Unless you’ve known me for a very long time, you probably don’t know my mom. She passed away in 1992 at the age of 72. I miss her terribly.
Think of the ideal moms you see in sit-coms- that was her. She was the real deal.
My brother and I grew up near the beach and we went there a lot. The water in the ocean in Southern California was chilly and I remember her always having a warm dry towel ready for me as I ran up on the sand where she’d set up camp. She had sandwiches, soft drinks and sodas for hungry kids who had been swimming in the surf.
My parents were married 20 years before they had kids. They had owned a restaurant in Lake Arrowhead for 11 years before moving “down the hill” and settling in Long Beach. I think that partially accounts for the way my parents loved us – because we were so wanted. They waited a long time to have kids.
My friends adored my parents and our house was always at the top of the list when my friends wanted to go somewhere because “your parents are so cool.” Part of that was because my mom still had a little of the restaurant in her and for my friends, she was a short order cook. Cheeseburgers were always a hit – they were so good, the best ever.
I cherish the memory of them. One way I keep them alive is through recreating the yummy treats they would make us. This weekend, those memories were thick as I spoiled my partner, Katie on her birthday, with all sorts of yummy baked goods. Banana bread and Oatmeal Raisin cookies and home made chocolate pie along with smoking ribs on the Big Green Egg.
Each recipe usually starts out with mixing the butter and sugar together in a bowl, adding in the eggs one at a time, then vanilla and so on. To me, the one constant is – “The Bowl.”
It’s an ordinary bowl, made of glazed clay. It’s green and over 50 years old. I have no idea where she bought it or how long she had it – this bowl has just been a constant.
It would sell for 50 cents at a garage sale but I wouldn’t part with it for any amount of money. That bowl is a connection to her. She held that bowl in her hands and mixed up everything from meatloaf to cookie dough.
It’s a miracle that this bowl has survived for as long as it has. One drop and it’s over. But it has survived countless dishwasher cycles, hand washing by kids who could be careless at times (my brother and me) and it has made it through over 20 moves to new homes. It’s survived them all and waits in the cupboard for the next treat to be mixed in it.
Today it was Katie’s favorite – Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
It’s just the perfect bowl for these things.
I hope one day to pass this cherished part of my childhood – and one of the few things that has been with me for my entire life – on to my daughters in the hope that they, too can create yummy treats for their children.
It really is a miracle that this bowl has survived as long as it has, what wth buttery hands and hot stoves, small kids, dogs underfoot, tile floors and moves.
It’s a simple green bowl – a mundane part of fairly unremarkable lives but oh, the stories it could tell.