Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy Birthday

Mom was born 68 years ago today. Coincidentally, in the last week, I've come across two things that have reminded me of a few of the reasons why she was so fun. I've enjoyed reminiscing. The first is a cookbook, The Tasha Tudor Cookbook, I have on my bookshelf I was mistakenly remembering was hers, passed on to me. I opened it a few days ago and found this dedication:

"February 4, 1998

To Jennie on the day of her sophomore recital. This book reflects life's deep joys -- family, beauty, and love. We hope it lasts longer than flowers.

Love, Mom and Dad.

PS Keep it away from the kitchen."

If you want to spend an afternoon with Mom, go pick up a copy of this book at the library or the bookstore. Every little thing about it helped me remember all the little things I loved about Mom. I know she loved Tasha Tudor. Now I think she and Mom are kindred spirits like the world rarely sees. The illustrations (painted by Tasha herself) are all of rosy-cheeked, tousled-haired, bare-footed children, or food, or barnyard animals. From recipes calling for a chicken carcass (zero waste) to instructions like these: "Don't drain the pan; cook it right in the drippings. I can feel cholestrol-intimidated people squirming in horror. However, once a year will not hurt you, and life is too short not to enjoy a few treats," I'm reminded of Mom so much I have to chuckle.

The second reminder of Mom is a magazine called, appropriately, Mary Jane's Farm. I have no idea how I got a copy, addressed to me by name here at my new address, but if you're the one that sent it to me, Thank You! I enjoyed it very much. The subtitle of the magazine reads as follows: "Food as Celebration/ Passionate Gardening / Nostalgic Crafts and Stitchery; The Everyday Organic Lifestyle Magazine." Aside from the stitchery, Mom to a T, without cracking the cover. My favorite article in Mom's honor is titled, "Be an 'Entre-maure': Just because it doesn't glitter doesn't mean it isn't gold." Ha! Hilarious.

If you haven't yet reminisced about Mary Jane yet today and felt happy for the legacy she left us, I hope this helps. I usually feel sad Mom's not here. Sometimes I'm mad. But today I'm just happy I got to know her. Love you, Mom.


maria said...

We all thought about her today! A huge group of cousins went up to the Unitas for the day. My mom told us a story of a trip their family took up the Unitas on Mary Janes birthday--probably 60 years ago. She said they got up there and a huge hail storm moved in and didn't stop until the hail was 6 inches deep (you know how the old folks exaggerate...) Anyway, we had a lovely day, complete with a short hail storm, in her honor I would like to think.

Tim said...

Great post, Jennie. That is Mom to a "T."