Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Week 7 {Embracing the Camera}: Family traditions and worn-out mamas

Week Seven of Embrace the Camera was a long, weary week.
And I almost didn't post this picture....
because I look tired and worn-out.
But I'm also happy.
So I'll go with that.

I also reminded myself that part of this challenge was for me to be captured in real photos- being real and well, um.... looking real.
I knew when I signed on for 52 weeks of this that there were gonna be some less than stellar weeks.... I just hadn't imagined it happening so soon.... it's only week 7!

Anyhoo- this is me. Making our family's traditional Candy Cane Coffee Cakes. My grandfather started making these cakes for everyone in the family in the 1960's. In all my forty years there has always been candy cane coffee cake for Christmas Morning Breakfast. Always. The year after Grandma died, Grandpa moved to Arizona and continued making the cakes for some of the extended family down there....
However, we up here were on our own. So my mama and I got his recipe and started making them in 1997. My mama developed carpel tunnel and my siblings got older, so I recruited their help and mama moved herself to chief icing maker. We always make them at my parent's house and it's a day long process with lots of visiting, food and fun. Some years, one or the other of my siblings haven't been able to make it to Baking Day and oh how we've missed them. 
The last two years, Ms. Books has joined us.... adding another layer of nostalgia to the tradition.... the fourth generation stepping in to learn. When I started baking with my mama 16 Christmas's ago, (when Ms. Books was just one year old)- I'm not sure I understood the deep implications of what we were doing- the passing down of tradition and knowledge and love and sweet, sweet memories, but now, as my children continue to grow and now join in the helping, I am very well aware of it.
Very well aware.
And I treasure it all the more.

Here's an Instagram photo of a couple of the cakes....

Aren't they beautiful? My mama forgot the candied cherries for the pretty topping so my brother and I just added more frosting. We both considered that better anyway. Oh the yum!

On Christmas morning, before the presents are unwrapped and ribbons and papers lay everywhere.... we'll sit down to a prettily decked breakfast table, give thanks and eat.
God is good.

Go here for all cumulative weeks of my year long Embrace the Camera Challenge.


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