Monday, June 30, 2014

Old School vs New School

 Old School vs. New School

This past weekend, I decided to make a pound cake. The recipe is easy, but the actual making of the cake is all in the  combination of hard work and love.

I grew up under the tutelage of older women who could get their cook on. As they would say, “They could really burn.” No one used mixers or fancy kitchen aid devices. They used a wooden spoon, a spatula a good mixing bowl and a lot of love.

These women would prep their Sunday meals before church, then leave right after the offering to get home in time to finish the meal so the food would be hot and on the table when everyone arrived.

I learned from some of the best, while my daughter has the internet and all the electrical appliances that 21 years of Christmas and birthdays could get her.

When I decided to make the pound cake, she went online and found a recipe that she said I must use. Then she pulled out her fancy KitchenAid mixer and taught me how to use it.

At first I laughed at her and told her that I wouldn’t be caught dead using the thing. I said that I was a real cook and that my recipe was in my head and my arms and heart would do all of the mixing.

I told her about Ms. Nellie Boykins in Ohio and how her pound cake was a gift from God. I talked about Ms. Salura’s macaroni and cheese and Nan Nan’s smothered chicken and strawberry cobbler.

My daughter smiled at me and plugged in the mixer.

Reluctantly I did as I was told and using her internet recipe I mixed a batter that would have made all my teachers smile. I told my daughter that it didn’t feel right because my arms were not tired and she told me that she could still taste the love.

My daughter set the timer on the oven (something I’ve never used) and I told her that I didn’t need it; I would smell when it was done. She laughed, set the timer and went back to her computer screen.

When I smelled perfection, I walked towards the oven and just as I reached the door, the timer went off.

The site of that cake brought tears of remembrance of Mommy Green, Aunt Gladys, Nan Nan, Ms. Nellie, Ms. Salura and now my daughter Fatima.

The new school could never replace the old school, but together they would be unstoppable.

The cake was divine. My daughter said it tasted like an angel food cake and pound cake got together and had a baby.

This week and every week that follows take something from the old school, combine it with the new and evolve.

Be you, be learning, be loving.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

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