A simple Saturday in Montgomery preparing for the memorial service of a family member turned into a delightfully sweet treat thanks to my cousin, Nishia. This true “hostess with the mostest” took a page out of the Book of Zelda (her Mama) who is known for hosting family and friends with the most gracious (and selfless) generosity. Like her mother, my grandmother Jean (RIP) and her sissy, Nette (my Mama), my Aunt Zelda’s ritual of making family feel right at home dates back, at least for me, to the times where I would spend weeks at her house as a child growing up, even bringing friends by from high school or college by, sipping on cold Co-Colas, staying out late, eating fancy-smancy seafood from my Uncle Ricky, primping and shaking in barely there clothing and Payless shoes in front of their large, glass mirrored wall before heading to Club Top Flight (bless my heart), and enjoying the joy of family.
In the true sense of Zeldahood, my baby cousin (LOL! She’s three months younger) opened her doors to my sister, nieces, her sister and me recently. At a nearby establishment known for a $27 buffet and lots of machines which light up and spit out, prompting an impromptu car dance reminiscent of the aforementioned glass mirror dance, we had a BLAST the Friday before the Saturday Nishia decided to get up, cook a buffet breakfast of muffins, bacon, and delish leftover pizza. Then, like a quickening flash of “where’d she get that from” energy, she decided to brave the cold weather and go to the store not once, but twice to bake a cake and grill her famous “Boo Burgers”.
I wish I could give you the recipe to the cake. It was truly something to behold. Too bad though, the recipe is safely kept between Nishia and my three-year-old niece Kenna who studied like a baby hawk as her apprentice in the kitchen while the cake was being made. I do know, thanks to Kenna spilling the tea, that the cake has sugar in it. Go figure! There was something more important than the recipe, it’s sheer aesthetic beauty, the utter delight of the moist nuggets of buttery goodness nestling in on the awaiting tongue, the intoxicating taste of lemon in every bite or how absolutely delicious it was as my friend and I nibbled on a slice in church the next day (We can do that at my church…and we watched a movie in church too. Go Highlands!)
More important than all of that was the love with which it was made and received, and the gift of hospitality being continually transferred from generation to generation. I can hardly wait to see how the example set forth by Nishia blossoms into her daughter, who by the way, is the best babysitter ever! I can’t wait to see how my nieces Kenna and Kassi take what they’ve been given and give it back in ways we can only imagine. And to think, all it takes is a cake or whatever we have to offer.