Tuesday, February 4, 2014

It's OK, Mom; You Don't Have To....

My mom doesn't cook any more, it's been slowing done for years but now about the only thing she does is make coffee. It's a shame, because she was a great cook. My son the cook/writer/blogger wrote great articles about her cooking because it was everything home cooking should be.
One of her specialties was lasagna. It was really special when it was based on her homemade sauce. That sauce went away a long time ago; but she kept making the dish with sauce she bought--and it was still pretty good lasagna. Every year, I could count on a pan of her homemade lasagna as a birthday present. It would be delivered to me frozen, amid much laughter from the rest of the family--we all knew what it was. She also made my birthday cake every year, generally served as dessert for Christmas dinner and it was amid the Christmas dinner I'd get my annual delivery. I can't deny that I enjoyed it it, year after year, I got a piece of my childhood for my birthday. It was great.
A few years ago, my wife took over the birthday cake making and that was good--a passing of the torch. My wife does a fine job, even making my mom's penuche frosting for the spice cake that I love. This year, however, there was another change that's, well, umm... just not acceptable.
I wasn't really expecting the lasagna. She's 90, been making it a long time and, as I said before, she doesn't cook anymore--she's made that pretty plain. So, this year I was somewhat surprised when the icy package was delivered as before. There was the requisite laughter, and then the qualifier, "I didn't make it myself." She'd bought it! Yeah, not wanting to break tradition, she went out and bought a frozen lasagna.
My wife took took it out of the freezer to thaw and last night we baked it. Well, it was lasagna, one of the better brands of frozen food actually; but it was really just frozen food, not made with the love that Mom put into it.
It's alright Mom. You've made me more lasagna than many Italian mothers have made for their sons. You don't need to get the frozen one--even delivered in love, it's not the same. I'll keep the memories of your homemade dish, you can keep the frozen one.

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