My mother's talents

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I honestly don't think anyone ever had better home-made meals than us kids, growing up in my mother's house.  Her soups were healing, her meals were tender, her desserts (cheesecake, carrot cake, birthday cakes, sand tarts, checkerboard cookies, and oh! those Christmas cookies) were the kind you couldn't find anywhere else (no bakery, no restaurant)—not nearly as good, not nearly as well made.  She often worked just from an idea, not from recipes.  She seemed to take what she could do for granted—it was just something she did, this meal making, to keep us fed.  I wonder what she would make now of all the cooking shows, of all our rush to invent, create, make good with ingredients bought not at the Pathmark, which is where she shopped in those early years, but at Whole Foods and Farmers Markets. 

The older I get, the more effort I am putting into every meal.  When I succeed, it is the day's accomplishment.  I wish my mother had felt that way.  I wish we'd been able to convince her (for we tried) of just how good, how irreplaceable, she was.


Beth F said...

At the end of the day -- kitchen tidied, family fed -- I bet she knew.

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

"She often worked from just an idea, not from recipes."

Hmm. Remind you of anyone else, perhaps? :) I think you might have this talent of your mom's in other ways, too.

Sarah Laurence said...

Lucky you! I do think we appreciate our mothers more as we take on their duties later in life.

Congratulations on the Booklist!

KFP said...

Sweet. My mom and both grandmothers, were much the same. My mom still makes Sunday suppers for the family. I know I am lucky.

As less people do this sort of home cooking, the more one appreciates what a wonderful and special form of art and love this cooking is and was.

I have to admit that my husband does the cooking at my house now (though I will do the occasional pie), and our now-grown sons are the cooks where they now live. That's another—though different— beautiful thing.

Becca said...

My mother was (and thankfully, still is) that most wonderful kind of cook that makes every meal about love as much as nourishment.
She too is very nonchalant about her cooking, but she does enjoy feeding people (and we all reap the benefits of that).

My mom loves to watch the cooking channels, and is always trying some idea or other she sees on tv :)

Kelly H-Y said...

That is one area that is not effortless for me! Your mother sounds lovely.

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