“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” Abraham Lincoln
Who is the biggest influence in your life today?
As Mother’s Day approaches, memories from days past pop into my mind. My birth mother, the Wimbledon tennis star, was more focused on smashing balls over the net than perfecting her potatoes. Yet, on my summer visits to her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she managed to scramble the best eggs in the world. I swore it was the sour cream that made the eggs extra delicious. Today I think the breakfast-for-dinner meal was satisfying because Mom made it.
The banana bread made by my stepmother, Barbara, was spectacular, too. I grew up with Barbara, an actress (with an eye for exquisite antiques) in Tokyo. As she was constantly booking jobs, her baking time in the kitchen was curtailed. However, I have fond memories of Barbara slicing cheese and nibbling on crackers as she regaled Dad and me with tales from her glamorous day. I don’t think Barbara would describe her work as glamorous. But it sure beat trying to solve algebra problems!
Figuring out what I wanted to make for this Mother’s Day weekend, though, was a breeze. Japanese bread flour in my pantry beckoned; and the Cuisinart bread maker machine stared coldly at me. Time to stop procrastinating. I picked up sharp cheddar cheese and celebrated happy memories with this cheese bread.
Just as mothers influence their children, ingredients do make a huge difference when baking. Japanese flour lends itself to soft, fluffy bread slices. My cheese bread is no exception. The combination in the bread of sweet butter with touches of sharp cheddar cheese is excellent, too. If you are a huge cheese fan, feel free to add more cheese. Enjoy the cheese bread with a goblet of Merlot or glass of milk. Cheers!