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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lessons Learned From Mom

Because of the upcoming cross-country trek I'll be taking part in, I've been working on my nutrition. This has included eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies, some carbs, some protein, and gallons of water. Occasionally, an urge for sugar fills me, like last evening after dinner, and I'll soothe the urge by baking cupcakes or cookies. Once I eat a cupcake or a couple of cookies, I'm satisfied and don't feel the need for anymore sweets. Last evening, the desire for oatmeal raisin cookies kept nudging at me, so I pulled out the ingredients and baked up a couple dozen. As I was measuring out the brown sugar, the baking soda, and the flour, I thought about the many times Mom had made cookies for us: oatmeal-molasses that she swore would come out wonderfully chewy if you used your hands instead of a spoon to mix all the ingredients together, chocolate chip without the chips because Dad didn't like the chips, and chilling the butter cookie dough for an hour to ensure tender, flaky butter Christmas cookies. These lessons, along with several others, I abide by now as I bake cookies or make other passed-down-from-Mom dishes for my own family.

Another recipe by Mom that I follow is the bread stuffing to go inside the turkey on Thanksgiving day. The ingredients are just sort of tossed into a big bowl, mixed, then tasted until the flavor hits the just-right celery, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning meter reading. No written record of this recipe exists, at least that I know of. It was always just a hit or miss kind of undertaking. Mom knew when it was right, and after many years of testing the stuffing before it was packed into the cavity of the turkey, I came to learn the just-right meter reading , too.

One of my all-time favorite recipes of Mom's is her potato salad. Every time I've taken this potato salad to a get together, the overall consensus is it rocks. Much like the bread stuffing, the potato salad ingredients are just mixed together, taste tested, adjusted, tested again, repeated. When Mom nodded her head and smacked her lips together in satisfaction, the potato salad was ready to eat.. Mom always joked about a secret ingredient, so one day I watched closely to see exactly what was going into the concoction. Now I know the secret and my potato salad is the only kind Angel Baby will eat. He actually sneers at other potato salads.

These an other lessons learned from Mom are part of my own repertoire these days for living life as a mom. I know I am truly one of the lucky people in this world, having been given a mom who passed on lessons that when followed, make others very, very happy.

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