One of my baking goals in the last two years is to learn how to bake bread from scratch. My great-grandmother had a bread that we all loved. Whenever we went to visit her little house, the first thing we did was to sniff the air and see if the bread was already in the oven baking. She would blush whenever we tell her that we loved her bread.
Two years ago, my grandmother, her daughter, gave me a collection of recipes that were my great-grandmother's. My great-aunt had collected all of her recipes and created a binder of recipes to give to all the serious cooks in the family. I was honored to be included in this.
My aunt even provided a bio of my great-grandmother and it was so neat reading the words of my grandmother and seeing all the recipes, some even obscured by her handwriting as she jotted down notes. It has been over 17 years since she died and this is a precious gift indeed.
Then my mother and I just pored over the book, trying to find that exclusive bread recipe. We think we've found it but we're not sure since all grandma left were the ingredients. She didn't include any notes on how to bake it, for how long or anything like that. My mother said that maybe it's because grandma had been doing it for so long that she didn't even need the instructions.
I started the research then on how to make the buttermilk bread. It took me several tries to figure out how to make it but I think I got it. I served it last Christmas ('08) along with the potato soup and while we agreed that it was really good, but it wasn't quite the same as my grandmother's. It's missing an ingredient ...
Probably love. I know it sounds corny, but Grandma really did know best when it came to her cooking.