This morning, as I got dinner ready to put in the crockpot, I thought how fortunate I am to know how to cook and bake. Today’s meal was chicken noodle soup… it began yesterday with a whole chicken for dinner and then overnight was broth and then today I made it into chicken noodle soup. It may sound intimidating, but it’s really quite simple once you do it a couple of times.
My mom is the person to thank for my love of cooking… well, perhaps and my husband and his voracious appetite. Cooking from scratch was the norm in our house growing up. I watched my mom make roasts and soups. She baked breads and cookies and cakes. Some of the coolest cakes I’ve seen were the ones that my mom made– no, they weren’t professional with fondant, but one year she made my sister a swimming pool cake with teddy grahams in bikinis. So cute. And she’d make me whatever kind of cake I requested– Pocahontas and Tweety bird are 2 that I remember. I bake often and now I understand what dedication it was to frost and carefully, beautifully decorate those cakes.
In the first few years of living on my own, I remember calling her often to get her help with various tasks. Over the phone, she walked me through some kitchen debacles I don’t even remember now. Whenever I have a problem, she will either tell me the answer or google it.
Lest you think my mom is solely talented in the kitchen, I have learned much more than that from her. That woman has driven limousines and box trucks, tackled my childhood home’s bug-infested crawl space, built my sister a deck, sewed me dresses as a child and curtains as an adult and then taught me how to use a sewing machine myself. She dyed my hair and would curl and pin it for all of the school dances. I remember one year she braided my sister’s hair in one of those beautiful Dutch milkmaid braids while we were at the beach. The things she can do seem unlimited and I know my tired brain is now forgetting much more than I can recall. But, to sum it up, when I think of my desire to learn new things and do things for myself, I know where I get it.
So, today, I’m thankful for my mom. I’m thankful for all of the things that she taught me, but most of all what she taught me by example.