Haibun: Learning to make biscuits

For Magaly’s prompt at Real Toads, Childhood memories that give us joy today.  In prose, 130 words or less. this is my new haibun style, leaner with fewer words, description,  in the spare Japanese style of Basho, the creator of haibun.  Haibun are true accountings, not flash fiction. I am also posting this on Poets United.

 Haibun: Learning to make biscuits
“What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?” Anthony Bourdain

My eyes level with the oak table, I watched my grandmother pulling down the big yellow bowl and getting ready to make the biscuits for breakfast. She lifted me into the chair and put the sifter into my hands and filled it with flour. I began turning the red button crank on the sifter, the same sifter I still use after all these years.
flour drifting like snow
into a sun yellow bowl –
cooking with love

my Grandmother’s yellow mixing bowl

38 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Magaly Guerrero
    Dec 15, 2018 @ 15:08:33

    Grandmas are magical. I remember sitting in the sink (it’s so hot in the Dominican Republic) as my grandma made a meal. She would let me taste everything, ask me to name things, pretend that she forgot little details about a particular dish and let me set the whole things straight. It was a wonderful time, so warm… as warming as the imagery evoked by your haiku–all that bright being received by the sun, and then being baked into yum.


  2. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    Dec 15, 2018 @ 15:27:26

    There are certain items that just looking at them make us feel at home. The bowl is gorgeous.


    • kanzensakura
      Dec 15, 2018 @ 18:36:32

      Thank you Margaret. My grandmother bought that set at a Woolworth’s when she was first married. I have a smaller celadon colored one and a larger rose pink one from the set. The blue one was shattered by a cat!


  3. sanaarizvi
    Dec 15, 2018 @ 15:32:29

    Such a poignant and special memory this is, Toni! ❤️ I love the image of “flour drifting like snow,” sigh.. thank you so much for sharing! 🙂


  4. Charmed Chaos
    Dec 15, 2018 @ 15:55:25

    Toni- such a lovely write, and that bowl is beautiful.


  5. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Dec 15, 2018 @ 16:38:14

    I love that the bowl is still there… we need those connection back in time don’t we?


  6. Sherry Marr
    Dec 15, 2018 @ 17:44:34

    So cool you still have that sifter……those yellow bowls were classic! Loved this memory.


    • kanzensakura
      Dec 15, 2018 @ 18:33:34

      The old McCoy Fish Scale pattern – it always reminded me of an Egyptian lotus motif. I also have a smaller celadon colored one from her bowls. She bought that set from a dime store when she was first married.


  7. oldegg
    Dec 15, 2018 @ 20:02:52

    What a great tribute to you grandmother. I had an aunt who had no children of her own but when I’d visit she would dote on me and I could feel the love she had for me.


  8. Rob Kistner
    Dec 15, 2018 @ 21:06:06

    I could see the flour floating down… I used to love to play with mom’s flour sifter. I would run around pretending it was a Flash Gordon gun…


  9. Marie Elena
    Dec 15, 2018 @ 22:40:58

    Lovely memory. Lovely poem.


  10. kim881
    Dec 16, 2018 @ 04:09:24

    A great memory, Toni; nothing better than baking with grandmother. I love how the big yellow bowl blooms alongside the sifter with the red button crank – bright colours against the ‘flour drifting like snow’.


  11. Kerry
    Dec 16, 2018 @ 04:13:18

    The last line says it all!


  12. Marian
    Dec 16, 2018 @ 10:11:10

    That bowl. Classic.


  13. annell4
    Dec 16, 2018 @ 11:21:48

    I love your sweet memory.


  14. Vicki
    Dec 16, 2018 @ 14:05:00

    Beautiful memory and a treasured keepsake.


  15. Sherry Blue Sky
    Dec 16, 2018 @ 14:13:05

    (My Grandma made the featheriest, lightest biscuits ever. Her secret was Cream of Tartar.)


    • kanzensakura
      Dec 16, 2018 @ 14:18:43

      Lol. My grandmother’s secrets were lard, buttermilk, and not overworking her dough. She had an incredibly light hand. She also patted out the dough instead of rolling it out. She actually won 2 blue ribbons at the state fair for her biscuits. I love making homemade biscuits but, my husband prefers those nasty canned ones because that is what he grew up on. Can you imagine?

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  16. Mary
    Dec 16, 2018 @ 17:21:16

    How neat that you still have your grandmother’s mixing bowl and how nice that she so lovingly taught you how to make biscuits!


    • kanzensakura
      Dec 16, 2018 @ 18:59:04

      It is how I make biscuits to this day – by the sight visuals of the bowl and the ingredients. I love that old sifter too. Still as bright and shiny as it was 60 years ago.

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  17. Dec 16, 2018 @ 19:01:43

    “flour drifting like snow
    into a sun yellow bowl –”

    Very nice.


  18. susanstoo
    Dec 17, 2018 @ 12:33:38

    This poem is sunshine on a grey day. That yellow bowl, and the sifter that is still with you have equivalents in my life. This poem flows wonderfully.


  19. Jim
    Dec 17, 2018 @ 14:29:20

    You were a lucky girl , special, to be her only grandchild. Biscuits cooked with love are the best.
    For sure better than the fake ones baked out of a can.


  20. coalblack
    Dec 17, 2018 @ 17:15:06

    I felt this. It was my father who used to make breakfast on Sundays and it is a very fond memory. But I have a couple of things of my grandmother’s (my mother’s mother) and I like having them here. They make me feel good.


  21. kislaya
    Dec 17, 2018 @ 23:34:21

    I love my Grandmother too! A beautiful piece depicting unconditional love that we receive from our grandparents!
    It is so emotional to think of how we keep their things safe with us so that these remind us of them like you kept this yellow bowl!


  22. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Dec 18, 2018 @ 17:52:49

    Ag,m the memories you evoke


  23. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Dec 18, 2018 @ 17:56:04

    That posted before I was finished. Was going on to say that my grandmother and also my mother had that exact same bowl. (How I loved to ‘clean the bowl’ by spooning up any left-over mix afterwards.) I bet if I saw a photo of the sifter, I’d recognise it from those days too.


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