A Healing Table: Baking as Sacrament

Such a nice co-in-see-dance happened today. As was shared in the last post, have been extra excited about baking lately. And then this afternoon i came across this very heartening post from Corey of Tongue in Check. As some of you know, her mother is an amazing baker. But she stopped baking when her husband became very ill, and then he sadly passed away a few months ago. It is only now that she is beginning to bake again, and the resulting blessing is deep.... for the whole family. From here and here:

"My Mother loves to bake, it is one of the things she does best. As far back as I can remember the kitchen counter had a plate or two of cookies on it. When I recall my childhood home a sweet aroma instantly fills the air.

When my Mother bakes cookies she did it without thinking, certainly like prayer, it was her therapy. She would wake up early, and before going to morning Mass she would crack the eggs, cream the butter with the sugar, add the vanilla...with the recipe in her head. My Mother's hands steady and swift made cookies for those she loved, for those who would come to visit, for those who needed cheering up, for those at the rest home, for the neighbors and anyone who asked her for help. Yes making cookies was her way of giving communion to those of us in need....

The art of baking starts with having the right ingredients and follows with a knowledge that what you are doing is feeding the hungry with loving spoonfuls of goodness. My mom is baking again and the sweet aroma allows home to feel like home once more. The art of her baking is deliciously healing.

Everyone needs a helping hand no matter how small... my mother has many helping hands surrounding her (see one set of those precious little hands above, smile). After several months of not baking... my mother picked up her wooden spoon. The atmosphere was softly quiet as if we were baking a souffle. The children knew, as only children do, that this was a first step for their beloved Vavie (Grandmother)....With each turn of the wooden spoon, each lick of the beater, each stolen taste.... healing was being served. "

This reminded me so much of how sacramental baking actually is in its own way. Indeed so much of the seemingly mundane, the quotidian things in life...are sacramental. More and more, i feel that the more mundane and qoutidian/daily/"simply basic" something is, the more likely it is a truly sacred thing really.

Geneveive Kineke beautifully goes into the sacramentalness of a woman's work in particular, in her book The Authentic Catholic Woman. The sacrament of Baptism is mirrored in our everyday acts of cleaning and of hospitality. The sacrament of confirmation is mirrored in the act of counsel and encouraging the best in one another. The sacrament of reconcilation is surely a daily mirrored thing in our lives, that of peacemaking and forgiveness. The anointing of the sick and last rites are mirrored as well, in our healing and caring for one another in all the little ways that that happens. The sacrament of marriage and holy orders are mirrored in a man's daily providence and protection and a woman's daily nurturing (be it physical, emotional, spiritual or mental...even beautifying or ordering is a form of nurturing). And the sacrament of the Eucharist is mirrored in, you guessed it....that wonderful qoutidian mystery of cooking and feeding.

Okay, now i want to go bake something again, lol. Time to mix up some cornbread to go with the lentil soup for dinner. Sacramental living, more and more it just amazes me. What is common, what is daily...is so often what is most sacred....

(Images from Corey Amaro of Tongue in Cheek, from here and here)

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