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Strange Urges

At 11:00 pm last night I decided that I wanted to make rice pudding. Don't ask me why. I just did. I just had to make it. I didn't though.

What I did instead was go into the kitchen, sit in front of the cupboard that has all of my mother's cookbooks, recipes and other odd and end things she kept about running the household, and stared inside. It was a mess. Of course, with my mother no longer with us anymore, everything is a mess.

So, I pulled out her long recipe container and set that aside and pulled out all the little leaflets with recipes that were sitting on top of it, and arranged it neatly on the floor next to me. Then, I pulled out all the little tupperware plastic containers for hamburgers - prepackaging and making them - and put them together.

I as I was cleaning up and arranging the little cupboard, all I could do was think about how my mother loved to cook. About all the favorite recipes that she loved to cook are now gone. She wasn't a chef, but she could have been, I think, if she wanted to be. She could always put something together, from scratch, without a recipe and it'd turn out well.

The foods I miss most of hers are Egg Fu Yong, Chicken Chow Mein, Beef Stew, Apple Cobbler, and the Baked Apple dishes that she sometimes microwaved. She never made them often, but when she did make them, both dad and I always went for seconds or thirds.

Opening her recipe box, I discovered that she'd started to make little tabbed index cards. Each card was labeled from desserts to household cleaners, and also inside the box were labels or UPCs from items that she would frequently buy. It only left me wondering just what she wanted to do with those or what she was doing with those; a small enshrouded mystery that will never be solved. I knew she collected coupons, but obviously these were not coupons and no recipes were on these little tidbits of cardboard or can wrappers that were stuffed inside of this box.

The final thing I did last night was get out her Betty Crocker Cookbook. No, I'm no cook. I hate cooking, unlike my mother, but I wanted to reminisce, to see if she'd marked any of her other recipes in her main cookbook, and to go back and remember some of the things that we'd done together or that we had.

I sat in the kitchen for a good 45 minutes, and when I was done, I calmly put everything away. I suppose, in a sense, going down there and rooting through the cupboard was a sort of therapy I needed. It was like, in part, that she was there with me, even though she wasn't. She's always there with me.

There are some days I miss her so much that I'll be driving down the road and I can barely contain myself emotionally. I always have to push things to the back of my mind, until I'm in a place where I don't have to worry about driving and getting unsettled.

While I was getting emotional last night, I was in a good place after I'd finished with the tasks I had done. Only, I forgot to take out my contact lenses (OOPS!) and ended up sleeping with them. I wondered why I woke up and was able to see this morning! The bad thing is that they were not extended-wear (overnight) lenses. The good thing is that they weren't dried out when I awoke like they normally were.

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Nynrose - Lisa Christie
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