One of my earliest memories of my mom was watching her make homemade cheesecake at our family restaurant as a child. I couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 years old, but I still vividly remember the amazing smell when she pulled them out of the oven.
My mom had this amazing ability to float around a kitchen as if she were a magical kitchen fairy. She would wear a kitchen towel over her shoulder for quick access to drying her hands, almost as if she didn’t have the time to stop and interrupt her schedule to actually go to the sink.
My mom wasn’t just good at baking. She could just as easily make a mean roux for gumbo, the most amazing standing rib roast, or delicious chicken cordon bleu. She had the patience of Job (as my Dad used to say) and she would let me hang around the chopping block as a child and watch. Usually I was relegated to the job of salad spinner (remember the old days when bagged salads were’t a thing, yet?) but I was just happy to be in the kitchen.
Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit the baking gene, nor did I really inherit the cooking gene. It wasn’t from a lack of trying, though. My sweet mom is still trying to teach me how to cook. It wasn’t but maybe a year ago that she attempted to show me how to make a roux step-by-step. She also taught me how to make the most tender and delicious rack of ribs (which I actually replicated at home by myself). To this day, she sends me recipes that I may actually be able to make at home successfully.
Unfortunately, my mom has been through a lot of medical challenges recently, and she has lost a lot of the mobility and independence that she once had. Aside from some of the more obvious issues, she does not yet have the strength to be back in the kitchen again.
I know one of the many things she must miss is being able to delight others with her culinary treats. There are many things that I wish for this Mother’s Day, but just one of them is for my mom to be that magical kitchen fairy again.