When my mother passed away, my dad was able to sell their house, and nearly all of their belongings were packed up in a big crate, and stored away. The Lakeshore Ward Relief Society ladies came and helped pack things up, after we'd taken some of the things we wanted or that couldn't be packed. One of the things that came to my house was Mom's flour bucket. It was a clear, restaurant quality, 16 quart bucket with a tight lid - she may have had one for sugar too, but I don't know what happened to that one. It had been stored in her hall closet, so whenever she baked, which was often, out came the bucket. I'm sure a time or two she sent a grandchild to the hall closet, around the corner from the kitchen, to fetch flour for a recipe.
One habit, or practice, of my mother's that I have tried to carry on, is bread baking. She used her Grandma Bloomer's recipe - but adapted it to use powdered milk, from food storage. This is the same recipe that I use today.
Grandma Bloomer - is my Great Grandma Bloomer. My grandfather's father, Frank Arthur Mauzy White, was killed in the War (in 1918, I think..) , shortly before my grandfather, Frank Arthur White, was born. His mother was left with him as a baby, and eventually she married George Bloomer, who raised my grandfather as his own. So, my mom had her Bloomer grandparents, and she got the bread recipe from Grandma Bloomer - I am also glad that I have this recipe written in my mother's handwriting...
Anyway.. back to the bucket... I have kept it on my shelf, full of flour, or empty of flour if I've baked alot. The other week I found myself with an empty bucket, needing to go to the store for more, when I figured I should wash it out. It was getting a little grubby on the outside... after, yes, nearly 5 years of not being washed. I don't recall ever washing it since it has been here, I'm sad to say ( but flour doesn't leave stuff that dirty...you know? ) So it made me think that there were possibly some of my mom's fingerprints that I was washing from the outside of the bucket...and it got me thinking about her. I'm grateful for the little remembrances I have of her around my house, there are plenty... I'm thankful for the skills she taught me, and the recipes she left - I made her rice pudding recipe this afternoon. I hope that I am teaching my children good practices, and habits, and skills... sometimes it feels like I'm banging my head against the wall... but I know that she is cheering me on... but I still miss her.