**I wrote this post last year when I returned from a wonderful Mother’s Day Weekend, but I never posted it because it is so personal… I honestly forgot about it, and I just found it this past week, and really liked it. I hope you do too…
So, I had the most wonderful Mother’s Day. It has taken me a while to really reflect and appreciate the day. It was planned to be the day that we would take a family photo to celebrate my parent’s 50th anniversary. It was really all my mom wanted. And it was special because I have not been with my mom on mother’s day since I became a mom 12 years ago. She always told me to stay home and not do the 2 hour drive, because we were always up with them the week before Mother’s Day to celebrate my son’s b-day.
What made this day so special was a question my sister posed to my father at our brunch. My sister asked my dad, “What do you remember about your mom? “She was very… nice,” and then my mom chimed in with a story of what she liked about her as well. We then went around the whole table, all 12 of us, from ages 5-75 and told what we loved best or remembered about our moms. I was smitten when my children said I was “fun, awesome, and kind,” and proud when my husband talked about his mom… But I think the one that struck me the most was what my mom said about her mom. She remembered her food, her kitchen, and grateful that her love showed through her food.
I just about cried, because that is what I remember about her, as well as my own mom. My grandma only spoke Spanish, so for me, she spoke to me with her food. And I remember after our long three hour drive to her home, before we would unpack the bags out of the car— we would be eating a homemade warmed tortilla with butter or beans. And that was the BEST! I can still remember the simple perfection of a flour tortilla. How I long for those tortillas, and know that they are irreplaceable because that time has gone.
But what I realized is that food was my grandmother’s culture, and what she shared with her 10 children and 25 grandchildren. It was my mom’s culture too, and she instilled that in me by choosing to make homemade dinners a priority. But somehow as I grew older, and moved away, I lost that part of me. I always had roommates to cook for me, or pizza and burritos around the corner. But I lacked nourishment, and at the same time, forgot my culture. It was no longer a part of what I was bringing to the table… literally.
If you were to ask my husband about my relationship with the kitchen when we first met, he would say it was pretty nonexistent. My version of dinner revolved around quesadillas, white pasta, and cheap food from Food For Less. Sure, I had my specialties: tuna casserole with corn flake topping, enchiladas and chiliquiles. But usually, on my cook night, I would take my roommates to the pizza place or local BBQ joint.
So when my mom spoke about her mom and her relationship to food, and when I spoke about my mom and the food she fed us, I realized that I indeed have come full circle. Food is now my family culture, and my kids recognize it, and so does my community.
My passion is to inspire others to reclaim their kitchens and create their own kitchen culture to nourish and inspire a lifetime of good health.
Happy Mother’s Day!!