I love to bake. I love the process of transforming dry and wet ingredients into something new. It feels like alchemy. That first bite of a baked good takes me back to specific memories. Blueberry cake on my 8th birthday. Fresh croissants in Paris. Warm and crusty marraqueta in the streets of La Paz. Sometimes I bake to ease a broken heart.

My dad had a favorite cake. More of a torte really. A rich dark chocolate base with cherries baked into the batter. Topped with a thin layer of marzipan and then a chocolate ganache. My mom would bake…

Dad, you would have been 82 today. It’s the first September 25th that I cannot call you or show up in person to surprise you (remember when all your kids showed up for you 75th?). I started feeling blue last week and I couldn’t quite figure out why. But then I remembered: fall reminds me of you. When the air gets crisp and the nights get longer, I want to go home to Ontario. I want to steal one of your old sweater to wander among the red and orange maple trees. Fall just isn’t the same here in Tennessee.

Emma Banks

Anthropology PhD. Writing because I want to.

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