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Mmm, mmm goodness!

Biscuits and jam

Mom’s Saturday biscuits were worth waking up early to enjoy. When we visited as newlyweds, Kathy would rise to help her. The two stood at the kitchen island, Mom on one side with her mother’s old crockery bowl in front of her, ingredients in glass canisters set in a neat semicircle, and Kathy positioned opposite facing the window.

Mom chatted about everything: the early spring, trips to Forest Hill’s plant nurseries, Aunt Dale’s garden –– whatever popped into her thoughts. Kathy smiled and nodded, commented at the right times, never taking her eyes away from the action in the bowl. Every now and then, Kathy asked a question or observed aloud about what Mom was doing. “Oh, I don’t know about measurements. Just about this much,” Mom said, holding her cupped hand to demonstrate the amount of flour.

She echoed the direction when Kathy inquired about the Crisco and milk. Mom’s early morning biscuit-making, Kathy’s subtle questioning and close watching, were times when goodness was passed down. Each session ended with the sound of the black cast-iron skillet sliding into the oven.

Breakfast at my mom’s house was arguably the best meal of the day, and she really laid out a feast –– bacon and eggs topped off with a plate of Dad’s homegrown tomatoes and preserved jams from her cupboard. But for Kathy, her focus was on those biscuits –– the shape, color, aroma, fluffyness.

Back at home, there were lots of trial and error attempts. And every time we went back to Mom’s house, Kathy watched even closer, trying to break the code, wanting the secret to those biscuits. When she said hers just didn’t come out right, my mom smiled and said, “You just have to feel the rightness. The goodness comes from you doing it over and over again. Find your way, and you’ll know it’s right.”

Through the years of our life together, Kathy’s biscuits became centerpieces of our Saturday breakfasts. Kathy kept on experimenting until one day, she felt the correctness of her method. She dubbed them “Grandme” biscuits in honor of Mom. That goodness, passed from my mom to my wife, is the love put into those biscuits.

On Saturdays, years later and states away, Kathy starts breakfast early. The girls are home for the weekend. Mary comes to the kitchen when she hears the coffee grinder. Kathy stands on one side of the counter with a metal bowl in front of her and a semicircle of ingredients arranged around her. Mary sits across from Kathy and sips her first cup of coffee. Their chatter and laughter is heard in rhythm with the sounds of mixing ingredients. I hear the clang of the black cast-iron skillet coming newly preheated out of the oven. Mary asks about the biscuit making while Kathy forms the dough in her hands and places them in the skillet’s circle. Kathy’s reply sounds familiar: “Well, it’s more of a touch; you can just feel when it’s right.”

Breakfast is ready. We circle, hold hands, bow heads, and offer thanks. At the amen, the biscuits come out of the oven –– Grandme’s biscuits, goodness and love with every bite.

Scripture teaches that God’s goodness goes hand in hand with His unfailing love. The Psalmist writes: “(His) love will pursue me all the days of my life.” It is unrelenting. We cannot escape. His love is unmerited and flows like a cascading river flooding over us.

Commit to passing along a legacy of love –– one that can’t be escaped, flowing with mmm, mmm goodness.

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