To have known my mom was a rare gift. She was beautiful, intelligent, funny, gentle & mind bogglingly lightning fast with that never leave a mark, dare you to cry, silent scream inducing pinch of tender, inside the thigh skin if you acted up in church. Since we always sat front row, (she made sure we left home extra early for that privilege) you sucked up your trembling lip & didn't dare look the priest in the eye because you'd be seeing him the next day as he walked the classrooms of our catholic school. That woman was a damn good Catholic & she wasn't afraid to use that Catholic guilt thing if you stepped out of line. There were 5 of us kids, she laid out a lot of guilt. But then, us kids had a tendency to act like our father, the head jackass of the family. She did her best.
What my mom did best was love us. She loved us best when she was in the kitchen. That woman had a way with food. She cooked & baked "from scratch". You wanted to insult my mother? You asked her what cake mix she used for that delicious confection she brought to the funeral home. Yes, she was that kind of woman, she brought food to the funeral home, I get it now, her food was soul soothing, even to the grieving. The younger version of me never understood how she could lose her religion over a question like that, again, I get it now.
The smell of my mother's kitchen was the aroma of love & we were well loved. Her cakes were something special & even though I have her recipes, there's just no substitute for a mother's touch. I keep the beater from her handheld mixer in my kitchen drawer, a beater that knew more tongues than a Pentecostal because we fought over who was going to lick the batter. A beater that once got tangled up in my then long hair when I leaned in too close to the mixing bowl. Funny the things we hold onto.
I've posted one of my mom's cake recipes if you'd like to mix up some love of your own. It's in her handwriting & can be found on our facebook page @ facebook.com/pages/Water-Oak-Farms-Inc