I’ve heard that climbing Mount Everest is pretty hard. For most people, anyway.
We all have our version of that, the near-impossible summit that we can’t reach, no matter how hard we try. For years, that was my grandmother’s mocha bread.
When I was little, I didn’t like apple pie. Chalk it up to youthful foolishness. So when my grandmother made the pie, she’d also make this bread. And I loved it. It was so special that I’d eat it slowly, sliver by sliver, to make it last. Usually, I gobble up my dessert. But this was too special
And when I grew up, I tried to make it. Over and over again I followed the recipe, calling my grandmother each time I failed. It was too light in color, or too heavy in weight. What was I doing wrong? It got to the point where I suspected her of recipe sabotage.
Finally, about a year ago, and shortly after my grandmother’s death, I got the mocha bread right. I’m still not sure exactly what I did to make it correctly other than acquire more knowledge and skill, but I feel like the torch has been passed. She was a phenomenal baker who used scant resources in harder times to make amazing food. Later in life, she still had the knack for producing recipes that nobody else seemed to have.