Monday, November 23, 2015
Today I am grateful for my mom’s ideas. Sometimes mom is just right. There, I said it. . .but don’t tell her, lest she get a swelled head. Although she is virtually blind, 89, still smokes like a chimney, has creaks and knuxes, almost no energy, and only one hearing aid that works sometimes if she bothers to put it in. . .there is nothing wrong with my mom’s mind. She is as sharp as a tack.
Before we went to my sister’s house, where we are staying while in Madison, we stopped to see my mom at her apartment. I had barely said hello before she said, “I want to talk to you about an idea I have for Molly’s bridal shower gift.” Oh boy. That means she has an idea that she can’t implement.
She wanted to hand write some of her old recipes in a notebook and give them to Molly. Have I mentioned that mom can barely see? I told her it seemed like a better idea to get a loose-leaf folder and clear plastic sheets and rig up a book that way. Once she saw what I was talking about she agreed.
We sat together for hours with her old, scuzzy, 3×5 inch recipe box, pulling out one well-worn index card after the another. At first she could see what they were, but it wasn’t long before she was tossing them at me, “You read that! I can’t see it anymore!” So I did.
She vetoed some, but I used them anyway. Sometimes she would hold the card and tell the story that went with it. “I got this recipe from your grandma Jens, Willies mom and it came all the way from her grandma in Russia.” Or she’d go off on a tangent about how she never used garlic because, “. . .your father didn’t like it.” Or, how a pie made with her never-fail pie crust recipe, “never made it out of the kitchen” at the potlucks in Arizona. . .“The kitchen crew ate them,” she said.
Writing her recipes by hand proved too taxing for her, so I took them back to my sisters and typed them on the computer. . .for one solid, eight-hour day. I’m glad because now I have them, too. Since I have to bake for Thanksgiving, I brought my recipe book along, so I added to the list. Then my sister scanned her favorites, so she’s in the book, too.
Pictures of mom hand-writing notes into the “YUM”, recipe book for my niece, Molly, topped it off. It was a group effort by a “mother and her pearls.” That’s what she calls us. Her words, not mine.