I took the lamb mold home in a bushel basket of other items I didn’t think we’re junk. My dad’s old glasses. A commemorative beer can from when the canning factory closed. A mural made of fish lures. A rusty metal tray.
My sister asked me if I remembered our mom making cakes in the mold. I didn’t, but took it anyway. It seemed too precious to throw away with everything else that was piled up on the driveway eight years after our dad had passed away. It was the first time our mom had the heart to clean out his workshop.
My eight brothers and sisters and I started there removing every jar filled with nails and every odd board left from projects left undone but soon spanned on to other areas of the house where they had lived for 50 years. By the time we were done the heap on driveway made neighbors ask if everything was all right.
And like my dad, I kept that mold, assuming the right time would come to use it. I knew it was typical to make the lamb cake at Easter, so every year I thought about it but it seemed like too much work. This year I told my mom that I would bring dessert to Easter dinner. She told me I didn’t have to because she had a cheesecake from Aldi’s. I told her I wanted to make the lamb cake.
“I used to have one of those molds,” she said.
“I have it, ” I said.
“Okay, well, we can have two desserts.”
There were only a few of us coming for Easter dinner, but my mom is still used to cooking for a crowd. When I got home my mom had actually made one more dessert so we had three for 10 people.
The cake turned out good even though I had read many horror stories about making the lamb cake. Some people said it got stuck in the mold, but mine came out without a hitch because I melted butter to grease the mold. The lamb was 3D for the most part except a dent in on side of the body where the cake caved a bit.
After all, it was fun and tasted good too. I’m glad I finally got to try a little piece of family history.