An Open Letter To My Marvelous Mother

May 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Photo Credit, SC Johnson,

Photo Credit, SC Johnson,

Dear Mom,

Culling out a single food memory from my childhood would be impossible as there are so very many, so here is my open thank you letter to you.

Thank you for our family field trips to farm stands on the east end of Long Island. At the time, I had no idea how important it was for me to see real food in its natural state.

Thank you for being a gracious and creative hostess. I couldn’t possibly remember all of your parties, but some of my best memories are of making and serving dinner by candlelight for a Colonial Williamsburg dinner, clambakes, and cocktail hours that lasted several hours on our boat. But of course, I’d be remiss in not recalling your very popular, annual survival party – an outdoor event on New Year’s Day. Yes, you served too much food and people drank too much. But the laughter that you inspired will ring forever in my ears.

Thank you for taking risks. What were you thinking when you taught a group of 4th graders to make croissants for a French class project with no oven. (Oh, yeah, I would probably do something so silly these days).

Thank you for your willingness to experiment. While you’d never touch a roll of sushi, you exposed me to so many different cuisines as a kid – I remember the fondue pot, the wok, the crepe pan, and of course your famous krumkakers filled with sweetened whipped cream.

Thank you for showing me the importance of family dinner. While I may forgo the candles that you set out, we continue this tradition every night, one that keeps our family strong.

Thank you for not being perfect, for the occasional Dorito, coke and McDonald’s visit. Although you made what we may now consider mistakes, it’s comforting to know that if you get all the big stuff right, things will probably turn out okay.

Thank you for birthday cakes, raucous parties, cooking lessons, nourishment and nutrition, and of course for soft-boiled eggs.

I’m pretty certain that I have never pulled out an egg cup in my own home. I’ve scrambled, poached, hard-boiled, omeletted, fried, even coddled, but never made myself a soft-boiled egg with sliced buttered toast like you served me on a many a cold morning before school. Thank you for that memory, so simple, so unspoiled and yet so profound.

Thank you most of all for being my mom.