Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Thanks For The Memories Mrs. Okimura!
My Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook was a Christmas gift to me in 1972 from my parents. I had a hope chest to put it into until I married and left home. When I was growing up and during the first years of my marriage this was THE "go to" cookbook for me. It contained all the recipes and how to's I needed, even a chapter on table settings and etiquette for serving! This book contains so very many memories. Memories that start way back in Hale Kula Elementary School at Schofield Barracks , Hawaii where I attended 3 years of school. My favorite teacher of all my school years was Mrs. Okimura, my 4th grade teacher. Look at this page of my cookbook!(click on picture to enlarge and read recipe) It has the very first recipe I baked all by myself thanks to Mrs. Okimura. I don't remember the occasion, but our beautiful teacher ( yes, she really was the prettiest and nicest teacher in the school and all us kids wanted HER to be our teacher, I got to be in her class!) decided we needed coffee cake to serve to someone visiting, I think. So she allowed me and a few other students to mix up this coffee cake batter and pour it into pans to be baked in the school cafeteria. WOW! I was allowed to do this with little help, she thought I could, and I did! When I went home later that day I showed my Mom the recipe in our cookbook and Mom allowed me to bake this. I baked it many , many times over the course of my growing up years and when I received this cook book as a gift I immediately marked the recipe with the date and place I first made it. I have also baked this simple coffee cake more times than I can count during our children's growing up years. I would whip it up for surprise company, or a quick dessert . Now when I make it I add a dash of instant coffee crystals and almost triple the topping recipe, so much better...but still reliably good baked just as the book requires. Our granddaughter came over for her weekly reading lesson with me and I thought back to my good experiences in learning, what made and still makes me happy and I immediately remembered Mrs. Okimura. Well then, today MN and Grandma would start the lesson reading a cookbook recipe and baking it. And MN was delighted! Look at her smile. ( BTW, when she comes over she requires that BOTH of us go upstairs to my bathroom and put on our "whipstick", hence the lovely red lips)
MN cracked the egg, added the ingredients and mixed the batter up all by herself. Then poured this mix into the baking pan she had greased by herself.And before we move onto more of our reading lesson while we wait for the cake to bake she washes the dishes. MN thinks THIS is the best part of all, washing the dishes and cleaning up. Really. She then offered to help me clean my entire house, yes, really! I decided we needed to continue on with the reading lesson instead.
The cake was done just as Poppa came home from work so the three of us had cake and coffee or hot chocolate.This is what MN thought of her cake! And I was thinking about Mrs. Okimura, and how she affected my life for the good all those years ago and how special people like her give the gift of memories that affect people for the better for all their years. Thank-you for the memories Mrs. Okimura, and I suspect our little MN will thank you too.
"Memories: The state of being remembered; a living continuously in the minds of men." Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary