She stands on a stool, wooden spoon in hand as she peers into the bowl. Emma can feel the too long ties of the apron trailing down the back of her calves as her grandma comes from behind her. Her hands cover Emma's, larger and more wrinkled, covered in age spots. It always fascinates Emma how different their hands are. Hers are small, grubby, with uneven nails and chipped polish. Grandma has longer, smooth nails. Grandma's polish is always perfect.
Together they stir. With their efforts, the contents of the bowl go from a lumpy, powdery mix to a smooth, even batter. When her hand goes to fast, too hard, the batter splatters, some of it landing on Emma's nose.
"Sorry," she says. Tipping her head back, she looks up at Grandma, a little fluttering in her stomach.
She needn't have worried, though, because Grandma laughs, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. "No need to sorry. Baking is a messy endeavor; it was bound to happen." She taps a finger to Emma's nose and tastes the batter. "That's a good batter, though."
Giggling, Emma nods. Grandma steps back and she climbs down from the stool to get the cake pan, the one that Grandma had let her prepare and grease all on her own. Grandma pours the batter, but she lets Emma take the baking spatula and run it along the sides of the bowl. When they're done, Grandma lets her run a finger through the bowl and taste the batter.
Every Sunday for as long as Emma can remember, her grandma has been baking something. Every Friday night, she's dropped off and she gets to spend the weekend here. Sunday afternoons were spent watching as Grandma made cookies and cakes and breads and cupcakes, all from scratch.
Her hands, Emma thinks, are magic.
She never uses a recipe book and never has to look anything up; Grandma just knows how much goes into whatever she's making.
Maybe, Emma sometimes thinks, Grandma is magic.
Now that she's older, Emma gets to help. She learns those magic measurements, and with her bare hands—and a little help from Grandma—she gets to make cookies and cakes and breads.
Today, they're making pound cake.
When it's finished, they sit at the table. Grandma pours her a little bit of coffee and they share a slice together.
Baking with Grandma is Emma's favorite time of week.