On Missing a Mom
Cute Mom and Mieka before Africa departure
I missed my mother-in-law today. I’ve missed her plenty of times before, but today I really missed her. Usually this time of year her kitchen counter top has all kinds of vegetables waiting to be turned into a casserole or bread or pasta. They always have the best garden, and because Jed and I don’t seem to get to ours, (No! Really?) we always feel fortunate that their garden overflows and they generously share their wealth.
My mother-in-law doesn’t like the skins on tomatoes. She always peels them--even when they are to be put on hamburgers or the like. I tease her every time she does it.
“You know it’d be a lot easier if you just left that skin on.”
“But then they wouldn’t be worth eating, would they?” she jokes back.
She makes the best soups. Her tomato soup is something I look forward to every September. She tries different recipes every year and most of the time she’s added a bit of this here and a bit of that there, so she won’t be able to repeat it again—exactly. We eat out back under the trees. She makes sure we still have a tablecloth and my father-in-law will get me a jacket at my first shudder. Our conversations are enjoyable and keep us late. I love summer evenings in that backyard.
I made tomato soup tonight. When the recipe called for 9 peeled tomatoes, I thought of my mother-in-law. I wished she were here to peel them for me. Heaven knows she’s had the practice! I attempted peeling the first one and found I was cutting away a lot of the tomato just to get the skin off. I remembered what she taught me when we cut up peaches together to freeze. I boiled some water put the tomatoes in for a minute and then put them in cold water. Much better. It still would have been easier to leave them on.
My soup turned out pretty good, but I must have added a bit too much sugar because it was a little too sweet. If only she were here; she would’ve added a little of this here and a little of that there and it would’ve been my favorite. Just like every other batch before that.