My son Marshall loves to cook. When he was growing up, he would spend time with me learning how to make family favorites and, as a result, he is very at home in the kitchen. His fiancée is a lucky girl! Last night, I taught my son one of those things my mother taught me–how to salvage burned toast.
You see, I also loved spending time in the kitchen with my mom, Betty Stevens. She is an expert, and “No one cooks as good as DeeDee.” Each person in the family has their favorite dish and, bless her heart, as our family grew, she had to quit making each person’s favorite (because it took her three days just to cook it all!). But back to the toast.
I was a bit of a slow learner in the kitchen. I still remember the night I told Mom I would cook dinner for the family and proudly set the pan of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the middle of the island, proclaiming dinner was ready! (Now mind you, there were six of us…and a couple of boxes of mac and cheese didn’t go far.) I suspect that, because of this, I was often relegated to making toast. Sometimes it was cinnamon toast for breakfast. Sometimes it was garlic toast for a later meal. I hated making toast, because I always burned it. I had no problem getting it prepared and in the oven, but getting it out at the right time was difficult for me. I was easily distracted. (Let’s blame it on three brothers.) Nevertheless, I was schooled early on in the art of scraping toast and making those burned parts edible.
I never did that to my children. We bought a toaster. But last night, I heard Marshall on the phone asking Kathryn to stop by the store on her way over and get more French bread. Between that comment and the still familiar smell of bread that went a little too far, I stepped in and informed them that no additional bread would be needed. Suddenly, I felt like I was 13 again, standing at Mom’s sink and scraping the toast until it was perfectly golden brown and “crispy.” I smiled, then I laughed at the three young adults standing behind me watching and learning this “amazing trick.”
So, thanks Mom. Here’s to you! Thanks for the lessons and for helping me turn into a pretty stinking good cook. Thanks for showing me the value of a loaf of bread. And above all, thanks for thinking my mac and cheese was delicious.
Happy Mother’s Day everyone.
Until next time ~ Karen