Mother’s Day

I have the best mother in the world.  No lie.  She’s taught me so many things, so many that I can’t even begin to list them all.  Perhaps the best thing about my mother is that no matter what we’re doing together, we’re always having more fun than it makes sense to be having.  You name it, we’re laughing- waiting in line, doing yardwork, cleaning my house, playing with my daughter, texting, working….  We’re always, always laughing.  It’s one of the best things about us.

One of my favorite art images of a mother and daughter.

Now that I am a mother, I finally, finally understand what my mother has been trying to tell me my whole life, about loving me.  I finally get it.  The love that I have for my daughter matches the love that my mother has for me and that her mother had for her.  It’s hard to put into words but I hope it’s a love that my daughter will discover someday.

My mother and I did this years and years ago and gave it, along with the previous one, to my grandmother for mother's day. It's one of my very favorite photos.

I’ve been blessed in my life to have had a multitude of motherly figures.  My mother, my grandmother, my stepmother, Ani (my best friend’s mother), just to name a few.  And now that my counterparts are becoming parents, I am blessed to have a number of mothers to whom I can turn when I have questions.  Or when I just want to chat.  I also recently heard a story that broke and then taped back together my heart- about a friend who selflessly gave up a daughter for adoption because she knew she couldn’t have cared for her at the time.  I’m in awe of her mature, unselfish decision, made at eighteen years old and in the midst of postpartum hormones.  In my work, I’ve also been honored to be included in the lives of women who have become foster mothers to children who are struggling to trust, love and simply, be.  These women don’t get honored enough and they do some hard, hard work.  I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by so many models of motherhood and I only hope I can do half as well as they all have.

Of course, it’s not all warm and fuzzy.  One of the saddest mantles that was passed down from my grandmother to my mother to me was the struggle with food and weight.  All three of us loved food and loved to eat but did not love the results on our bodies.  From an extremely young age, I knew I was supposed to be dissatisfied with my body and the mixed messages we all gave ourselves and each other didn’t help.  We are a family that believes you should eat, enjoy and love your food.  But you should also not eat too much- it’s a hard balance to find.  Over the years, my mother and I have made peace with this struggle (most days).  I’d like to think my grandmother would have as well, had she lived.  I am damn sure I will not be passing this legacy down to my daughter.  I’m working very hard to make sure I don’t.

But, in honor of both the happy and sad lessons learned, I give you a grandma recipe for low-fat cookies.  Note, they are not GOOD for you or HEALTHY but they are low-fat and delicious! And somehow, very spring-like.  Light, even.

Pecan Dainties

Ingredients

1 egg white

1  cup light brown sugar

1 1/2 cups pecan halves (I actually used 1/2 cup pecans and 1 cup walnuts.  I had a lot of walnuts.)

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 (yes, two hundred and fifty) degrees.

Separate the egg.

One lonely egg white

Do something with the yolk- I gave mine to my dogs.  Beat the egg white until it is stiff.  You can do this by hand but you’ll have a very tired wrist afterwards.  I pulled out my handmixer.  It will start out foamy.

But keep beating it.  You’ll know it’s done when the peaks stand up on their own.

Looks a bit like whipped cream but it's egg white. I promise.

Measure the sugar.  Try not to spill any.  Grandma didn’t specify if it should be packed brown sugar or not and I went with packed because when have you ever encountered too much sugar in something?

Now, Grandma says to add it gradually.  I tried.  But this happened.

So I mixed it up as best I could- it got very sticky.

Stir in the nuts and then drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.  I used parchment paper because I am lazy.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Let them sit on the sheet until they’re really cool – if you try to move them before then, you’ll leave part of the cookie on the sheet.  And you wouldn’t want to miss any part of the cookie. 

I don’t generally like meringue cookies but these are good.  Maybe it’s the brown sugar?  And, hey, low fat!

Happy mother’s day to all!!

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4 thoughts on “Mother’s Day

  1. I really enjoyed reading about three generations of great mothers. Thank you for sharing. I’ve always heard that Jewish mothers are wonderful! I see it’s true. Blessings to you, Stella…

  2. Thanks Carol Ann- I am truly blessed to have my mother and to have had my grandmother. I think Jewish moms are the best!!

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