A Very Old Post

Something stinky got into my computer and while cleaning it up I came across this post. It’s something I wrote a few years ago while I was on sabbatical, living on an island off the coast of Maine, doing my best to get over losing my son.  It’s about baking, and reading it brought back many memories, not just of roadside wild Maine blueberries and stormy island days, but of just how far I have come since then and how difficult it was to get here.

And where am I?  I’m in a happy place, and my life is once again filled with hope and love even with all that is going on in this crazy world.  This is a world I want to live in, where all life has value, even mine.

Originally written in 2010

Wild Maine Blueberries


It started with a batch of blueberry muffins with the intent of getting rid of some of these blueberries I have a compulsion to buy every time I see them.  From there I went to a banana-nut bread, again to get rid of some bananas that were going south on the counter. But why the almond hot-milk cake?  Where did that come from?  It’s in the oven now, and when I take it out there will be approximately 2,483,971 calories sitting on my counter cooling and looking for a home.  Thank God I don’t have any brown sugar because there are Nestle’s chippies in my freezer and I can almost smell the chocolate-chip cookies they would make.  I’m going to have to introduce myself to more neighbors to get rid of this stuff.  Otherwise I will be in deep diet trouble.

Baking orients me.  I’ve been baking forever.  Besides how it makes the house smell, even mixed with the salty smell of the ocean that’s ever-present in this place, it is fun. I’m at that stage in my life where I have just as much fun baking as I have eating, and it’s even more fun to give it away and see the appreciation in the beneficiary’s eyes.  It would appear few people bake any more.  And I’m not talking about Rice Krispy treats that do nothing more than send your child into a diabetic coma, but real baking.  Nut breads, and streusels, and, for instance, this almost hot-milk cake.  I particularly like this recipe because I’m inclined to add fruit to it for a sweeter taste.  It’s the perfect base for strawberry shortcake, even with the almond flavor.

Baking also takes me back to a time when cookies in a box were a rarity in my house.  If my mother, or I, didn’t make it, it didn’t exist.  My mom made homemade fudge and even had the thermometer to do so.  It was like a science project and we’d stand in the kitchen watching and waiting for the thermometer to get to the exact temperature to stop the cooking process.  Otherwise the fudge would do something whacky; what I don’t know because we never let that happen.

I used to bake my own bread, and weird breads with herbs in them.  My son loved a meal that was a loaf of homemade bread and a crock pot of stew.  We called it “Rip and Dip.” The loaf would be in the middle of the table and we’d each grab a chunk (no civilized slicing of this bread) and just dip it into the stew until the juice was gone, then go for the vegetables and meat because I wouldn’t let anyone leave the table until they’d done so.    I don’t bake breads anymore because I’ve removed bread, and thus sandwiches, from my diet.  If I’m going to eat unbleached, processed, non-nutritional flour, it’s got to have a sweet bang to it, not just plain calories.

So it’s still raining and I see frontal clouds over the ocean, I believe heading east.  I hope so.  I’m ready to get out of here and stop baking.  If nothing else, I’m going to the store for some groceries, perhaps even some brown sugar.


About Patsye

I am an older woman and artist. I love to craft. I love to sew and knit and crochet and needlepoint. I love to paint and draw and make art with my hands. Being creative is what gets me up in the morning. Art is my tea, my fresh air, my good book, and my cats all rolled into one. I have much to share and hope you'll visit often.
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7 Responses to A Very Old Post

  1. Darlene says:

    Hi Patsye , Darlene here from Calgary Alberta .Canada . Stumbled upon your post while looking up things on my loved machine , Necchi BU Mira . I have the original book with all information . If you ever need any information , please send me through your e-mail address & I will happily take pictures of the actual pages & send them on through 😉 Happy sewing dear & LOVE the machine as I am Italian by heritage . Regards ,Darlene

  2. Northern Narratives says:

    I’m so glad that you have reached a happy place.

  3. Glad you decided to re-post this, it is so good to look back from time to time and see how far we’ve come, isn’t it?

  4. Betty says:

    Thank you so much for sharing from another “older woman”. Wonderful memories passed through my mind. Our little house in the woods on the coast of Maine was surrounded by wild blueberries and for awhile we went from enough picked for our cereal, to make pancakes, to make muffins and if my husband was really motivated – a pie. Nice to think about this evening of mixed snow and rain in southeast PA where we now make out home just a few miles from our daughter and family. Yet, Maine is just a Skype away as it was again tonight. Again – thx. Betty


    • wspines says:

      Thank you for your looking back post. Its good to revisit the past to see where we are now. I have kept journals off an on over the years and occasionally re-read them. Sometimes I think I haven’t moved forward at all and these remind me of how far I have traveled. Carole

  5. maureenc says:

    Isn’t it amazing to “look back” and see how you coped with major upsets. For me it was either sitting in the garden gazing over the paddocks and”seeing” my son working out there, or doing handwork/sewing with the fabric and thread soothing my tactile senses whilst my memory relived earlier days.
    Like you baking: bread, cakes, biscuits/cookies was a “natural” But without my husband I have stopped bread making (only me to eat it) and the calory rich goodies unless I know the friends nearby will accept them

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