Thursday, 25 October 2012 | 48 comments
There’s a skeleton in my closet—or, more accurately, a recipe box that I’ve kept hidden and unopened in a cupboard since my mom passed away. I moved it from Michigan to DC to Virginia, shuffling it around, unable to sift through the recipes but unwilling to part with it. Earlier this month, emboldened by a chat with a friend (and a couple glasses of wine), I pulled the box down off the shelf. I’m not sure how many of you have lost parents when you were younger, or perhaps simply suddenly, but my still-raw experience—two years ago, as I write this—is that much of those two years has been some heartwrenching variation on: I wish that I had been able to ask what this was about. I wish I could understand. I wish I could talk to mom about this. When my mom died, I was just coming out of a college kid I-know-everything-and-am-more-worldly-than-you phase and beginning to appreciate my parents as people. We didn’t expect my mother to die.
I am full of questions for her, my mother the woman herself, not just in relation to me. What was that lily-scented perfume you only wore on special occasions? Where was this photo taken, the one of you in the red maillot swimsuit and big oversized sunglasses, the one where you’re standing in front of a car with a canoe strapped to the top? What’s so special about this barbecue sauce recipe? Everyday curiosity escalates quickly to something more desperate, for the mere fact that answers are unattainable.
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Tuesday, 5 June 2012 | 17 comments
I place myself squarely in the category of people who love leftovers. There are few things that makes me happier than to have the previous night’s soup or stir fry to take to the office for the next day’s lunch, or better yet, to give new life in some other form. Some foods, though, lend themselves better to leftover-ing than others. My cheese drawer suffers from this fact. We love having two or three good cheeses on hand, but at some point I always find myself sifting down through layers of tiny aluminum-foiled nubs of cheese, probably mostly rind.
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