What is Mom Food? It’s the food that evokes our memories of being loved. See also Dad Food, Auntie Food, Grandma Food…
Mom Food is about the people who feed us because they love us. It’s also about the food that evokes memories of being loved.
For me, it’s my mom. For you, it may be your dad, your aunt, a grandparent, or the person next door who took care of you when your parents couldn’t.
Mom Food (or Dad Food or Aunt Food) is about that feeling of love you get when you eat that certain thing your mom fixed you when you were little, or when you were sick. Mom Food is the thing that makes you eat your Cream of Wheat with butter and honey, “because that’s the way Grandpa made it.”
This project has been years in the imagining. For the last few years, I’ve been having long, happy conversations with my mother, both in person and on the phone, while she walks me through the recipes of my childhood. She loves doing it, because it brings home to her the fact that her children realize what a loving act it was, feeding our large family. It also assures her that those foods she so lovingly prepared for us — often foods she herself didn’t like — will survive when she is gone, and go on to bring joy to the next generation.
My mom loves to cook, and cooks well, but we didn’t have what most people would think of as fancy foods. Mom Food doesn’t have to be fancy and elaborate. Mom Food is just food — creamed peas on toast, or spaghetti with tomato sauce, or congee — made by someone who loves you. If there are kids in your life, I hope you will take the time to cook for them, so that some day, they will find themselves putting olive oil, salt, and fresh basil on chopped summer tomatoes because that’s the way you made it for them.
That’s Mom Food.