The Recipe Box

recipes and life.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

My mom is a vegan now, and eats random food at random weird hours, like a baked sweet potato at three in the morning or soy cheese and grilled tofu for breakfast but that was not always the case. When I was growing up, she made three meals a day. Meals that she felt were balanced and healthy and that she made us eat every bit of, meals that she wouldn't touch now if you paid her.

Back then, a balanced meal was:

-Some form of meat. Possibly pork chops, possibly hot dogs. Any meat would do.

-Vegetables out of a can. Although these are scientifically proven to have as much nutrition as the can itself. Have you ever had brussel sprouts from a can? Believe me, there's no need to try them. I would suggest my method of putting one in your mouth, pretending to chew, "coughing" into your napkin, and then holding the soggy, icky mess of brussell sprout napkin in your hand until you can chuck it into the nearest trash can.

-White bread: surely what the government by "whole grains" in the food pyramid.

-A starchy carbohydrate. I'm grateful this was included, as it was generally the only portion of the dinner I actually liked. It's still generally the only portion of dinner I like. Which could explain the extra 15 pounds.

"Mom, why are all these recipes for desserts in here? I don't remember having a lot of pies and cookies growing up?"

"That's because you didn't eat them. You didn't like dessert."

"I still don't like dessert. Well, except cheesecake."

"And I never made cheesecake"

"I know."
I should spend more time with mom. She just moved here. Doesn't know anyone, doesn't know her way around. I should have girl time, where we have our nails done and go shopping. But I just can't do it.

It's not like I've abandoned her. I helped her drive up here, unloaded the U-Haul, drove her to the bank and the grocery store, printed out yahoo maps from her house to all the important places. And that's about all the mom time I can take right now. I enjoy living at least a state away from anyone I'm actually related to. I embrace the distance. But she likes the idea of hopping in the car and hanging out. Fortunately, she hasn't figure out north from south yet and isn't too likely to find me. But I can tell she'd like to. She hints at it all the time and she's only been here a week.

But I've got my own problems. The aforemented secret apartment, for instance. A temporary situation? A new beginning? I have no idea. And I'm not ready to figure it out. So, I really don't see how I could explain it. Especially to my mom. I can't even explain it to my therapist.
The day your mom hands down her recipe box. the battered box, filled with index cards with scribbled notes, memories of meals and laughter, birthdays and parties. A childhood encapsulated. A box full of a mother's love. She passes it down so you can provide love and food to your family. Create new memories.

"So, I decided to put my weight bench in that room, and the books are over here. I don't know what to do with these boxes, but I'm sure I'll find space somewhere. I probably put up too many pictures. How did I get all this stuff anyway? Here, want these recipes? I'm just going to throw them away. I think this closet will work for my coats and umbrellas."

Well. When your mom now eats only tofu and sprouts, I suppose recipe box of pork chops and sloppy joe's isn't going to be very helpful. And since she doesn't even know that you've recently been staying in an apartment, rather than in the house you own with your husband, dogs, and cats, she probably doesn't realize you're not providing much love and food to your family.

I should probably start at the beginning. Not that it would help actually, so never mind.