Friday, May 2, 2008

Mothers Day with the Mormon Foodie

With Mother's Day coming up in a few weeks, naturally I'm thinking, “What can I cook?” I don't know of any chef, professional or otherwise, that didn't get started in the kitchen because of their Mothers. My own children might be one of the few exceptions to this (my wife hates to cook) but, as a general rule, I suspect it's Mommy that got most of us started.

My own experience is no exception. It was my mother that got me going. She was taught to cook by her mother and grandmother. Coming from a matriarchal tradition like that, teaching her three boys to cook probably didn't seem like much of a priority. When I started getting interested in cooking, though, she was at least willing to help me out.

I think at first it must have confused her. I seem to remember her giving me quizzical looks at times when I'd talk with her about cooking – looks that seemed to say, “Why do you want to know that? Your a boy.” In the end , I think she's kind of warmed up to the idea of her youngest son being in the kitchen. Now that I'm a parent as well, I think she enjoys chatting with someone about cooking and how she learned. The fact that I cook for her once in while probably doesn't hurt.

Recently, my mom went through her ceder chest and pulled out her mother's old cookbook and recipe cards. What a treasure trove of family history it is! I'm in awe. I actually get to see recipes written in my mother's, my grandmother's and great-grandmother's own handwriting, all in one place. I feel very blessed to have access to such a genealogical treasure. It's connected me to my heritage in ways only food, and family, can do. I've started learning some of these recipes, and modifying them to suit my own sensibilities, as well. I don't think Grandma would mind me changing them. It looks like she'd altered a few recipes, too.

By the way, thanks, Mom. Thank you for all the food you cooked for me, all the food you helped me cook, and for the love of the kitchen that you've handed down to me, from one generation to the next. I only hope I can fully share that love with your grandchildren.

1 comment:

Misa Gracie said...

This is a great Mothers-day thread to start.. I think I might just write a post of my own on how I started out in the kitchen... I guess I just tagged myself huh? Don't mind me, I'm just pushy.