Brown Sugar not just for baking any more… it is also to make friends! As we (or at least me) come to an age when Mother’s are scarcer than hens teeth. Hen’s don’t have teeth you say?? Pretty scarce then aren’t they. I wonder how much of us is from the times that Moms tried to pass onto us knowledge and all they got for their attempt to enrich our lives was rollings eyes, dirty looks and an occasional “Mom that is so OLD Fashioned, I don’t need to know that stuff!” I guess some of the stuff must have stuck somewhere in my tiny little brain. I am making sticky buns (cinnamon rolls) but mine have lots and LOTS of other stuff. Raisins, walnuts, honey, brown sugar….ok any of you running to the kitchen to make some?? No?
Well, let me tell you some thing. When my Mom was baking – first and foremost the kitchen was a forbidden zone when things were a making!! But as I got older Mom use to let me “help” yes usually with disastrous results. Some of the knowledge that I gained must have been by osmosis, because you know I WASN’T paying attention. “Mom, can I go NOW? I want to go to shopping with my FRIENDS!!” after hearing it over and over AND OVER, Mom usually felt it was simpler to do it on her own. If only I had known then what I know now. NOPE I would have still whined. But some things I do remember. Mom said the best utensil in the kitchen? Your hands. Only they can tell when the bread dough is thick enough. Only they can tell if the cake is really done. (You tap it with your finger and see if it springs back. Just saying!) The one that got me every time was see if the water for the yeast is too warm or too cold. Now for the hard part. Kneading the dough, it can’t be too gummy and it can’t be too tough. Which is one of the things I usually mess up. So wish all the people around here good luck because even if they come out hideous THEY HAVE TO EAT THEM!! Just kidding they will turn out fine. I HOPE? one batch out… they look eatable. My brother seems to think they are OK, of course he is like Dad, he can eat anything. That is a whole other story, check back for future episodes!
Other Momisms that I seem to have float back to the surface are: If your brown sugar get hard put it in with a piece of bread and it will become soft again. Which brings me (finally!) to this story. In Haxtun the grocery store had a cart that they filled with either expired stuff or just bargain stuff. They had put some bags of brown sugar in for 99 cents because they were hard as a rock. I pick one up and keeping my Mom’s advice in mind decided that I could soften it. Another lady came by and said “Oh, honey don’t buy that it is as hard as a rock, you will never be able to use it.” She was an older lady and I assumed that she knew the trick. So I asked “Didn’t your Mom ever tell you to put hard brown sugar in a baggie with a piece of bread?” I am thinking that I must be wrong if this lady doesn’t know about it. She looked at me like I had just grown a second head or something. Just as I was feeling really unsure about my memory, another lady came up and said “I do remember my Mom doing that. Does it really work?” I don’t mean to tell you that I am “Hints from Heloise” but at that moment I was feeling pretty domestic. All of a sudden there was a rush on bargain basket. The first older lady was grabbing those 99 cent bags like she had won the lottery. The second lady – not quite as old was getting in the basket to get her share. I only got one but the older lady must have made it out with about 10. I don’t know what she was going to make but at least she has enough brown sugar for an army! When I was walking out with my lone bag of brown sugar the first lady drove up and said “How many bags did you get?” I said only one. She grabbed a couple of bags and held them out the window “Well, thanks for the tip honey!” I must admit that I was shocked. I wonder how many of the other things my Mom said are still running around in my head to pop out at a future moments??? Mom, seems I was listening after all. I wonder if she can say “Told you so!” all the way from Heaven? I think she might just be laughing a little bit too.