Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My grandmother's aprons

It was my birthday last Saturday. Preparing dinner for my guests I put on my grandmother's apron to protect my dress. Whipping cream for the raspberry mousse I am suddenly transported back to my childhood. Sunday mornings at my grandmother's house, waking up when the church bells were ringing, and then the most welcome sound of all: the whirring of the large electric whisk in the milk shop downstairs, whipping cream. My grandmother sent me down with a dish to buy a quarter pound of whipped cream to have with the Sunday afternoon cake. The tiny shop was full of customers, queuing and chatting, waiting patiently for the cream to be ready. I loved watching the blades turning in the big bowl, the white liquid thickening and then starting to form peaks, presided over by the milk shop owner, a large lady in black dress and white starched apron. "Ein viertel Pfund Schlagsahne, bitte," I would say when it was my turn. I remember thinking what a wonderful job this must be, whipping cream on a Sunday morning. There was never any whipped cream on workdays in the milk shop.


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