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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mom’s Cooking

2nd December 2011
Dear Cassi, 
When I look back at the somber tones of my life I do recall some of the better points. My mother’s cookies for one and how she would make batches for my classes at school.

We would make pumpkin cookies every year for Halloween and decorate them like jack-o’-lanterns. We would get candy coated chocolates for eyes and noses, use frosting for hair, and make them into our favorite cartoon characters.  

Valentines’ day, Christmas, and Saint Patrick’s Day were all days that we gave the cookie treatment. Sharing things was something my mother did probably because she lived in such scarcity when she was young.  

In more modern times I hold to this tradition, but my mother was not always a good cook. I do recall she made the worst meatloaf I had ever tasted at the time. It would only be beaten some twenty years later by my sister’s.  

My mother would bake this soggy mass of unmixed parts, and scream that Abraham Lincoln ate it once a week for most of his life. Or was it twice? I can’t remember.

When the Cancer took hold and my mother became too frail to cook on her own she looked to us, her children, to help her make our meals. It’s funny, I have no recollection of my mother making me lunch for school. Buying it for me and having me take it, yes, but she taught me to make my own before I ever set foot in a public class room. My mother had her problems, but she was only human, and so do we all.

Stay safe, Cassi,

Richard Leland Neal