To most people, my family does not appear to be one of tradition. We never put the Christmas tree up the same time every year or have meatloaf every Friday night. One of the only tradition our family has in fact is that none of us will even recognize Christmas morning until we have gorged ourselves on mom’s cinnamon rolls. One year they almost didn’t happen; the outcry was deafening.
My mom and and I however have many, many traditions. Ones that would likely appear insignificant, but to us they are cherished memories. Like movies at the cheapseats, where we would have to get the largest popcorn they had since we would definitely eat half of it before the previews were done. Or when we would make thanksgiving dinner together and eat all the crispy, blistered turkey skin before anyone even knew it was done. And then there are the traditions that she’s probably not even aware of. Like coming home from school to the smell of a pot of black beans simmering away on the stove. A smell that, to this day, transforms me into a kid again. Or every summer, my mom trying with all her might to convince me how delicious a vine ripened tomato could be. An effort that after many years and the help of my wife has finally worked.
My parents gave me a great love and appreciation for food, but my mom taught me to make it for myself. This is by far, our most meaningful tradition.
See cooking is never just a time making a meal together, It’s a time to talk, re-connect, bond, hash things out, get everything out on the table. When I was little I shared my frustrations of grade school while she taught me how to properly sweat onions. We laughed together when I came home from college while something delicious was braising in the oven. And now we catch up while bacon sizzles on the stove and coffee steeps in the french press.
She gave me more than just a passion for food. During these time she taught me to have a love of friends, she showed me her patience, her faith, her fiery passion, all while showing me her grace and confidence around a cutting board or skillet.
I still cook with her whether she’s here or hours away.
Happy Mothers day mom, I love you.