“One of the most important relationships we have is the relationship we have with our mothers.”
When Mom had to go away for a week to attend one of her training conferences, I hadn’t thought I’d miss her cooking that much! Her cooking!
Since my early childhood days, I’ve always been a lonely kid. Put me in an empty room with something to eat and a pen and a paper and I guarantee that I can live my entire life in the same space.
So, the day Mom left to attend the conference, naturally I didn’t miss her that much. Being a working woman, Mom was hardly around me. The little time we got after she returned home from her work, she spent it in the kitchen, cooking dinner and doing other little works.
Growing up, I didn’t have a particularly good relationship with my mom. Perhaps, it was because of the fact that I was a rebellious teenager with very different tastes than my mother. We’d argue on almost everything – clothes, food, books, subjects, languages, cultures and food. In short, we were both hot-headed and adamant to prove our point to each other.
Food – whatever she cooked, I didn’t like. She didn’t like that I didn’t like what she cooked. And I hardly knew how to cook! So each day, four of us, including my crazy eleven year old brother and my Dad, sat at the dining table hearing my grumbles and Mom’s constant complaints against my so-called attitude.
But that was five years ago.
Now, I believe I’m a sober teenager. My hormones have calmed down and I did realize how crazy a teen I had been! Relationships have improved and that counts the one between me and my mom. We understand each other better and hopefully, though the arguments haven’t completely stopped, they aren’t really that serious.
However, I still have a problem with her cooking.
Dad tells me that it’s probably because I’m bored of eating the same thing again and again and he is probably right. Sometimes, I believe the same too. But is there a solution? No. So until I learn how to cook (which seems like the next birth) and I’m finally independent and have a job, I’ve to depend on Mom.
Mom had to go for almost a week and we were given our pocket-money to order take-outs for dinner. The entire idea of eating out for an entire week, thrilled me! As most of you must have predicted by now, I’m a big foodie. Give me food and I’m the happiest soul around. But I’m really picky when it comes to food.
Dad, being the more inventive person in our house, decided that we should cook something and not order everyday. So that is what we did. Basically, he cooked.
And though I’ve seen that some men are great cooks, I can vouch that my dad is not. He can make some decent dishes, agreed, but when he tries to cook something he doesn’t know, it’s always a blunder that somehow ends up tasting good to him. And he forces us to eat it!
That is exactly what happened on the rainy Friday night when he got back home early.
I still do not know what he made. He called it something and we ate it without a noise. My brother even went on to say it was so good he could eat it everyday! Obviously, he meant it in a very sarcastic sense but Dad took it as words of encouragement and decided that we were going to eat the same thing again the next night.
I remember swinging my feet wildly and hitting my brother under the table.
The other day, when Dad had left for his office, we were hungry. So my brother and I decided to try something new. Given my complete inexperience when it comes to cooking, I had a difficult time trying to find something to make. We would’ve bought instant noodles but we were lazy.
“Cookies!” my brother suggested.
Half an hour later, he was mixing the batter for the second batch of cookies while I was reading a recipe book. A part of me wanted the cookies to taste exactly like Mom’s. So I took special care while adding the flour and eggs and chocolate, making sure the measure was accurate enough.
In between the little party in the kitchen, I remembered the last time she had made those cookies for us. It was a long while ago. Now that I sat on the kitchen top, reading through a recipe book, it felt as if Mom’s recipe to deliciousness had left along with her. It hadn’t been passed on to me and I had this nagging thought at the back of my brain that something might be wrong with the cookies.
It was then I realized that I had always loved Mom’s cooking, no matter what. I had always complained but that was plainly because I was bored with eating the very same thing, not because her cooking was bad.
The alarm of the oven went off and I helped my brother in pulling the tray out.
The cookies had weird shapes. Though they had looked good when we had poured them into the tray, after being baked, they had those weird amoeboid shapes. However, they tasted great! Perfect!
“Exactly like Mom’s!” my brother exclaimed as he stuffed a handful of cookies into his mouth.
No, the cookies didn’t taste like the ones Mom made. They lacked one thing. One person.
They lacked Mom.