I’ve credited my dad with teaching me how to cook, but I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge my mother in teaching me my way around the kitchen, too. In fact, this blog would not exist without her, for several reasons:
1. She gave me life, and did not take it away or set me on the curb, even when I was quite frankly asking for it.
2. My mom taught me organization, and how to clean up after myself. Without those two traits, which some may find a wee bit obsessive in my mother and me, this blog would have approximately two posts right now, neither of which would be finished.
3. She taught me to read a recipe. While my dad can take the credit for my love of trying new things in the kitchen, my mom was there to read (and re-read) the recipe, to teach substitutions, and to help me fix mistakes.
4. My mom limited the amount of baking that went on in our kitchen, which only made me want to do it more. There’s something to be said about rebellion. I’m thinking about forbidding my kid from cleaning his room or going to bed early.
5. I inherited from her my inability to sit still. Neither of us can watch a movie or sit peaceably for too long without folding a load of laundry, emptying the dishwasher, cleaning something, or some combination of the above. This trait has come in handy to keep the momentum going for this project.
6. My mom encouraged us to try new things, without forcing them on us. Between this tactic and my grandparents’ bountiful garden, I developed an appreciation for fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruit. When we traveled as a family, we were encouraged to try new cuisine. I don’t remember any dinnertime battles, but I do remember gentle encouragement to try what was put in front of us. I think that this developed a sense of adventure in me, which despite my many substitutions, I hope shows in this blog.
7. She seeks out things like fingerling potatoes at her farmers’ market for me.
9. She plays with my child so I can cook, or even so my husband and I can go on a date. As if she didn’t get enough of wiping noses and bottoms raising four children, she now enthusiastically dives into the same tasks with her grandchildren.
10. My mom never made me try liver, and she always sent kid-friendly snacks with us when we stayed at my crazy grandmother’s house, where we were about as likely to find a kid-friendly snack as we were to find a troll living in the bathtub.
I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge and celebrate my beautiful mother-in-law today, too. Not only did she raise great sons who became wonderful husbands, she’s also a wonderful mother-in-law and grandmother. Also, she has been gracious enough to share her family’s favorite recipes so I can try to recreate them at home. Of course, everything tastes better when it comes from her kitchen! When we visit her, she fills us with great food, and when she visits us, she’s kind enough to pitch in with the many, many dishes.
Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!