Monday, December 19, 2011

Comfort Food

I really miss my mother. And I'm surprised. She's been dead, after all, for 11 years, and our relationship was a complicated one for sure. So I've been touching this rediscovered scab, thinking about how it feel when I scratch certain parts, and I think I've figured out where it's coming from: This is the first Christmas where Peter and I will not see two of our three children. At all. And for the first time, I understand and feel in my very core my mother. I get why she was so (often annoyingly to me) needy at different points — "What do you mean you're not going to spend Mother's Day with me, Janet?" — and why she seemed so desperate at others. She saw the clock ticking and like that Salvador Dali clock knew her time was melting, ever so quickly.

It's not a comfortable place. While I intellectually understand the passing of the baton to the next generation — embrace it even in my most independent moments – around the holidays I want to be surrounded by my children. I don't have taken care of aging adults, I am acutely aware of the few years (God willing) we will all have in this new realm as equals on some level, a time to discover and enjoy new relationships as our parent/child paradigm shifts into something else. As a new grandmother, I am aware as well of the snap-your-fingers-and-it's-gone time to share in our little M's life.

So I think of my mother. I want to tell her "I get it." But I can't of course. Instead, I decided to make a favorite meal of hers and mine. While it's not complicated — what was in the suburban cooking of the '60s? — it does requiring thinking ahead because the chicken marinates overnight. I've served this meal to my children a few times, always thinking of my mother and how happy I was whenever she announced that sour cream chicken was for dinner. For now, that will have to do.

Sour Cream Chicken
serves 4

Cover and marinate the chicken overnight in the refrigerator.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Uncover and bake for about an hour until the chicken is done.

1 comment:

  1. That's a nice tribute to your mom, Jake. I, too, am unsettled by my awareness of the passage of time and my fear of melting.