My sisters and I used to love to go to the grocery store with our mother. We would follow like little disciples, contributing our wish list of meal choices for the family dinner. This was the one thing that kept us together, the family meal. I never took an interest in cooking, never needed to. My mother was gifted at the culinary arts and I just basked in her glory, sampling an array of delectable delights as the years passed. She cooked with such passion and love, we all were the recipients of this gastronomical way of showing affection.
When my mother was growing up, she had artistic abilities, talents that she never had the opportunity to fulfill. She could pick up a pencil and sketch a portrait, and sing like a songbird. Her mother taught her dreams were unrealistic and unattainable. Over the years those dreams were left at the wayside, replaced with children to raise and the constant need to just get through a day and survive. When my father first met my mother, her cooking skills were so lacking, she could not even boil an egg. I believe when she picked up that wooden spoon for the very first time, the artist in her was reborn; the wooden spoon was her pencil, and the food she created was her masterpiece. Her cooking would be the light that kept us from darkness during those challenging years of childhood, and I believe her culinary talent became the basis of her identity and our lives together.
I became a vegetarian and I was one for ten years, and she was always able to take family recipes and come up with something completely unique just for me. As the years went by I never took a liking to cooking, I was always off doing my own thing and let’ s face it; who needs to cook when you have someone always doing it for you. I could never compete nor did I wish to, that was her arena. My interests were in the arts and I was not a cook. Then the day came when I wasn’t within driving distance of my mother. It was time I learned to cook, and I did so with her help via the telephone . I learned all that I needed to learn and more, and I even cooked my first Thanksgiving Dinner.
Now I find myself living in California and a vegetarian once again, a lifestyle I find enlightens my mind, body, and soul. This time it is me converting recipes and reinventing old stand-byes. If I do say so myself the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, passion for cooking and giving can be inherited. I am always learning, growing, and evolving; with the reassurance that my inspirational Mother is always a phone call away to assist me when needed.