1. You learn moderation at an early age. Dessert was served often growing up and there were always delicious treats available but you had to learn to indulge in small doses and savor instead of going overboard.
2. You see how to harness your skills for good. You get to enjoy the delicious things you bake, sure, but your mom taught you that baking is a gift to be shared with others. A plate of cookies or a tray or cupcakes given to someone else brightens their day, and their happiness brightens yours.
3. One (of the many) reasons you want to have kids is so that you can make sure the recipes you’ve gotten from her and added your own touch to will continue to evolve in another generation. You can’t wait for some little sets of helper hands in the kitchen or your grown children to come up with their own delicacies.
4. You learn gratitude by finding small reasons to celebrate everyday life — with brownies. No occasion is too small to whip up a batch of beautiful desserts for someone in your life.
5. When dating, you feel like you’ve got an ace up your sleeve. If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, you really can’t lose.
6. You’ve never been scared of trying something new. Many of your mom’s best recipes took a few disasters before they were perfected. You were there for the epic orange blossom cookie fail — and for the orange blossom cupcakes that came later… and nailed it.
7. You used your mom’s 7-layer bars to introduce yourself to teachers at the beginning of the year, they put in requests for more throughout the year.
8. When you think about growing up you remember afternoons covered in flour up to your elbows learning how to knead bread, use a cookie-cutter, and, hopefully earning the special assignment of pressing the Hershey’s Kisses into the center of peanut blossoms.
9. You feel weird eating store-bought, pre-sliced bread. This applies to all baked goods.
10. Certain recipes evoke very strong memories. Your mom’s buttercream cake was always made for your dad’s birthday, upside down pineapple cake was a 4th of July favorite, homemade doughnuts always made her talk about her Norwegian mother’s pronunciation of “Warshington.”
11. You know what you’d rescue if there was ever a fire in your home: the wooded recipe box that used to belong to your mom and is filled with priceless index cards with hand-written recipes on them.