1. The Club

2. Bowl of nuts

3. Tasted like

4. Look out!


My mom isn’t with us for Christmas this year, but I find her in every song, every smell, every light that twinkles on trees and signposts. My sister and I have both made cookies and candy from her recipes this year; they aren’t quite the same as hers, somehow, but we both understand that hers had a special component. The always tasted like love.

I suppose it’s because of my mom and dad that I am who I am. Genes and chromosomes aside, they infused me with a joy of life that sticks with me all these years later. My dad’s sense of humor filled our house just as much as the smell of Mom’s cooking did. Happily, I inherited both the laughter and the joy of culinary creation. It’s just a shame I also inherited a few other less desirable attributes. A tendency to plumpness, for one.

It’s all Mom’s fault. Between the plump gene and the accessibility of good food, I haven’t a chance.

My best friend from elementary school—her name was Judy (and probably still is)—never had a weight problem. Her mother didn’t cook. Their Christmas treat tray never held anything but a bowl of nuts and some Hershey’s chocolate kisses. Oh, well.

As for me, I do enjoy good food. I also enjoy food that is less good, or at least less good for you. When I go out for lunch with friends, they tend to order small salads with vinegar and oil—on the side. I wave the menu and proclaim, “I’ll have the Club Sandwich, with fried zucchini on the side and plenty of ranch dressing.”

I don’t often look out for the nutritional components of what I put in my mouth, and that’s not always a good thing. I hate to think what my dress size would be if I still wore dresses. But given the choice between dry lettuce and bacon, I go for the tasty stuff every time.

Mom taught me well