It’s a cold New England morning. A dusting of snow from the other night still covers the back deck. Bare limbs of trees crisscross a gray sky and remind me we have a major storm in the forecast. Mom and I are sitting at my dining room table having a cup of coffee. While I check email, she reads a cookbook like a novel.
“You know,” she says. “When I open a cookbook, I think I’ll just look at a couple recipes. Instead, I start on page 1 and read to the end of the book.”
It’s been a few years since Mom has been able to cook on her own and now, she mostly supervises (and adds salt). Growing up though, she was an excellent baker and anything Italian was reason to celebrate. Cooking was hobby and obsession.
Whenever a conversation flags, I just ask her what brand of ricotta she prefers or what kind of apples make the best apple pie and she brightens. Now, as I watch her flip through the cookbook, I want to cry. She reminds me of a child peering and praying through a storefront window at a new red bike, knowing it’s not going to happen.
Instead of tears though, I say, “Ohhh, that one looks good. How about we make it for dinner?”