornaments from the overhang that covered the back entrances. I broke one off and twirled it in the sunlight watching it sparkle. I had the urge to bite into it but we had been warned against it as it was probably dirty from the roof, and not like the chunks of ice we got from the ice man who was kind enough to give to each kid in the neighborhood that chased his truck begging. I took my galoshes off in the back entry and looked up at the large stoneware crock that sat on top of the wooded ice box and wondered if my mother had made doughnuts. This large container was kept filled with wonderful buttermilk doughnuts each week and this was the one treat we could take without asking.    My feet were frozen. I had been out playing with a friend all morning. My long cotton stockings were wet and little balls of icy snow hung from my mittens. I shook the mittens off and laid them on top of my galoshes. A welcome blast of warm air struck me when I opened the door and went into the kitchen. Hurriedly I made my way across the kitchen to the large black iron stove.  I was about to open the oven door when my grandmother called. “I have a cake in the oven.” Those words meant, “Walk softly, I don’t want my cake to fall in.”  I held my hands over the top of the coal stove rubbing heat into them. Raisins were simmering on the back of the stove which meant that Grammy was going to make raisin filled cookies.  Mamma was at the kitchen table rolling out piecrust on the large breadboard. She would be baking lots of pies for Christmas dinner. It was traditional that we had minced meant, pumpkin and apple pies. The fruit cake had been made several days ago.  Of course we would have to have plum pudding but they usually bought that and made foamy sauce to go over it.I breathed in the aroma that permeated the air. Our house always smelled so good. My mother and grandmother baked their own bread, made all kinds of pickles, preserved fruit, made apple and strawberry jelly and jams, and being from Boston, “bean town”, every Saturday a pot of beans were slow cooked in the oven. Perhaps it was the excitement of Santa Claus coming that made such memorable smells at this Christmas baking. I looked through the kitchen door past the dining room and saw the Christmas tree in front of the window in the parlor. The sound of the beeping startled me from my memories. Leaning on my walker I made my way gingerly across the kitchen and took my frozen turkey dinner from the microwave that hung above the glass top white electric stove. My Christmas dinner was ready and I would be eating alone.                

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 10/28/08
I love the scene you set with this… "large, puffy snowflakes" the "Wii-Phone" and "High-Definition Television" with the classic black and white, "It's a Wonderful Life". Thanks for the reminder too. Nice work on this!
Angela M. Baker-Bridge10/29/08
Very detailed memories made for great visual impact. A few of the run-on sentences might work better if a period replaced the 'and' so two shorter sentences could be created. Paragraph breaks would also help organize the thoughts. Very powerful ending. Thanks for sharing.