THE CONFECTIONIST: Learning From Our Mothers

Friday, May 8, 2009

Learning From Our Mothers

I couldn't make it home this weekend to see my mom for mother's day, therefore I am dedicating this post to her.

I'm having a little tea party tomorrow with a little over 15 of my closest girl friends. No, I am not trying make a political statement, rather a "farewell, have a wonderful summer" gathering with breakfast(y) foods— my favorite.
I was at Central Market a few hours ago and as I was picking out produce for the salads I plan to make, I noticed a woman struggling with the price-marking scale. On my way over to help her, a man dressed in a chef outfit (the standard buttoned jacket and cotton pants) ran up to her and explained exactly what to do. They must have known each other because they were sharing the same cart. I caught on when I saw a menu peaking out of their basket; this "take home chef" was shopping with his client for ingredients so that he could help her create a feast.
As I wheeled my basket, full of colorful California strawberries, Texas blueberries and the greenest cucumbers, I continued thinking about that woman. My first thoughts were wow, that must be really nice to have a professional chef help prepare a meal. For a moment I imagined how much easier it would be having a chef prepare food for my soirée, while I assist him. About a minute into that euphoric thought, I came back to reality with a sense of empowerment. I realized that the middle-aged woman, probably only cooks on occasion (if at all) and had no one to learn from when she was a young girl. Now, her mid-life crisis involves a chef and a grocery cart full of foreign items. At less than half her age, I confidently stroll through grocery stores choosing ingredients for my gourmet meals.
I am filled with remorse for not realizing sooner, that having a mother who I can learn from is invaluable. I don't know where I'd be without her lessons in charming people through the art of food. I have grown up watching her entertain guests with lavish meals and beautiful spreads. I have been her witness and aid in the kitchen. I have seen her make the the moistest German chocolate cake and have enjoyed eating it with her too.
I stand in my kitchen today, and the rest of my days, as her daughter hoping to emulate the poise and composure she possesses when creating the perfect dining experience for family and friends. This Mother's Day, I dream that I too can be such an exemplar for my daughter.

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