This week I believe I was brushed by an angel’s wing; one belonging to my dear, sweet mother in law, Renetta. Monday was her birthday and on that day the finalists in the 2015 National Festival of Breads was announced. And, yes, yours truly is among them. It’s an honor. What touches my heart about this whole thing is not so much that I won, but that the recipe I created for this contest was actually inspired by Renetta and days spent visiting her in Vermont. Is it just coincidence or is it Renetta continuing to comfort me? Are there angels among us? What’s your story?
Renetta was a fabulous and very health conscious cook. She was the first to teach me the importance of buying local in support of the farming community. One of my favorite memories is taking a ride with her and the kids to the smokehouse and sugar shack. There we would sample and buy the farmer’s smoked cheeses (the kind dipped in red and white wax). The smoked cheddar and gouda were delicious whether she was slicing it up for a sandwich on her homemade bread or grating it into her mac n’cheese. And what a treat for my kids to experience the collection and boiling down of sap into maple syrup at the sugar shack. We all looked forward to Grandma’s famous “Vermont Sundae”, vanilla ice cream with warm, just harvested, real maple syrup poured over the top. Drool worthy memories! I am grateful for them and for the inspiration they provide for my award winning recipes today. Can’t go wrong cooking from your heart. Renetta would be happy and proud and I am not surprised that she is still watching over me. Still miss her very much.
I cannot share my bread recipe with you just yet, but here is the official announcement from the National Festival of Breads including yummy photos of all the other winners.