Catherine Cameron was born in Nacogdoches, TX, November 4, 1924. She was the only girl among five boys. Catherine’s mother died in childbirth.
Being the only girl among so many boys, Catherine was destined to become a caretaker. As was often done during that time, her father pulled her
out of school in third grade to help care for her brothers and the home. Therefore, she became an accomplished cook and baker by the age of twelve.
Catherine attempted to return to school at age 13 when her brothers grew a bit older. However, she quickly faltered under the intense teasing she endured,
being the only 13 year old student in a third grade classroom. Consequently, she dropped out of school once again and educated herself in the science of cookery.
She immersed herself in cooking and baking. A few years later after the cafeteria manager in a local school sampled her baked goods; she gained her first official baking job.
She was only 16 years old at the time. Therefore, Catherine worked as a cafeteria baker, until she got married and moved to Arizona in 1960. Upon her arrival to Yuma she sought
employment in the Yuma school cafeteria system, but was quickly denied because she lacked a high school diploma. So, to provide for her now growing family, Catherine became a domestic worker,
cleaning and cooking her way through life. Only a few months after the move to Arizona, the mother of one of my sister’s friends invited my mother; Catherine to church, this forever changed our lives.
Catherine eventually had eleven children, of which I am the youngest. Throughout my life my mother was the best baker I knew. She could make the most delectable pies and cakes to ever pass through human lips.
As a child, her baking warmed my tummy and my soul. Everything she baked was a testimony of her love. I admired her ability to bake and longed to learn baking from her.
When I finally found the courage to ask her that life altering question, “Mommy, will you teach me to bake?” She readily agreed. Happy to move from a mere “spoon licker” to an “apprentice”,
I was overcome with excitement. However, this was short lived when she soon began to reveal her recipes using language like; “A pinch of this” and “a dash of that” It became clear to me, that
I was not yet ready to learn the intricate science of baking. So, sadly my apprenticeship ended almost as quickly as it started. As my mother matured, so did her baking skills. My mother’s life was a
tripod of priorities, God, family and church. Her dishes were the highlight at any church potluck! People fortunate enough to sample her desserts raved about their deliciousness. It became clear;
there was no goodness better than the mouthwatering goodness found in Catherine’s baked goods. Sadly, at age 67 my dear mother was diagnosed with Leukemia. She fought that disease like a champ for many years.
The last year of her life, her strength began to fail. Remaining by her bedside both day and night, I wished with all my heart to do whatever I could do to make her last days, her best days. Since, she was
then bed ridden, I was responsible for all of her meals. Many times she would frown and push away the meals I prepared clearly expressing her sheer disappointment. Yet as she grew increasingly thin,
I knew then, something would have to be done. So almost 20 years later, now her full-grown adult daughter, once again I begged for cooking lessons. Pleading, “Momma teach me to make it the way you
like to eat it!” This time learning from the master teacher mattered. It mattered so urgently and completely that the language she used to teach, no longer mattered. Consequently, at her dying bedside,
I finally learned the equivalent of a pinch of this, and a dash of that. Soon after, under her careful tutelage I began making meals that she willingly ate with smiles and approving nods. Thankfully,
I earned the right to prepare her meals, until her appetite ceased to be. My mother died, June 8, 1997. After her death, I began to realize how many of her recipes I had actually mastered. So today,
I honor the legacy of my mother Catherine, by bringing to the town she called home since 1960, a placed named in her honor, “Catherine’s Cupcakery” Proudly we present: Catherine’s Cupcakery,
a gourmet cupcake bakery offering homemade baked treats, good enough to gain the approval of even the most discriminating of bakers, my mama; Catherine!.