I’ve been in Baltimore on business for the past couple of days and an unexpected experience yesterday has me thinking about our family stories and heritage that at times we lose track of in this busy world.
I was at Phillips Seafood at the Harbor for some dinner last night. After a few crab cakes, crab legs, crab puffs, and crab in puff pastry, I found my way to the dessert table and noticed something I had not seen in quite a while… A Lady Baltimore Cake.
I, of course, had to have a piece and upon my first bite it was like traveling in a time machine back to my childhood. Then yet another realization hit me. My Great Aunt used to make what we simply called a “white cake” from scratch during the holidays of my childhood. My Great Aunt passed away many years ago and, as a result, so did the delicious white cakes she made.
Over the years, having seen the passing of my parents as well, my siblings and I have done our best to preserve the family recipes so that we could carry important traditions forward. One birthday, my sister surprised with copy of my Great Aunt’s famous “white cake” recipe which I had cherished so much as a child. As it turns out, the “white cake” is actually a Lady Baltimore Cake. The significance does not end in connecting my trip to Baltimore with this beloved cake. The true significance came when I suddenly connected this traditional cake to the fact my grandfather’s side of the family, my mom’s dad, had entered the country many many years ago in Baltimore. I found myself sitting before a harbor that represents my own family’s legacy and I finally saw the connection between this cake and my family’s story. It reminds how we lose sight of the many generations which lived, dreamed, lost, sacrficed and succeeded before us and are the very reason we can count ourselves lucky to occupy our unique space in this world. SM
Just a reminder about the upcoming June 28th “Portraits of Naperville” exhibit: