The Gift for Baba | Teen Ink

The Gift for Baba

May 28, 2016
By Christine1913 GOLD, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Christine1913 GOLD, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
14 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

The dainty, blue flames dance like feathers, twirling against the bottom of the pot. The scarlet concoction bubbled and boiled and trickled off the side like a wound. The rich aroma of warm beets and beef aroused an intense desire to drain the pot dry—to devour it completely, leaving but a cloud of subsiding steam. Although the prospect of a smoldering tongue kept my distance, I tugged intently on my Baba’s apron, imploring her to spare me a glance.

Her hands seize my waist, raising me upon the sudden, off-putting coldness of the countertop, “Opa! Doesn’t this smell good? Breathe in the steam, it’s good for you.” I draw in the red broth, and its warmth, its sweetness, its care. The blue dancers wither away as she turns down the dial. The top is laid over the soup, rapidly gaining droplets of water on its ceiling. There will come a day when my cooking will be as sensational as that of my Baba.

A spectacular idea suddenly emerges in my mind: I will make her something sweet, perhaps cupcakes—the most spectacular pink cupcakes. I heave a cerulean ceramic bowl upon the table, gathering eggs, sugar, flour, powders, and various other ingredients that I toss, pour, and beat into a heavy, parchment-colored mixture. Reveling in my creation, I delicately situate the baking tray in the oven.  I then wash the white streaks of flour from my body, listening to the tick, tick, ticking of the timer. Will she like it? I begin to pace the kitchen anxiously, attempting to imagine her possible reactions in my head.

Ring! The intense trill of the timer signaled the completion of my creation.

I felt the tray gradually sear through my glove as I removed it from the heat. I marveled at the golden cupcake tops—Perfect!—or so I had thought. I called my Baba to the kitchen, offering her a taste. To my dismay, as she peeled the wrapper off the dessert, its center spewed out as a cakey, rubbery, pallid lump. I stared at the floor in disappointment, but my Baba swooped me into her arms, encouraging me, “You made this all by yourself? Wow, that’s terrific! Don’t cry, it’s okay.”

“No, it’s terrible. I can’t do anything.” I tore away from her grasp and locked myself in my bedroom. I held a sheet of paper against a book, attempting to draw pictures of my Baba and I, massively layered cakes, and all sorts of imaginary creatures—something to offer to her instead of the cupcakes.

“Christine!” my Baba implored, “Come here!”

I raced to the kitchen with a stack of pictures in hand, “Here, I made these for you.” She smiled, thanking me for my beautiful artwork. But then I noticed the wondrous, fragrant sweetness that drifting through the kitchen. My Baba handed me a cupcake that she had recreated from my batter, waiting to see the look on my face as I took a bite. I beamed with happiness—I would never forget this memory we had together. 

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