New Year’s Greetings to All!

january

image by hometownzero, from Flickr

How are you feeling?  Today seems like the day we can finally resume our routines and complete the post-holiday-recovery phase.  Over the holidays I seemed to communicate mostly in single words, such as “Tape?” and “Dinner!”, with occasional indulgences in multiple words like “When will you be back?” and “Could you get up now and help me lift this?”, not to mention “Is your hedgehog warm enough?”  My holiday coping strategy seems to require me to focus my thoughts on the present crisis, and potential crises in the immediate future, leaving no room for eloquence or reflection.

So I’m glad to get back to thinking and writing in complete sentences, and to taking a slightly longer view.  Hence, a blog post!

I came upon an article in the Toronto Star last week which might interest you.  It tells the story of a woman whose mother has early onset Alzheimer’s.  Although she can no longer talk with her mother, she is keeping their connection strong by exploring her mom’s collection of recipes and documenting the cooking and memories in a blog.  This idea reminded me of Angela’s blog post about her mother’s letters.  It seems to pull together the nurturing aspect of food, the way that smell and taste becomes embedded in our memories, and the informal diaries that can be created on our recipe pages.  Do you make notes on your recipes?  (And do you want your offspring to read those notes in the distant future?)

Speaking of offspring, it was life-changing for me a few years ago when I read about brain research that revealed that the brains of children continue to grow and develop until they are around 25 years old.  This information has helped me to have more reasonable expectations for the young people in my life.  Even if they are as tall as adults, they are still kids (until they pass the age of 25, when my expectations for responsible and considerate humans will kick back in).  So how can we tell when they’ve crossed over into adulthood, if not by appearance?

Here’s something I read this weekend, from the novelist Lynn Coady, who has a crowd-sourced advice column in the Globe.  She says, “True adulthood occurs the moment we grasp that the people who raised us do not exist solely for our comfort and reassurance. From that point on, the steady stream of unconditional love and support we’ve expected from them all our lives has to flow both ways.”  What do you think?

Bye for now,

Elizabeth

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2 thoughts on “New Year’s Greetings to All!

  1. Hello Elizabeth,
    Loved your post! My mother passed away 3 years ago from early onset alzheimers. One of most treasured memories that I have of my mother is her collection of recipes. My mother was a great cook. Mom made everything from homemade bread, perogies and cabbage rolls and an impressive assortment of desserts. Does anyone remember the dessert called “Sex in a Pan”?
    One of the gifts I received this Christmas from a friend was a cookbook entitled “In My Mother’s Kitchen (Three generations of simple, delicious food). Trish provides secret tips and occasional short cut to this collection of her mothers and grandmothers favourite recipes. Do you have a favourite recipe from your mother or grandmother?

    • Hi Laurie,
      I do have some ancestral recipes that I love to make, e.g. my grandmother’s shortbread and my mother’s apple pie. But I always feel that my version is not quite as yummy as the originals…
      As for Sex in a Pan, we did not talk about this at home when I was a girl. I had to learn about it on The Street, from dessert-loving strangers. Imagine the trauma.
      Elizabeth
      <img src="Sex in a Pan” alt=”” />
      image by reinvented, from Flickr

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