Older sisters are special to me not just because I have so many of them, but because they hold a lot of wisdom. Even though I was usually bouncing, cart wheeling, breaking something or needing stitches I actually watched them carefully when I was little and secretly wanted to be just like them. To me they were and are all smart, witty, well spoken and well educated. They taught me how to do all kinds of things besides cook and bake. They taught me how to harmonize, memorize, cartwheel, play basketball, read, jump rope, take tests and shave my legs. They taught me how to be kind and patient, how to control my laughter at church, how to be a mother, and how to treat my children with respect and love and still discipline them. This post is from my sister Anne. I remember that she taught me what color blush to wear. Light pink.
Ravioli, canned, one gallon. Liver, well done. Fish sticks, baked. When I met my husband I told him that I did not like Italian food, steak or seafood. I had them all in the above forms growing up and none were very good. My husband introduced me to crab stuffed ravioli, ribeyes and pacific salmon. When friends, (especially my Italian friends) talked of the food of their childhood and looked at me expectantly, I always politely said, “my mom isn’t a very good cook”. They would look at me sympathetically.
Now that I have a few grey hairs of my own and two children, I am in awe of my mother’s abilities. She fed 14 kids on my dad’s salary when today many people insist on a two family income as a necessity. The same hands who served me ravioli fed my baby so I could sleep and weaned my second daughter from the bottle. Those same hands make, at 75, 3 meals a day from scratch for my brother who is on a medically prescribed, no salt diet. Those same hands brought me tea in bed on my last visit home. Now, when people talk of food from their childhood, I always tell them that my mother was and is a great cook, the best. She always served us love.