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Mother's Day 2013


DonRocks
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I took my mom there for her birthday about three weeks ago, and we were also with my son. We sat at a four-top right across from the kitchen, and Tom Meyer was manning the stove. My mom is, well ... let's just say "she refuses to get a hearing aid," smile.gif and the noise level at that table was perfect for quiet conversation, while at the same time being right in the middle of things.

We started with a bottle of Chateau Coustaut ($40), a white Graves. I can't remember the vintage, but it was fresh as a daisy with exactly the acidity level you want to cut through some of Pesce's Mediterranean-influenced preparations.

The table split a Caesar Salad ($7) and an appetizer of Whole Shrimp ($12), cooked in garlic and olive oil if I recall. Then for entrees, we shared a whole Bronzino ($22), a preparation of Salmon ($22), and a side of Pommes Purée ($6). Everything ranged from very good to excellent, with no weaknesses in the meal. My memory of the details of the preps is gone (it was, after all, 40-50 restaurants ago).

Towards the end of the meal, Regine came over and chatted with us, and we mentioned it was my mom's special birthday dinner. She brought out two beautiful desserts that made a great evening something pretty close to perfect. My mom, who almost never drinks (but look out when she does!), proclaimed the wine "the best she'd ever had." We were comped both desserts, so I bought her a second bottle to take home as a present (and as a thanks to the restaurant), where it sits to this very day, unopened, in her refrigerator.

Two glasses of wine, and my mom starts talking a mile a minute, and she just won't stop! On the way out, we crossed paths with Tom Sietsema and his friend, and my mom started talking their ears off (Tom was highly amused by this), telling them what a wonderful son her little Donald was, and how big Matthew has gotten, etc. It would have gone on for an hour, but I politely, and mercifully, intervened.

When we walked away, Matt said, "Was that Tom Sietsema?"

"Yep."

<His eyes get big as saucers> "WOW!!" (The three of us had dined at Ginger Cove many years ago, but Matt didn't recognize the new, svelte Tom.)

Mom: "Who was that nice man, Donald?"

Don: "He's the restaurant critic for the Washington Post."

Mom: "Are you kidding me? Well <laughs> I probably embarrassed you. Oh well <laughs some more> I'm old enough where I don't give a damn."

Thanks for the memory, mom. There are more than I could count, and I still think every single day of you, dad, and Karen (as well as Karen's mom, dad, Jacques, aunt, uncle, and via Karen, her cousin who was tragically taken from us with AIDS near the same age as Karen - they were just over 30, and only children if you can believe life's cruelty). I don't talk about my dad much on here since he passed in 1994, but I loved him equally to my mom, just as the two of them loved their three children and five grandchildren equally - there were no favorites. My parents, being children during the Great Recession, lived simply and humbly, worked years longer than they should have, and denied themselves just so we could all go through and get advanced degrees. Not once did my mom ever travel outside the U.S., other than the briefest of crossings into Canada near where her sister lived in Detroit. Everyone, please feel free to cut-and-paste this post into a Mothers Day 2013 thread in Events and Gatherings, and fill it up with memories about your dear mothers, with us or not, whether you have plans or not. I'll relish what people have to say, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's posts as much as anything I've read on this website in ages. Parents, when they love you, are the greatest people in the world. Please share your stories - it'll make me happy to read, and if you're lucky enough where your parents are still alive, the first thing you should do tomorrow is to pick up that telephone. Tell them (even if you're not used to saying such things) how much you love and appreciate them. My parents knew this, so I have no regrets in that regard thank *God*.

You're the only family I have, I love you, and I thank you every day for having loved me back. Because of mom, dad, Karen, Thèrese, Daniel, Jacques, and Francine (not to mention Matt's mom and his new family, and Thèrese's new *boyfriend* :), Jean-François), Matt has turned out to be a wonderful, polite, and kind young man, and I am the luckiest person in the world to have known such love, even though everyone except Matt is now gone or far away (*).

Your loving, devoted, son, husband, father, son-in-law, and nephew-in-law who will always drop everything when you need him. And I know you already know that, so I'm in a very good place here (and so are you because you have my undying loyalty, at your disposal). Matt will continue to be guided based on the lessons you have all taught me.

(*) Don't ever feel sorry for me having lived a full life. I have no regrets, and would do the same thing all over again. Happily.

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Ok, I'll start- I called my mom this morning (she gets up even earlier than I do, & walks w/ her friends most mornings, even though she had a knee replacement about a month ago & is still recovering), I realize how blessed I am to still have her, to give me parenting advice when I vent (& then I think about what a terror I was as a teen), to fill me in on all the latest Sneads Ferry news, & forward endless magazine articles & (not as often, fortunately) bad jokes. My mom has been a rock- she's one of the most intelligent & compassionate persons I have ever known, I hope I can live up to her example, for my children. I wish that every child could have a mother like mine, I realize how lucky I was, in the lottery of life...

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Sigh. I miss my mother. 28 mother's days have come and gone and I think I miss her more now than before.

I don't know if she was much of a cook before I was born, but from the time I was 3, her mother lived with us and did most of the cooking. My mother's contributions were heated cans of Campbell's soup and a mean grilled cheese sandwich. When I was 10 I started to read cookbooks and was in charge of dinner one night a week.

But what she really liked was going out to eat. Lunches at Famous-Barr. Breakfast at Miss Hullings. When I was 10 we moved from the suburbs into the city. She scrimped the budget and we tried one new place for lunch every week that summer.

She wasn't the "best mom ever" or the world's "most awesome mom." She had me at 40. She worried a lot and let her anxiety overshadow her parenting. But she loved me. Of that I have no doubt. And it sucks every day that she's gone.

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My mother was a quiet, reserved woman who could be stunningly naive and incredibly insightful, sometimes at the same time, and she had the ability to perfectly execute any recipe, whether or not she was familiar with the cuisine. She died seven years ago on the Saturday of Mothers Day weekend, after 3 weeks of sudden-onset dementia brought on by a particulary aggressive glioblastoma. But emotionally she had died when my father died, three years earlier. She was devoted to him and devastated by his death, and couldn't wait to join him and the rest of her family. I was relieved she was out of her misery, but I will never get over those three weeks. I made a lot of uncharacteristic moves during that time, including reaching out to a bunch of strangers on the internet (am I a modern day Blanche DuBois?), and I will never forget the kindness so many of you showed me and that wonderful kitchen flea-market event we put on.

Like bookluvingbabe, I can't say she was the best mom ever. But she was mine and I loved her dearly and miss her terribly.

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I made a lot of uncharacteristic moves during that time, including reaching out to a bunch of strangers on the internet (am I a modern day Blanche DuBois?), and I will never forget the kindness so many of you showed me and that wonderful kitchen flea-market event we put on.

Like bookluvingbabe, I can't say she was the best mom ever. But she was mine and I loved her dearly and miss her terribly.

The Cuisinart and stock pot remain in frequent use and continue to help make delicious food. :)

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The Cuisinart and stock pot remain in frequent use and continue to help make delicious food. :)

I can't believe seven years have passed. Echoing JPW here, the mini food processor is still going strong and the roasting pan has been extremely useful, along with the other stuff I bought from you.

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I'm so lucky to have parents that are still around, and that I'm so close to, as mine. And I try to make sure they know it regularly.

This year for mother's day my brother and I visited with his new puppy, so it was quite the trip. Mom made cream cheese filled jalapenos wrapped in bacon and smoked, but she didn't completely deseed or take out the ribs. They were too spicy for dad and my brother, so mom and I ate extras and made fun of them.

And I know that like other little things that happen on holidays, that will probably become a tradition, or at least a well-worn anecdote.

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