Those who know me know that I’m a baker – and I mean a true little bit of this, tad of that, lots of love, a little extra warmth kind of baker! There’s a warm fuzzy feeling that I get when I’m able to be in my kitchen, sort through my hidden stash of secret recipes and create something special for anyone who’s hungry! Then there are the really fun times when I’ve been talking with someone and they mention something they had a long time ago when they were small, something that reminds them of better times, times with their grandma, times they laughed. I like to surprise those who tell me of these stories by making the treats they describe and then gifting to them the finished product. You should see their faces! The joy, and sometimes tears, is absolute heaven to me!

Yesterday I made some of my soft, homemade bread to go with my homemade ‘tator soup. There’s an older couple who go to the Ashville General Store who like to talk with me a bit. When I told them of the homemade bread, a nostalgic memory came to the forefront of the lady’s mind and we talked for a bit about how her grandmother used to let her use her little fingers to poke a few little holes in the top of the bread as it was rising to “give it some air.” I had never heard of this and we both giggled and talked some more about her grandma’s homemade bread. After our conversation, and quite a bit more giggling, we parted ways and I just knew I had to make her some homemade bread. I’d made them some homemade strawberry preserves a few weeks earlier; I think the bread will go with that like a toad on a toadstool!

When Dot gets her surprise she’ll know that I baked it like her grandmother did so many years ago – letting it rise near the fire in the wood burning stove, folding it gently instead of beating it, letting love saturate through to give it that extra goodness, using real butter – it’ll be so soft that it’ll put a feather pillow to shame! That’s how she remembers her grandma’s bread, and I truly want to bring that memory back to her. Can you imagine how beautiful her smile will be when she gets her loaf of bread? Do you know how wonderful it’ll taste when she puts her homemade preserves on it and has it with her tea? It makes me smile just thinking about how she’ll react when she gets her gift!

This is what life’s about . . . sharing stories, laughing, making memories. I truly thank all of you who let me share in your life and allow me to bring back those memories! I greatly enjoy making things you love! Doing things like this for you brings joy to me! Thank you!

– Miss Judy