The World Through My Shoes is my look at living this incredible gift God has given us. As a busy wife, mother and daughter I relish the alone time I receive on my early morning runs. It is in the stillness of those predawn mornings where I often am inspired. Thank you for taking the time to read my words.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


The town was beginning to awake.  Old men were beginning to spill out from the doorway of the local greasy spoon producing evidence the Saturday morning ritual of gathering for early morning coffee was still alive.  The men have been doing this for generations.  Sipping their coffee in between offerings of encouragement peppered with sarcasm and laughter.  I watch one of the town's gentlemen cross the street in front of me.  He waves and smiles, not because he knows who I am, but because this is what you do to offer a wordless "thanks" for stopping my car allowing him cross.  I wave back and continue my journey to my Aunt's home where we will continue our Saturday-after-Thanksgiving tradition.

Several years ago my aunt decided to part with her recipe for the Dutch treat of Almond Sticks.  The daughter of the town's baker, she had perfected the recipe handed down to her and now, she passes it down to us.  With all baking supplies in hand, I walk into the room that will transform into a baking mayhem. 

We are all there; mothers, daughters, nieces, aunts and cousins.  The women of the family learning and participating in our family's tradition, a place where the past collides with the present in a delicious moment in time.

The Recipe comes out and is set out on the table.  We never detour from The Recipe and read it ingredient by ingredient even though we know it by memory.  With precise measurement we prepare the dough for the crust.  We laugh when we miscount the cups of flour and have to start over, never passing up the opportunity to chide the person who can't count.

Once the almond filling is made, it is carefully wrapped and placed in the fridge for chilling.  There is magic in the chilling. 

I look up to see my mom teaching my niece, her granddaughter, how to handle the filling.  I watch as one generation touches a new generation.  In these moments I long for my Grandmother yet savor the moments I have with my mom.

With wonder I contemplate what this tradition will look like when granddaughter will become grandmother and pass on The Recipe.

All generations are present and begin learning The Recipe.  Each one doing important work in keeping the tradition alive. 

As the dough and almond filling chill, we clean and eat.  We kick our feet up and share our lives; the laughs I'm sure are similar to the ones heard at the old men's Saturday morning coffee time.  The encouragement is endless and so is the good-natured banter. 

The women in the room all contribute to the woman I am today.  And I am thankful.  My heart is full. 

With the food gone, we begin the final steps of The Recipe.  The rolling of the dough and the making of the Almond Sticks.  The flour is abundant and finds its way onto the table, floor and clothing.  Throughout the generations we have yet to perfect in preventing this mess.  And we love it.

Like the women before us, we roll and knead and pinch the dough.  We brag about who's didn't "leak" the year before and wager who's is good enough to be leak-proof this year.  This is the wining crown of tradition and one few of us have mastered.

One thing we never have to guess on is how long the baked Dutch treat will last.  We all know.  Upon arriving home they will be eaten quickly.  Spouses and children will greet us at the door and with sweet anticipation take the treats from us.

With the smell of Almond Sticks in the air, I am reminded of how blessed I am.  In a world where we often find ourselves too busy, this tradition keeps me grounded.  A time set aside each year for the young to learn from the old.  A time where we come together and meet history at the door with open arms.  We welcome the tradition and savor the moments it creates.

And then we wait.  Until next year.  When we do it all over again.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful, Cheri! And, btw, you WON A CRICUT MACHINE!!!! Get ahold of me. Yay!