Oh My Olga's Goodies
The Best Chocolate Cake
Years ago, I was at a friend’s house visiting her grandmother during winter break from college. At that time, after dinner, she served us a homemade chocolate cake. Not for anything, but this was the best chocolate cake I had ever tasted. Her grandmother refused to give us the recipe. It was not for lack of trying; we begged her often throughout the week we were there.
Here we are, at her funeral and still no recipe. One thing the grandmother did leave my friend and I, were instructions on finding the recipe throughout her home. My friend’s parents were in charge of the estate. One thing we had to do before the estate sale, was to find her recipe box. We didn’t think it was hard to find. It had to be in the kitchen. Right?
After we left the attorney’s office, we both looked at each other and smiled.
“How hard can this be?” I asked Judy.
“Not hard. It should be in the kitchen. Although I have to say, I have never seen my grandmother use recipes in her life.” Judy stated.
“This is challenge. Well, we have to find it. That cake was the best part of staying at your grandmother’s home when we visited.” I replied.
“You know she never made that cake for anyone but us?” Judy said.
“I feel special. Now let us get to searching. I really want to find this recipe.” I responded.
We searched the entire kitchen and dug through all the cabinetry she had. We did not find anything. Judy’s parents were adamant that we only had a few days to find what we needed before they would begin the estate sale process.
From the kitchen, we went into the dining room and searched her china cabinet. We found a few books but none of them had any indication for recipes. For the life of us, we were stumped as to where she would have a recipe book.
The next room we went into was her craft room. We certainly thought this would be the place where she would store her recipe book. To no avail, we found nothing. Judy and I double checked each other to ensure a second set of eyes would not miss anything.
By the end of the first day, we were reluctant to come back the next day. We were giving up because so far, we had found nothing. At this point, Judy and I thought there was no recipe, and she was pulling our leg from the grave. She was a prankster on us, and we thought this might be the case.
The next morning, I picked up Judy from her parent’s home and we headed to eat breakfast at the local diner.
“Where could she have stored any type of recipe book?” I asked. “Are you sure you never saw her with a book?”
“I’m sure Chloe.” Judy responded. “My grandmother always eyeballed her meals and desserts.”
“Or did you never notice?” I asked. “Why would the attorney not provide us with any clues. Other than it is in the house. How is this helping us?”
“We have to find it Chloe. I miss my grandmother, and this would really make me feel close to her.” Judy said.
With her saying this, we could not give up. We went back and searched the house again. It had to be in there. We would overturn everything again to ensure we did not miss it.
Grandma Olga’s home only had two bedrooms, one bathroom, a dining room and the kitchen. It was not a huge house and today would have to be the day we found what we were looking for. The only problem was, Grandma was a hoarder. Going through her belongings was a small nightmare. She kept all her stuff in bins neatly stacked with labels. This was not the problem; it was that she had too much stuff to go through.
Once again, in the kitchen, I decided to check under the cabinets. I had seen a television show where people had hidden cabinets. I found one cabinet with the bottom shelf loose. I pulled off the piece of wood and there was a single piece of paper with grandma’s writing.
“Oh my God Judy! Come to the kitchen!” I yelled out.
“What? Did you find it?” Judy asked.
“I am not sure. It looks like Grandma’s writing, but I did not want to open it without you.” I responded handing her the piece of paper.
We stared at each other before opening it. We both took a long deep breath and laid the paper on the counter.
It read: “Girls. I wanted to let you know once again, I am so proud of all your accomplishments. I know both of you have struggled with many things in your lives. You both are my grandchildren. Although, Chloe, you are not blood related to us, but you have always had a special place in my heart. The chocolate cake was made for both of you. This is not the recipe, but I have something better in store for both of you. I love you girls. Always, Grandma Olga. P.S. See the attorney and take this letter. He will know what to do.”
We turned the letter around to see if she had the recipe written down somewhere. There was nothing else.
We headed the attorney’s office, and he was in court for the rest of the day. We decided to wait at his office until he came back. It was a long wait. It was 8pm before he returned. The secretary did not let us stay in the office when she closed, and instead advised us to come back the next day.
We approached the attorney and handed him the letter. He looked surprised and let us in the office.
“Ladies, you have found it. I was not sure if you would because your grandmother stated if you did not find it, I could not intervene.” Mr. Ryder advised us.
“You mean you knew where the letter was hidden?” asked Judy.
“Yes.” He responded.
“At least we found it Judy. What is the “something better” Grandma Olga has for us?” I asked.
“Please, take a seat.” Mr. Ryder guided us to his sofa. “I will gather the paperwork and I will explain.”
We waited until he returned since he had to go to another office for the paperwork. Judy and I were anxious. We sat in silence waiting for Mr. Ryder. Those few minutes seemed like hours to us.
“Alright. Ladies. You are in a for a surprise. Olga was adamant that you both had to be ones to find the letter. Thank God you did. Otherwise, this would have been going elsewhere.” He spoke.
“What is?” I asked.
“The inheritance and the recipe.” He spoke.
“What inheritance?” Judy asked confused. “She was living off social security. She did not have anything other than the home. No assets, nothing.”
“That is correct Judy.” Mr. Ryder said. “But, she did win the lottery a few years ago and put it into a trust. That trust is in your name and Chloe. But you had a certain time frame after her death to claim it, or it would go to her favorite charity.”
“What?!” we both said at the same time.
“How did we not know this? You are joking right?” I asked.
“Not at all. She did not want her children to know. She knew both of you have struggled emotionally, physically and financially through your lives. She knew you would need it a lot more than her children. She was adamant this is not disclosed with any other family member. Otherwise, they can take this through court, and it would not be worth it. This is only for both of you girls.” Mr. Ryder said.
Both of us stared at each other and we grabbed each other’s hands. I took a deep breath and it seemed as if Judy could not breath.
“Judy?” I said shaking her hand. “Are you alright?”
“I cannot believe this. Why did she not mention this?” Judy asked looking at the attorney.
“She wanted to surprise you. Only if she was here to see your reactions.” He responded.
“Now, both of you need to sign this non-disclosure. Here are the checks, along with the recipe of her chocolate cake. The only request was, to share the recipe by opening a bakery of which she set aside funds from her lottery winnings. Her stipulation was if you decided to not open a bakery, she wanted those funds distributed between her favorite charities.” He spoke.
He handed us the paperwork. When we looked at the checks, my head spun. I thought for a minute I was seeing double and not the correct amount. Judy showed me hers and it was the same amount. Three hundred and twenty-seven million dollars each.
“Wow. She must have hit the jackpot!” Judy said.
“She did. She had a lot more but living expenses and what not.” Mr. Ryder said. “She wanted to ensure both of you had enough money to live the life of your dreams. Chloe, she also had a special message for you. She said if you never felt like your family loved you enough, she always tried to fill that hole in your heart. She said she had hoped she did, and know you were loved.”
My eyes filled with tears, and I grabbed my chest.
“She provided more than enough love for me. I loved her back. She was the grandmother I never had.” I responded.
After a few minutes, we both composed ourselves and discussed the bakery. We decided we would open it. We grabbed our checks and instructions to fill out an LLC for the bakery. We filled out the paperwork while were there but could not decide on a name. We advised the attorney we would figure it out tomorrow since it was already late.
The next day, Judy and I opened up the necessary bank account for the bakery, we deposited our checks into our personal accounts, and we decided on the bakery name. It would be called Oh My Olga’s Goodies.