Today I licked the icing off the beaters and said out loud to no one, “Thanks, Mom.”
Thanks for letting me lick the beaters from so many cakes and icings as a child. It’s one of those traditions I passed on. And there are no children around me to fight over who gets the spatula and who gets the beater, but still, I remember.
Thanks, Mom, for teaching me the “why” to cook. I had to learn the “how” to cook after a left her home, but what I learned was the love expressed through a homemade spread of favorite dishes. To be honest, I know I don’t cook the way she did. In fact, her frequent thing to say when eating the Jana version of her dishes was “well, it’s different.”
Yes, that is a kiss of death from the judges. Smile.
But now, making my dishes, still differently than hers and laughing as I hear her kiss of death comment, I am grateful. To know that more than one way can still be the right way. To know that I can honor her recipes and methods on some die-hard dishes like Thanksgiving dressing and cornbread, and to know that I can discover my own flair with equal success.
Thanks, Mom for the beauty of folks gathered around a table. These days my table is filled with friends more than family. It is a happy and a sad reality. The changing seasons take getting used to, but she taught me, without ever saying a word, that Jesus loves to hang out and dine with friends. Some of my hardest and most tender conversations have been over a well-prepared meal.
I wonder sometimes if every time we dine, we re-enact the Lord’s supper. Bread, drink, friends.
Thanks, Mom. I understand better why you cried when you made Granny’s coconut cake the first Christmas without her. I did the same thing with your beef stew and oatmeal cookies. And yet we cook. Because we love. Because we remember. Because it’s worth the effort.