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A Pianist in the Kitchen

(by Buffy Shutt)

Every Easter my mother, Middy—a great cook, baker, and healthy chef before healthy became a thing—made a cake in a cast iron mold shaped like a lamb.

When she passed away my brother, sister, and I amicably and lovingly chose some of her possessions to become our own. I chose the lamb, even though I am overwhelmed by baking. The chemistry of leavening and the arithmetic of measuring ingredients makes me anxious.

But this year, I made my first pound-cake lamb, following Middy’s directions (somewhat chagrined that the peaks of my beaten egg whites weren’t as sharp as they should have bee