Saturday, April 27, 2024

Comfort Food

Today would be my Mom’s 103rd birthday and to honor the occasion, this short note to her:


Happy birthday, Mom! The most important thing to tell you is how you’re still with me and never too far from my thoughts. I see you and Dad each morning in the photo on my desk and every Friday at the Jewish Home, well, there you are. And yesterday Ginny came as well to listen. We thought of you when I played “April Showers” and thought of Dad when I played “Tenderly.”


Today I want to thank you for food. For the 1950’s and 1960’s, you were a step ahead of your time. Yes the vegetables were more boiled than sauteed and we did have a few too many TV dinners in my teen years. But you were into a nutritionist named Carlton Fredericks and our desserts were these whole wheat rectangular cookies framed by little ladders which I used to chew around, there was never soda in the refrigerator nor candy in the house and I remember a line up of some ten vitamin pills alongside my Shredded Wheat or Grape Nuts (not Lucky Charms or Trix) morning cereals. 


You might be tickled to know that I still enjoy a few of the various unlikely food combinations you introduced, which now serve as a kind of comfort food that transports me straight to the heart of my childhood. Amongst them:


·      Milk and molasses

·      Almonds and raisins

·      Apples and cream cheese and poppy seeds

·      Bananas and sour cream

·      Wheat germ and Shredded Wheat


Haven’t had milk and molasses for a while and the bananas are now with yogurt instead of sour cream, but the rest are still with me. Oh and I had a corn soup the other day and that was another bridge to those years oh so long ago. 


So thanks for both some nutritious habits and tasty combos. Amongst the other thousand things I’m grateful that you gave to me—life, for example! I’ll skip the report of life on planet Earth. The same combination of grand delight and deep despair, shimmering hope and WTF! news. The wind keeps blowing, the rain keeps falling, the sun keeps shining, the kids and grandkids are soldiering forth into their various futures and as the song I played yesterday says, “Life is just a bowl of cherries” though sometimes we’re mired in the pits. 


Loving you forever. 

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