Growing up as a military brat, we moved around a lot and didn't spend much time with our grandparents, even around the holidays. When my father retired in Texas, we settled down for the first time and began attending a church regularly. Some of the church members were grandparent aged and they took on that role in our lives.
Adelaide and George were a couple we would go visit and sit on their old fashion furniture covered in doilies and get served cake and lemonade. Around the holidays Adelaide baked her famous poppy seed bread. It was moist and delicious. Every year we asked for the recipe and she would tell us it was a family secret but she would bake it any time we wanted some.
She really lived up to her promise. As we got older and moved away from home, she would bake a few loaves and freeze them to take with us after a visit. Even after her beloved George passed away, she would bake that delicious poppy seed bread whenever we asked.
Adelaide fell ill and passed a couple years ago and I assumed she took the recipe with her to the grave. I was disappointed that I would never get to taste that yummy cake, especially during the holidays. Although I heard rumors that my younger sister had gotten her hands on the recipe somehow, I wasn't quite sure it was true.
Just a few days ago, my mom emailed me and asked how long to bake Adelaide's poppy seed bread. I was shocked! I emailed her back and told her I never got the secret family recipe, but heard my sister might have it.
Later on that same day mom called and told me she found out the information she needed to bake the poppy seed cake. I asked her how she got the information. Surprise, surprise... she told me she found it on the back of a yellow cake mix box. Some secret family recipe!
My lesson from this, I believe, is that Adelaide kept that secret so she would feel needed. Since we LOVED her poppy seed cake so much, she knew it was a reason for us to come visit, a reason for her to make something for us, a special way for her to share her love.
I haven't looked for the recipe on the back of the yellow cake mix box, but my mom already has a loaf waiting for me in the freezer when I go home for Christmas. Adelaide still knows how to bring us together even though she is gone. I guess, in a way, she will be with us this Christmas.