My Grandma makes wonderful desserts! Our rather large extended family visits my grandparents all summer long at the lake cabin in Merrifield, Minnesota. Every night Grandma has dessert prepared for everyone after a long day of playing in the lake. She makes brownies with ice cream and raspberries, or pecan pie, or oatmeal raisin cookies (always fresh out of the oven!), but her signature dish is rhubarb pie!
One summer afternoon Grandma was making her signature pie. She is always prepared and sometimes even plans ahead by chopping and freezing ingredients to expedite the process. For her rhubarb pie she peels, chops, and freezes rhubarb in advance.
Grandma is not only a premier dessert maker and baker but her food is beyond compare. She can whip up a meal for twenty in no time flat and it is always fantastically delicious. Again, she can accomplish all this by being prepared. So, on that same fateful summer day she also chopped and put in the freezer celery…
When Grandma went to make her rhubarb pie she reached into the freezer and …. You guessed it… pulled out the celery! You might be thinking to yourself—didn’t she see that it was not the rhubarb because celery is green and rhubarb is red? Well, she peels the rhubarb and it is green! So she thought nothing of it and continued to prepare the pie!!!
Later that evening, after dinner and all the dishes were done, Grandma pulled out the pie for all to enjoy. She had it already sliced and put out on plates with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. She said, “Dessert is ready come and get it.” All the family came into the kitchen and got a slice and started to dig in. A minute passed and a few faces began to be puzzled. Someone asked, “Grandma is this rhubarb pie?” Grandma took a bite and exclaimed, “oh no, I wonder, did I accidentally use celery instead of Rhubarb!” Everyone rolled on the floor in laughter and said it was the best celery pie they ever had! And because Grandma is so loved everyone ate it with glee!
Ever since, the family has never forgotten the summer night we all got to try grandma’s celery pie!
My youngest brother Bobby had to get a physical to play football at school. When he came home, my grandmother (who was helping to raise us 9 kids) asked Bobby if everything went alright at the doctor... Quick as a flash little Bobby replied, "I don't know how to tell you this... but I have Chocolate Diabetes." Back then we didn't know much about Diabetes... and so Grandma was very concerned and said she didn't know what to do! Bobby reasured her that there was a cure.... eating as much chocolate as possible!
So Grandma got busy baking everyday, chocolate cake, chocolate cookies, chocolate pie.... Bobby said he was in "Chocolate Heaven"!
I use to love helping my grandmother in the kitchen, and we were very determined to cure Bobby! If any of the rest of us tried to get a treat... Bobby would give a sly grin and say, "Leave my medicine alone!"
Grandma and Bobby are both gone...I sure do miss them, and I like to think that they are together in Chocolate Heaven...
My ex mother in law was from the old school and not one that you could please easily. She would always point out that you didn't dress the kids right what ever the season or feed them enough!!
She raised four boys, inheritaed four daughter in laws and inherited 13 grandchildren who she took such pleasure in feeding every Sunday for many years - with her specialty being the desert that regardless what us parents said, she would feed them even if they didn't eat all of their dinner - she was for sure "the boss"
As the years passed it was rare to get everyone together, everyone did their own thing, but when they did she always managed to make those grandchildren feel oh so very special!
The year that she turned 80 she lost her husband as well so it was a very lonely time for her. My four children and I made her a birthday cake and surprised her as we walked into her bedroom singing "happy Birthday" to her. She bursted out in tears and said to us "do you know that no one has ever made me a Birthday Cake and sang Happy Birthday. The five of us were so stunned
That we all cried right along with her I will never forget that moment of giving back, no matter how small, meant to that women who gave all of her life!
My baking story involves baking a stew versus a goodie. One cold fall-winterish day I decided to make a no peek stew. I gathered all my ingredients to assemble and assemble I did. With much care I layered each of my foods, whipped up a sauce and pored over the top, covered my dish with care and popped into my oven for a long 6 hours on a low temperature. All day all I could smell is the wonderful aroma coming out of the kitchen and my anticipation was mounting.
I decided to take a little nap and place my husband in charge of the of removing the stew from the oven. My husband had removed the food from the oven and then left on an errand, but before leaving he must have decided to taste test. I awoke from my nap and naturally wandered to the kitchen to take a little nip from the stew. To my surprise there was a note taped to the cooking vessel that stated "TOXIC - DO NOT EAT - TERRIBLE". I looked at the note and was devastated that after a 6 hour wait my meal had gone so wrong.
My husband arrived home shortly and I had asked, what went wrong...... He chuckles at me and said nothing was wrong - the stew was so awesome, and he left me the note so I would not eat the stew and he could have it to himself. Arghhhh love my practical joker and loved my stew minutes later.
About 6 months ago, I had just given birth to my first child, moved into a new house in a family-oriented neighborhood with my husband, and really wanted to impress the neighbors with a basket of home-baked cookies. Seeing as how my husband and I are both chefs, and had maybe bragged about that title a little bit at the block party the weekend before, I really had to live up to expectations. I pulled out my tried and true, hugely popular, salted toffee chocolate chunk cookie recipe and got to work. I made about 14 batches of 24 cookies, juggling 2 dogs, and an infant over the course of a day. By the time I was finished, covered in flour, cookie batter, and all matters of baby goo, I had 12 beautifully packaged baskets of homemade cookies. Baby napping, I cleaned myself up, stuck her in the stroller and hand delivered each basket to all the houses on our col-de-sac. That night, my husband helped himself to a big glass of milk, and plate of cookies (what good wife doesn't save some for her own family) and sat down beside me on the sofa. A few second later I noticed him coughing, grimacing, and gulping down his milk. A wave of horror washed over me as I said "what, whats wrong?" He looked at me, swallowed, and said "Honey, I think you might have used salt instead of sugar..." I couldn't show my face to the neighbors for weeks! Not a single one has ever said a word about those cookies.
This story could be the worst, best and funniest depending how you look at it. I thought of it as the worst, then my grandchildren and I sat on the floor and laughed till we couldn't any more. After all was said and done, it has become my best memory.
It was a cold day in North Dakota and I was babysitting my two grand daughters. They talked me into making Chocolate chip cookies. We made a mess with flour every where when my husband called me out to the barn as he needed help in the birth of a early winter calf. I put the cookie dough into the fridge and off I went. Several hours later the calf was born and into the house I went. Forgetting all about the cookie dough.
The girls left with my daughter, dinner was made and while cleaning the kitchen I opened the fridge to put leftovers away. To my surprise I saw the cookie bowl and realized what I had forgotten. Pulling the bowl out of the fridge to make the cookies, I saw no cookie dough, just a note in the bottom of the bowl. The note read, " Thanks NaNa the cookie dough was delicacies. Next time we will bake them." I called my daughter to relay what I had found and she laughed saying " I wondered why they weren't hungry and complained of tummy aches. It is now 10 years later and my family asks for BAKED chocolate cookies on special days. p.s. we named the calf COOKIE.
I was 17 at the time and wanted to make my husband (then boyfriend) some cookies from scratch. I went to the supermarket to buy all the ingredients the recipe called for. Also, stopped at the local discount store for a cute cookie can, bow and tissue. Fast forward I mixed everything according to the directions and put it in to bake for the required time. When tie timer buzzed they didn't look done, so I figured I would leave it in a bit longer. (Did I say this was the first time ever I made cookies). Needless to say I overcooked them but I didn't realize that at the time because they were soft coming out of the oven. After they cooled, but still slightly warm I put them in the can so to hurry to bring it to him before they got cold. I got to his house to surprise him with the cookies, he and his brother had one....they said "there good" but they were about to eat dinner so they were going to save the rest til afterwards. I later (much later lol) found out that the cookies were so hard they ended up playing frisby with them and fetch with the dog Sarge.lol I'm glad they spared my feelings. But to this day (now 41) I still do not bake cookies. But he doesn't mind : )
Like many busy moms, I had found myself drawn to the convenience of packaged baking mixes when preparing treats for my family. Though they seldom agreed on much, all six of my children LOVE brownies!
At a neighbor's birthday party, we had the BEST brownies and I BEGGED our hostess for her recipe! The brownies were SO good, I asked specifically for the brand names of her ingredients so that I might have top results when I tried her recipe; she's the one who introduced me to Rodelle products!
Over the years, those brownies were a highlight of every holiday and family celebration, and my grandchildren love them as much as their parents did (... and still DO)!
Except on one occasion...
I prepared a double batch of those brownies on Christmas Eve a few years back. They made the whole house smell warm and wonderful, and, though we had eaten a big meal, EVERYONE (even the dieters!) commented on the scent and patiently waited for their dessert of brownies and cocoa before heading off into the chilly night to await Santa in their homes.
When the brownies were done, I turned them out (as usual) onto my trusty old cutting board- a huge wooden one that can hold anything from a huge Thanksgiving turkey to a double batch of brownies. It was only after the brownies were cooled, cut up, and served that the room fell silent.
Apparently, the grandchild responsible for washing the dishes that evening had simply rinsed the cutting board, which had previously held a roast chicken smothered with roasted garlic paste!
As each person bit into their salty chocolate and garlic flavored brownie, a hush filled the house as some silently debated whether or not to tell me how terrible the brownies were, while others tried to find a less-than-obvious way to spit out the offending dessert. I was just about to bite into my brownie when my little grandaughter yelled out "YUCK"!, and everyone burst into gales of laughter.
I was upset at first, but we Moms always have a Plan B, and we drank our cocoa that night with some holiday cookies I had received from a co-worker.
And laughter fills the house again every Christmas Eve when the brownies (now baked by my daughters) come out and we reminisce about "Mom's Famous Garlic Brownies"!
My name is Fartoon Hagi-Mohamed, I'm 16 years old and I love to bake. Ever since I was little, baking had always been an art, some complex secret that some people were let in on. I used to watch silently as my sister would whip plain egg whites and turn them into beautifully smooth merengue and wonder how on earth it was possible. Now I realize that it’s a combination of the air and beating that the whites taking that make them into those whipped peaks. I still like to think about them as those magical white mountains of fluff that had confused and amazed me in my childhood, though.
When I hit my teens, I remember visiting my aunt's house and tasting a lemon pound cake that she had made from scratch. The texture, taste and simplicity of the cake were beyond me. As the rich burst of flavorful cake melted in my mouth, I knew I would never go back to the occasional store-bought nonsense that I had been so accustomed to.
I went home that night and decided that, the next morning, I would make the best cake in the world. However ambitious it sounded, I knew that I had to make it true. I guess you could say that the next day's events became my best, worst, and funniest baking experience ever.
Before that morning, I had baked a few successful batches of simple cookies, mediocre cakes and some other various desserts and confections. This time though, I decided, I would reach for the stars and make a cake that everyone would enjoy and that I would always be proud of.
So I decided on making a classic strawberry shortcake. I looked at the recipe, which boasted its French origin and authenticity and realized that I would have to incorporate not only the cake, but also fresh fruit and homemade custard, which I had never tried before. The first mistake I made that day was trying to start the recipe without having any ingredients ready and having read the recipe for the first time. It's pretty easy to imagine what my custard looked like after I had accidentally cooked the eggs and forgotten to add the butter. My mother asked me if I had been making scrambled eggs and hadn't cooked them long enough, to which I embarrassedly nodded in affirmation.
With a heavy heart, I tried again, dumping out the custard and getting the ingredients ready, as well as all of the materials and tools I would need. The result was delightfully rich and smooth custard with a perfect texture and flavor. I was amazed at myself, as even the simple custard I had made was one that I had never imagined possible.
The cake was next, and that too I made quickly and with ease. After the cake was baked and golden brown and the custard had cooled, I started on the decorations. I didn't realize how hard it would be to keep the custard on the cake, though. Looking back now, I'm pretty sure more vanilla custard ended up on the walls and the refrigerator than the actual cake.
Finally, after a lot of cleaning and even more laughter from my family, I topped the cake with strawberries and tried many different decorations. As I went through the list of odd and…frightening decorations, I decided on a simple design and cut a slice each for my mother and two sisters.
I waited patiently (or not) as they took one bite, then another, and then sat there, thinking. When I couldn't take anymore of the suspense, I asked them what they thought. They told me not only that it was the best cake I had ever made, but that it was the best cake they had ever tasted. I thought they were only being nice until my two sisters demanded that I make them each one before the end of the day so that they could take them home.
I did as they asked, and to my surprise, was able to make two other perfect cakes, and even prepared the last one in fifteen minutes, whereas the first had taken me over two and a half hours.
The worst thing that happened that day though, if it can really be considered a bad thing, is that I didn't get to taste once slice of the cake. It was finished before I had the chance to. Now that I think about it though, after making a scrambled egg custard and having decorations that slightly resembled something out of horror movie, I’m sure that there are worse things…or at least that’s what I’ll keep telling myself. To this day, I’m impressed that I was able to make not one, not two, but three perfect cakes that were a success each time. Even though I didn’t get to taste it, and even though it took several humorous mistakes to get there, I guess it is as the famous saying goes: “Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.”
I've always had a fondness of baking and I just love being creative. Baking, especially cakes & cupcakes was always a way for me to bring my family and friends together and I loved sharing that with others. Baking has now gone from a hobby to a career, proving that every situation, no matter how bad it may seem, has a silver lining. My son, then 7, was having alot of trouble with concentration and hallucinations and terrible headaches after a fall from a shopping cart when he was 6. We needed to get him to a brain clinic but it wasnt covered by insurance. We only had 3 weeks to come up with the money so we held a fundraiser. I was so overwhelmed by everyones kindness and generosity and wanted to do something for them in return, so I began baking cupcakes, hundreds of them, to give as thank you's to all who helped out. Actually, it was the first time that I ever used a vanilla bean, which I won from Rodelle last year. Everyone complimented them and absolutely loved them and I began getting requests for orders. In July, My husband became ill and was unable to work, so again, cupcakes became my lifeline. I decided to risk everything and use the little bit of money we had in savings, buy a whole bunch of ingredients and a good mixer and bake my way out the situation. It worked! I began a cupcake delivery business in July which has now expanded to a small shop inside a local fleamarket that will be having it's grand opening on Saturday. As terrible as the brain injury was, baking helped us not only thank the people who helped us so selflessly but brought me a way of saving my family financially while my husband recovers.
One of the groups on Facebook declared December 15 as National Cupcake Day and encouraged members to eat or make cupcakes. A fun idea indeed. I joined the challenge but decided to go one step further. I would make cupcakes and deliver them to my neighbours. I had been waiting to test a new vanilla cupcake recipe with the Rodelle vanilla beans I had just purchased as well. That evening I made 48 mini vanilla bean cupcakes, frosted them, and arranged them on six plates all ready for delivery and then on trays to take. Unfortunately the weather had changed and it was now freezing rain. It seemed silly to drive my car to each of my neighbours, but I didn't want to ruin the cupcakes. So, I scraped off the car. My first delivery - I had some doubts about feeling silly, but I had a plan and these were friends, so I continued on. My neighbour's son answered the door. I wished him Happy National Cupcake Day and presented him with a plate. Poor guy looked confused as he reached for one. I said he could have the entire plate and he smiled and wished me a Merry Christmas. I found out later that vanilla is his favourite flavour and he ate almost the entire plate of cupcakes by himself, only sharing one with his sister. Second delivery - my neighbour Michelle. She had been sick with bronchitis and was happy to see someone. Her birthday was the next day so I wished her a happy one and went on my way. Third plate went to my friends that own the local pub. I know, seemed strange to deliver cupcakes to a restaurant but why not give them a surprise too? Next delivery went to another neighbour whose son was also shocked by a plate of cupcakes. His Mom sent me a text later and said that he shared them with his family. The fifth delivery was to my best friend - she was expecting them as I had told her my plan. Final delivery. Who was left? I tried the house next door but they didn't seem to be home. I thought, how about the couple, Fred and Stella, that own the property where we take the dogs for a walk. I drove up to their house and delivered the cupcakes. I had not seem them since the summer so we chatted a while. A couple days later Stella shows up at my door to thank me for the cupcakes. She said they were "just the perfect little bite" and she really enjoyed them. National Cupcake Day was such a hit and made so many happy memories. I plan on making it an annual event.
My favorite baking moment comes from being a Mother and teaching my children to bake. I have 2 girls, 9 and 6, and I've had them in the kitchen with me since they were about 3 years old. Holding spoons, stirring, cracking eggs, measuring and so on. When my oldest was still very young, around 4, she was cracking an egg and couldn't get it all in the bowl spilling some on the counter and floor. She began to cry, thinking that she had done something wrong. I held her, told her it was okay and that it could be easily cleaned up. I promptly got an egg out of the bin and said "What do you think will happen if I throw this on the floor?" Her eyes got big as saucers and she didn't say anything.... Going against my OCD nature with a big grin on my face I threw the egg on the floor and we both watched it break and splatter. She clapped her hands over her mouth and looked at me like I was crazy! I said "Not a thing! Just a little mess that can easily be cleaned up." She laughed and giggled and her accident was long forgotten. One of my proudest moments as a mother because it was exactly what she needed to make things all better. She remembers it to this day and still talks about me throwing an egg on the floor. gasp! :) Even at this early of an age she wants to go to Culinary Art School and be a Baker of some kind. This may not stand out or be the funniest or worst in terms of humor. But it is definitely one of my fondest memories in the kitchen with my girls. This is a picture of Jules taken earlier this year while she made cupcakes for the first time by herself. No help from me other than putting them in the oven and taking them out! :)
OFFICIAL HONORABLE MENTIONS
Mary K Johnson
Wendy L. Miguel
Share with us your best, worst, or funniest baking moment. Impress us, move us, or just make us laugh! It's that easy! We want to share in your passion. To us baking is more than the end result, it is an experience, a sentiment and a memory maker!!!
Creativity is a HUGE factor in our judging, pictures and videos are highly encouraged! The winners will receive everything they need to be inspired all year round!
We will pick the top 6 entries to win, based on the most moving, funniest or most impressive moments! We will select 6 grand prize winners and 6 runners up. The grand prize winners take the cake and win a whole YEAR supply of gorgeous vanilla beans, baking cocoa, pure vanilla extract, almond/lemon/anise extracts, the our one of kind vanilla sugar and of course a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer! Runners-up will receive an incredible Rodelle Gourmet Gift Basket!
Enter October 22nd 2012 through January 5th 2013.