Friday, March 8, 2013


For those of us in that profoundly special club, bound by shared grief in the loss of a deeply-loved one, memories of that special someone especially are poignant and meaningful.  All memories are savored and processed in the senses.  For me, taste and smell are especially profound.  A whiff of perfume, a taste of a favorite seasoning, they take me back to my loved one.

My mother passed away this past September.  I don't pretend to have fully processed what this separation means to me.  Dad says it's a day by day thing, and I totally agree.  There are days where I move quickly through my day, and consciously do my best to not linger on that sore spot of grief just out of my reach of understanding.  But usually I find the ache, the sense of loss to be cathartic as an experience.  It's good to remember, and I find myself smiling when I catch myself in the mirror, and for a moment recognize my mother looking back at me.  Or I look down to see a treasured ring of hers on my finger.

Today, though, I saturated my senses in a different way.  I cooked.

Mother always loved to cook.  She loved providing hospitality.  And she was darn good at it!  One of her greatest joys in life was opening up her home to friends and family and filling them up with the wonderful tastes of her kitchen.  Sweet and savory scents alike wafted from the kitchen and set us all to drooling in anticipation.

Now I'm a pretty good cook (thanks Mom!), but let's just say that I'm a little lacking in the hospitality department.  Those genes went to my sister, who is also a very good cook.  Today, however, I felt a desire to conjure up some happy scents and tastes of Mama for my own family, so I made a batch of no bake cookies.

Sure enough, as the mixture bubbled cheerily on the stove, I drew in those sweet memories of Mom mixing up a batch before a family movie night and I smiled.  Thanks, Mom, for taking all those moments to fix something special for our family.  Thank you for sharing your love of fine food with me.  And thank you for your loving legacy of cooking.  It is one I will treasure and share with my own children.

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