Mothers Day

woman-cooking.jpg I had a completely fabulous mother.  She was a pretty good cook, except that she was always so busy with her politics, and with being consigliere to her large family, and with talking  to my dad while he was on his second job shift, that she almost never cooked dinner without a phone lodged between her shoulder and her ear.  This resulted in many culinary tragedies, and seasoning mistakes.  Here are two examples.

One day she was making her amazing chicken soup, loaded with carrots, and turnips, and leeks, and dill, not to mention the largest soup chicken she could find.  When it came time to add salt, she grabbed what she thought was the large red box of kosher salt, but it was the similar-sized box of Tide.

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hotel-bel-airholly palanceTwice a year, (on Mothers Day and on her birthday July 7th), my mother used to pull out her favorite phrase and say, “Attention must be paid.”

Translation? She wanted to be celebrated, and that meant The Hotel Bel Air, Sunday best, family only, no friends or ‘strangers’ pulling focus on her closeup.

Her use of the phrase drove me crazy, because of course Linda Loman’s lament was about aging and the lack of human kindness shown her salesman husband Willie, not my glamorous complicated mother on the palm-­laden patio holding court.

But champagne in hand surrounded by at least two of her children with at least two of her grandchildren in tow, she got what she needed....a toast, “ To the Queen of the Day.”

Attention had been paid. Deep down I knew what Mom meant. And she knew I knew.

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