Thanks for Reading Suburban Adventure

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

No Shortcuts with Love

A close friend of mine who is much older than myself once told me that you don’t truly become an adult until both of your parents have died. I think of his words and wonder about the truth in that statement. My Mother has stayed with us a few times over the past few years, most recently it was when there was construction being done on her new home. 

 I have not lived with my Mother since I was eighteen  years old and we simply approach life in an entirely different manner. First and foremost she is the ultimate perfectionist, with everything and most importantly around the caring of a home. Her house is always in order, immaculate and  it typically looks like it has just been cleaned. Our family home was always perfect and we knew as very young children that our home was always in great order.

 The relaxation of kicking your feet up could be done in one room. For those of you who know the house I grew up in you know that  my Mother is extremely formal -she is a collector of art, antiques and many items that were not to be touched. 

Our house was built around her collections and that part of our home was much larger than the area where the relaxing took place. Our home was beautiful and there was great love there but it was not cozy.
 It was formal and this is the style that she continues to enjoy. I prefer warmth and comfort while still enjoying the beauty of art. My grandparents house was the exact type of formal that my Mother recreated. To not be fooled into thinking that every chair is to be utilized to sit in. It is simply a style of living and it was the way I grew up.
My Mother never worked outside of the home and her entire life has been dedicated to the family and the hearth. Everything was homemade and there were no shortcuts in preparing meals.  There was no such thing as the delivery man as we never ever had a food delivery made to our home. I didn’t even know that getting Pizza out was really an option as my Mother made it for us.
 Pizza in a restaurant was deemed less than desirable.  We did dine out often but it was when we would head into New York City or go to an upscale restaurant. It was never for casual dining although on occasion we would go to a Greek diner.  Fast food was definitely out of the equation and pre made meals were not on the meal plan. My Father would never eat McDonalds or anything that could be picked up at a drive thru window.
  My Mother is a wonderful cook and the time that she took into preparation of cooking began each morning. I remember her washing vegetables and preparing whatever the speciality of the day was immediately after she has one cup of coffee and one piece of generously buttered toast. I believe the extra butter to this day has been the only slight excess that I have seen my Mother indulge in, gastronomically. I have never seen her overindulge with food 
I enjoy dining out, we live in an area where there are fantastic restaurants.   Im happy to go to Garelick and Herbs, A and S or Balducci's  and purchase pre made food for my family. In this day and age, with everyone running in a hundred directions, prepared food has become a way of life for many people.
My grandparents would have been very disappointed to learn that on occasion I have also opened up a bottle of pre made tomato sauce. My grandfather had the most gorgeous tomato garden that was always rich with red, juicy tomatoes.  
My grandmother used to jar them and give us prepared sauce by the crateful. What a wonderful gift and one rich in love and tradition.

His garden was always overflowing with beautiful vegetables. He knew how to truly tend to a garden and produce beautiful things. My grandparents would not be happy to know that on occasion if Im in a hurry, I will use Mario Batali's Marinara sauce, but that is only on occasion.
 I still make my own sauce and delight in recreating the aroma that I used to wake up to every Sunday morning. The smell of garlic, oil and onion cooking could only mean one thing. It was going to be an early dinner, we were going to eat pasta with some type of meat and salad. This was or traditional Sunday meal and my Mother makes the absolute best tomato sauce that I have ever had. I can't recreate it, I have tried on more than a dozen times but it just does not come out like hers. 
Perhaps it is the love and effort that I knew she put into it, and into all of her cooking. She never took one short cut, everything was prepared lovingly and deliciously by her hands. My Father loved cooking on occasion, he made the best French onion soup and was enjoyed making hand made gnocchi. 
He loved to eat and truly delighted in all that my mother prepared. My friends from college always wanted to come home with me, they knew what would be waiting for them as we entered our home. Delicious aromas and beautifully prepared food that was a wonderful change from cafeteria food. My family was definitely spoiled by my Mother.
 I do make homemade pizza but on occasion I do order it. Im running a very face paced life that is packed with obligation and parental responsibility.  It’s been hard  to hide the pizza boxes from my Mother and since she sees me running around all day, I think she is on to my tricks. It also resembles a pizza that looks nor tastes anything prepared in my own kitchen.
When I have time, I love to cook homemade dishes, sauces and stews but the truth is- Im always on the go. Cooking is a labor of love and huge effort. I never realized the effort it took because my Mother made it all look so easy. In fact, she made running a household and caring for children appear very easy.
 Now I know the challenges that she must have faced and truly appreciate all the love and effort that was beautifully given to my brothers and I and of course my Father. I am blessed to have such a loving and graceful Mother. She truly is a very special woman. xo

No comments: