Monday, July 12, 2010


Cue the Barbra Streisand....

Actually, it's funny because listening to Barbra Streisand always makes me think of my mom. Especially her ridiculous version of "Jingle Bells." My mom loved Babs, a love I could never, ever relate to. I guess she kind of looked like her- pretty, but a bigger nose. She certainly couldn't sing as well, although that never stopped her from singing along to all those albums. (Yes, albums. Vinyl. LPs. Records.) It would drive my sister and me crazy. Especially embarrassing was the year she dressed as Yentl for Halloween. Dear Lord. Of course now, I hear her and it makes me feel. Sometimes I get teary-eyed, sometimes a small smile creeps on my face remembering.

Memories hit me at the oddest times. The random Babs song while switching through the channels on the radio. Hearing morning doves outside my window always brings me back to waking in the morning at my grandparents' house. Hangovers that make me think of college.

Most of my memories are triggered by food.

I made cinnamon toast this morning on leftover hamburger buns and it reminded me of my mom making breakfast. I thought of all her other breakfast foods: 3-minute eggs, those awesome boxed blueberry muffins with the crumbly top, waffles that she made with raspberry seltzer water to make them light. Breakfast wasn't her big meal, though. Mostly, the food that makes me think of her is dinner-related. Her tomato sauce that I rarely make but used to request once a week, any kind of roasted meat with the world's best gravy that I can't, for the life of me, emulate, her Sour Cream Noodle Bake.

My mom was not our only cook. I made my dad's Cajun Potato Salad and Green Salsa last week for Saturday's party and thought of him the whole time. Also every Thanksgiving when I make his stuffing, or prepare the turkey just as he showed me. And let's not forget Grandma. Don't tell anyone this, but she was a hit-or-miss cook. My grandpa would probably cry to hear me say that, but it's true. She just did a really good job with the foods she knew. And she was an excellent baker. Pies, cookies, cakes. But her specialty was Mush Buns, an old family recipe from my grandpa's side. No one but Grandma ever took the time (2 days) to make those buns, mostly because they tried and flopped- the buns didn't rise, or were as hard as hockey pucks. I've made them once and was successful. I hope not from sheer luck.

I'm trying again this week. My aunt's going on vacation and my grandpa will be home and, for the first time, alone. I'm taking the kids to spend some time with him. And I'm taking Mush Buns. Because I know how he'll feel when eating them. And I want him to know that I feel the same way.

Listening to: The Jealous Sound "The Jealous Sound"

xo. kb.

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