Thank You Mom –
The feeling of my tiny hands wrapped tightly around the wooden rolling pin is distinct. Encased in the larger but slender hands of my mother, I let her guide us across the supple dough as we reached further across the counter with every pass. I stood on my tiptoes, pressing upward against the kitchen stool, I reached counter height but still lacked the strength and force my mother had. Each piece rolled out magically as I watched her arms go through the movements, even though her eyes and mind were often elsewhere. It was second nature for her and I watched with envy.
The filling was usually Rhubarb or strawberries and sometimes both. Half a cup of flour, four egg yolks…. she whispered the ingredient list to me, or maybe to herself, as she added them to the heaping mix. She liked to add more filling than was called for so the top of the pie stood tall, rounded and bountiful. In just minutes the filling was encased with the whole-wheat speckled crust, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and heading for the oven, yet I can still stand at my kitchen counter and see my mother’s every step in detail.
One cup sugar, three tablespoons of milk… I now say to myself as I mirror her every step in my own distant kitchen. Rhubarb is my favorite and was my grandmother’s favorite too. She was the one who instigated the first rhubarb plant heist from a neighbor’s compost pile where it had been discarded as an uprooted weed. It is her recipe that my mother taught me and that I keep safe on a crumpled piece of almost disintegrating paper, just in case my memory were to abandon me and because I often like to glimpse at my grandmother’s handwriting and detailed notes she left behind. Scraps of notepaper and three by five cards, faded from use, hold treasures no recipe book or online database can re-create.
My mother, and my mother’s mother, are the exceptional people who inspired me to love food, appreciate flavor, be patient, practice techniques, care for the food that feeds me and care for the body that makes it all possible.
As we approach Mothers Day, with only my mother left to thank in person, it’s the least I can do to reciprocate for the years of patient care, love and sharing of knowledge in the best way I know how: food. To nourish, share flavors, pay appreciation and spend time together is a timeless way for me to say thanks for being there, thanks for teaching me and thanks for supporting me—thanks.
Whether your mother taught you how to cook, or how to ride a bike, plant a garden, kick a soccer ball, care for others, share your strengths or achieve your goals, take time this Mother’s day to appreciate it and reciprocate for all she has given you. The funny but appreciated quirks, the skills learned only from experience, and the care and investment that you will pass down to future generations. While chocolates and cards are appreciated gestures, there is nothing like a meal that warms, nourishes and brings family together. A hand-crafted and wholesome pie will mean more to her than an industrially produced box of chocolates any day, guaranteed to bring a smile to her face and say thanks.
Check back Thursday for healthy Mother’s Day menu ideas and the tried and true Rhubarb Pie recipe. In the meantime, load up your Farm-to-Table box with good food, give your mother a break and say thanks!
Looking for more Mother’s Day activities and ways to show your appreciation? Gather your family for some good food and fun at the Mommy & Me day at the Woodland Park Zoo, Saturday May 7th. For more information, event promotions and day of deals your mother will love, check out our Facebook page.