A little break from artichokes to wish all the mother’s a Happy Day!
All week long I’ve been thinking of my Mom and chuckling about how she can never remember the Italian word for artichoke: carciofi. I suspect she remembers very well, but enjoys hearing everyone laugh.
One of my mother’s greatest gifts to me (and there are many!) is my love of cooking. She’s a good cook, but the fact that growing up, we always had dinner together is where the love part comes in. I had to be home by dinnertime..or else. That was a time to share the day, talk about nonsense, or revel in the fresh corn that was picked moments before it went into the pot. Of course the time I picked the cow corn by mistake and brought it home also meant it was time to teach me the basics of corn identification. It’s how I learned all the capitals of the 50 states...drilling at the dinner table.
No matter what kind of day you were having, dinnertime was a little oasis where everything else stopped and you connected with the family. Whether you wanted to or not. Hell, I was a miserable teen ager like every other teen ager, but you still had to come to the table.
Then there were the parties. Growing up it seemed as if there was always a party going on, either at our house or at somebody’s house. One time I walked into our kitchen, and there were 5 or 6 women, chopping onions, all with saran wrap tied around their eyes to keep from crying. They were laughing too hard to notice they were crying anyway. Over the years, we all learned to hang spoons from our noses. No dinner was complete without a spoon hanging session. Poor Jeff, he married into a family of spoon hangers. Not that his family isn’t just as nutty!
Even bad times meant people gathering, people bringing food. When my father passed away, after the funeral everyone came back to our house. The house was literally bursting with people and eventually sadness turned to laughter with everyone telling stories and eating casseroles. I remember thinking how much my Dad would have loved that party.
And that’s why I love to cook. Because putting food on the table is a sure way to gather family and anyone else who is around and have some laughs. If you have dinner together often enough, those dinners build an unbreakable bond.
So, Mom, when you say, “I don’t know where she got it from.” Yes, you do...I got it from you.
Here's a wonderful musical video, from Louie Lopez who has eaten at our table so many times he is definetely family!