June 28, 2013 I wrote on Facebook, “Just before the bells in Kensington Market rang at 9 pm, my Mom passed away. I am shattered but she is finally resting peacefully.”
I share with you my eulogy for her in honour of her two-month passing.
Ode to the Original Foodie
You fell in love with Bernaise sauce in Europe.
I followed you and Dad in utero and fell in love too.
Shannon was born. You in the hospital. Cooked carrots? What the hell?
Jamie made ketchup pizzas with oregano.
Jason ate butter and my teeth hurt.
I mortified you when I became the olive thief.
We ate pickled herring and sour cream for breakfast.
I always admired the majesty of your gourmet dining club.
The indulgence of your crab, Velvetta and butter spread.
The savoriness of the meatballs on toothpicks you made for parties.
All the laughter and joy, I carry with me.
Smoke detector went off when you made chicken skins in the oven.
Then it was Sunday night spaghetti dinners for years and years.
Sometimes your cheesy potatoes.
Often Chinese food for Christmas.
When you came to visit me I made steak and kidney pie.
We celebrated your name’s day on June 3 with a pork roast dinner.
You taught me so much about our food that I had never eaten.
A foodie fool, finally converted to my mother’s wisdom.
I made Bernaise sauce.
We froze it.
You brought it home, happy.
We spoke on the phone for years.
Sharing stories, adventures and recipes.
The bowl for the double boiler would not stop moving so my sister Shannon helped me out.
Then we got the news.
I came home.
Again, I broke the Bernaise sauce.
You ate it, in love with it still.
I got you Popeye’s chicken.
Burger King’s onion rings.
We had High Tea.
Another pork roast dinner was shared.
I knew I had to try one more time.
I made the tenderest crepes in the world.
Filled them with shrimp.
I got out the eggs, butter, vinegar, wine and tarragon.
This time I used a blender.
It worked. Thickest most beautiful Bernaise sauce in the world.
Sprinkled with chives from you balcony garden.
You tried to eat it but could barely speak.
Then you fell asleep.
Wanted more but could barely chew.
I brought you water and you rested.
I ate my crepe.
The most delicious and saddest dinner of my life.
I know you will be with me in my kitchen.
Telling me to add more salt.
Suggesting new camera angles for foodie photos.
I will study from the Larousse Gastronomique you sent me
And all the cookbooks you gave me.
You will live on in every photograph.
Every bite of food.
Each recipe I write.
And all the stories I tell.
The foodie queen in my life has fallen. I am shattered like a raw egg crushed under a meteorite. You told me in a dream it was time for me to forget you.
I responded, “Never.”