Happy Mothers Day – Kitchen Memories

My first cookbook was from Gramma Ruth (I think I was 7 years old). My first experience cooking happened in my Mom’s kitchen. My love for hand-writing recipes comes from my Gramma Helen. My family tree of “mothers” shared their love for cooking and baking with me. {And most of my friends would like to simultaneously yell THANK YOU for doing so!} To that end I am writing a tribute this Mother’s Day, 2013.


The women in our family (including my Aunts Sooz and Cheryl) taught me to love food. And not just any food, but “mmm mmm good food”… they taught me to be adventurous in the kitchen, to find the love of baking from scratch, how to be resourceful and find substitutions for missing ingredients, why we follow the rules of baking (aka the importance of using exact measurements), searching out and trying interesting recipes, and gathering in the kitchen at holidays to feed those who have gathered… so many memories with my “mothers“ in a kitchen.


And the images flood my memory… dirty measuring spoons, burnt griddles, flour spilled onto the kitchen cupboard, a sink full of dirty dishes, Gramma Helen’s recipe card box, Mom’s handwriting in her recipe notebook (and side notes in the margins of her recipe books), cookies cooling on cookie racks, drawers bursting with boxes of wax paper/saran wrap/aluminum foil, the large bin of cooking utensils, the butter dish shaped like a hen, and the dish cloth hanging from the peg on the inside of the cupboard door.

And the lessons race through my mind… how to crack an egg without getting pieces of the shell in the batter, how to separate an egg, the importance of washing our hands after touching raw poultry, how to shape a meatball / cut biscuits / make a grilled cheese sandwich / measure dry vs wet ingredients / ways to thicken a sauce / steaming vegetables, how to test if the cake is done, etc…

And the memories race… licking the beaters, making a mess, cleaning up the mess, the fear of burning the cookies, falling in love with the recipe my mom learned in her high school home economics class {for Lemon Deluxe Bars}, seeing people’s smiles when they tasted those Lemon Bars… and then eventually me sharing recipes with my Mom and Grammas.


And that proud moment… when I made my first dinner for our family. I made an Italian dinner of stuffed shells. Think lasagna in a large pasta shell, drenched in red sauce and topped with sliced mozzarella… then placed under the broiler to melt and bubble and get all deliciously appetizing. I was so proud of myself. And it even tasted good!

I would say about our kitchens… everything I needed to know about life I learned in the kitchen. Slow down, there’s no need to rush it. When time permits, do some tidying up. Honor others by being kind and doing nice things for them (take dishes to people who need it, etc). Be resourceful. Be flexible. Be adventurous. Savor the good parts of life. Cherish the memories.



One thought on “Happy Mothers Day – Kitchen Memories

  1. Ditto from me Lori……life-long learning and having GREAT experiences in the kitchen with those great cooks of our family who have led the way with love and devotion. Happy Mother’s Day to one and all!!


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