I sprinkle flour across the white quartz counter in preparation for rolling out dough. Stirring together flour then salt, I begin the magic of a pie. Adding butter strategically and slow I watch the dust transform to dough and add cold water to plan for a flaky crust. My mind starts to unfold as the dough begins to mold into one object. Baking has always been a therapeutic pastime for my thoughts to organize. I knead the dough into submission as I feel my heart rate calm to a rhythm.
Taking the sticky lump of dough out of the mixing bowl I lay it atop the flour layer. Before rolling it out by hand, I slip my wedding ring off and place it to the side of the messy work space. As my emerald cut diamond ring catches light it reminds me of my mother. When choosing a stone for my engagement ring, my biggest influence on style was my mothers ring with an Emerald cut. What a perfect symbol of the love between mother and daughter that keeps our contrasting lives connected through style.
As I grab the rolling pin to begin pressing the ball of dough into a smooth canvas I toss my dish towel across my left shoulder. This technique I learned by observation from my step mom. I watched my step mom hard at work in the kitchen while we spent the weekend at my dad’s house, she gracefully bloomed into a mother of three without missing a beat.. Anything she does, she does with all of her attention. This dish towel thrown over her shoulder is just one way she is visibly prepared as a caretaker, available to attend to a mess or solve a problem.
I have rolled out my pie crust and look down at the great mess my kitchen counter is. I didn’t use to bake with this wide of a wake but that is another wise woman I see in me. My mother in law, Jolene, taught me that a messy baker makes the best baked goods. In other words, it’s okay to be messy or to make a fuss about something because you will love how it turns out and a mess can always be cleaned up. Be unapologetically yourself! I apply this lesson in many categories in life outside the kitchen. I tidy my work space and slip a pie in the oven awaiting apricot scent to fill the air. I ponder the many wise women in me and it makes me hope to shape others with a similar grace. Thanks for reading!
Photography by Shelley Foster