A hundred men may make an encampment, but it takes a woman to make a home. – Chinese Proverb
In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to tell you a bit about my mother and godmother, who have been the most influential women in my life and most encouraging of my epicurean abilities.
My godmother, Elizabeth, has long since passed away, but she was a remarkable woman.
She was a business owner, homemaker and mother of three girls, like me. She was very dedicated to her church and quite frankly, probably the best cook ever. She was in the restaurant business and she could single-handedly cook entire meals for church dinner dances serving hundreds of people in the basement of the church with little help from anyone. She worked tirelessly, and she would bake for days and days on end. There wasn’t any day that you could drop by her house unannounced and not have huge platters of sweets appear out of no where. When I was little, our family would spend every Christmas Eve at her house. The Christmas tree was in the back room next to the fire place with a crackling, roaring fire started by my godfather, Louie. She had many grandchildren, so there were tons of presents under the tree. But I knew that the biggest package under the tree was always for me. Always. She made me feel special each time I saw her. I like to think that some of her cooking and baking talent was transferred to me in the olive oil she covered me with at my baptism.
Then there is my mother. My mother is the most excellent cook and can create exquisitely delicious desserts. There’s no one like her and there’s pretty much nothing she can’t make. No one – and I do mean NO ONE – can beat her Southern Fried Chicken with Sweet Gravy & Mashed Potatoes. And she always made sure that every holiday and birthday was celebrated with an appropriate dessert. (I won’t go into how mine always happened to be a cake with a pumpkin theme–that’s a blog post all on it’s own!) She raised four children while at the same time helped to run a business. She dedicated herself to her kids, driving us to lessons and clubs, sewing Halloween costumes and Easter dresses, helping with homework and somehow still managed to get everyone to sit down to a homemade dinner altogether most nights of the week.
So to these two women I say “Thank You!” Thank you for teaching me your values, for your support and love, and for setting the best example of what it means to be a mother.