The first Grace in my life was my grandmother, Grace Theresa Romeo. We called her Nana.
Nana loved to bake. She was famous for her chocolate chip cookies, that always came out square instead of round, no matter how she placed the dough. For every single holiday, we would have a cookie-baking day at Nana's house, with all seven grandchildren. Each of us had a special job in creating the sprinkled cut-out cookies. I was the eldest grandchild, and my job was to use a thick pastry brush to sweep an egg wash over the cookies before the younger children attacked them with multiple varieties of sprinkles.
I can still feel that pastry brush in my hand, and remember the exact spot I would sit at her small kitchen table. I remember searching through the dozens of metal cookie-cutters and finding all the holiday-appropriate ones to hand out to my cousins...and sometimes slipping in a Santa at Easter or a turkey for Christmas, just to hear everyone giggle about how silly it was.
As we got older, sometimes the little jobs we had would change, but one job that always remained the same was Nana's - rolling out the dough with her wooden rolling pin.
She was an amazingly special person and a huge influence in my life. All she ever wanted was to be around to make it to my wedding...which she did. She passed away nine months later. My only wish is that she could have met my children. I'm very fortunate to have in my possession that very same wooden rolling pin. Only now, I use it with the second Grace in my life.
And every time we use it...
I can only think of how...
The two Graces would really have enjoyed baking together.