An ode to my Mom on Mother's Day - 5/13/12
I have been asked more than occasionally where I learned to cook. My response…”no, no formal training, just from my Mom”. We didn’t think so at the time, but my siblings and I were regularly treated to what we considered strange food. In retrospect, we were truly fortunate to have had a mother that was not only a good cook, but willing to be adventurous and, well, inventive!
Lots of our friends used to exclaim as we walked home from school, that today was “spaghetti day” or “fried chicken day” which always occurred on any given Monday or Wednesday. For me and my 5 brothers and sisters, we never knew what to expect! We were treated to such wonderful concoctions as liver and onions, Marge’s version of chop suey or goulash. My brothers would frequently beg an invitation to the neighbors on that oh so normal spaghetti day instead of suffering our house rule, “you have to at least try it”. We can all clearly recall sitting at the table long after everyone else had departed staring at a plate of cold congealed and completely foreign matter loosely described as dinner. We all developed our own tactic of scooting food around the plate to make it look like we had taken the one required bite…a tactic that rarely worked. Darn…no dog under the table! Once, my brother even resorted to placing fake bugs on the plate. Mom totally freaked out, we all had a great belly laugh, but ultimately he still had to partake!
Now that I am in a position more focused on food, and on this very special occasion, I reflect on what I eventually learned to admire about my mother. I am so thankful that she introduced us to (and made us “at least try”) all of those, what we then considered, strange and foreign foods. I really miss the ability to give her a call for a recipe or just have a chat about how my diabetic grandma used to make the most fantastic pies!
“Mom, thank you for instilling a fascination with food and an appreciation for meals prepared from the heart. I apologize for not thanking you while I could, but hope this message reaches you in your heavenly kitchen. Love!”