My story about bread comes not from memories of a loving grandmother, but rather from my sister who is three years older than I am. Our father died in North Africa in 1946 right after the end of the war leaving my mother widowed with three young (6, 8, and 10 ) year old children to raise by herself. She worked two jobs most of the time arriving home in time for dinner.
By the time my older sister was 13, she loved cooking and baking, especially homemade bread. She wanted to help and please our mother. Unfortunately, at that time, age 10, I was selfishly more into playing outdoors.
However, I loved helping my sister bake bread. She taught me how to prepare the dough. I can still smell the aroma as the yeast was mixed with the other ingredients. I also remember how my sister would knead the dough after it was mixed, let it rise under a clean kitchen towel until it was doubled in size and then punch it down before turning it into a bread pan for one last chance to rise before baking.
Sometimes we would make small little balls about the size of a big marble, roll them in melted butter followed by rolling them in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon before placing 3–4 in each of the sections of a muffin pan to rise before baking.
Once they were done baking, we could break off one little piece of the hot cinnamon roll, lather it with butter and enjoy the delicious take of something my sister and I had baked. The best part was watching the smile on our mother’s face as she shared the rolls with us.
My sister continued to cook and bake for the family until she went off to college five years later. At 83, she has lost her enthusiasm for doing both, but it was wonderful while it lasted. And the memories live on.