Remembering Mom - Swampy's Kitchen Blog at - 193172

Swampy's Kitchen

Remembering Mom 
Sep. 1, 2010 12:43 pm 
Updated: Dec. 30, 2010 1:21 pm
My mother passed away two weeks ago today. She was 79 years young and still had so much more to give to the world. There are so many different things that I could tell you about my mother that made her so special to so many people but this is a cooking website so I will stick to what Mom made special for me in the kitchen.

If you have glanced at my profile, you will see that my mother taught me how to cook at an early age. From the time I could first push a chair or kitchen stool across the floor, I was at her side asking her what she was making and if I could help. I was particularly good at an early age at licking the beaters, spatulas, spoons & bowls because Mom was always good at leaving a nice amount of batter or frosting behind as a reward. (My grandmother, on the other hand, wielded a spatula like samurai sword and there was a nary a speck of batter or frosting ever left behind.) I think all four of us kids can still make a pretty respectable tray of brownies from scratch. Mom never really got fancy in the kitchen, mainly because us kids were fussy eaters who stuck to bland food. Sometimes she would throw something different into the mix for us but it was a different story when she entertained. That was when we saw what Mom could really do in the kitchen and we were just  too stubborn to realize that we should have given it a try. She did teach us the basics so we would never starve but it wasn’t until I was finally out of college that I finally realized the extent of what she had done.

When most of my friends were eating bad happy hour food in crappy singles bars, I was whipping up simple dishes at home. Whenever a snowstorm was on the horizon, my friends would show up in hopes that I would feed them once we got snowed in. People even started bringing food with them for me to cook when they would come over to watch a game. During the last year I lived in Denver, I don’t think I ever did the dishes because I made that a requirement of being fed. I had Mom to thank for that.

As I continued to move around the country, I started to expand my culinary horizons and my Mom made sure that I always had the proper tools that I would need. I still have the electric skillet she gave me some 20+ years ago and it still makes killer pancakes. Once I got married, the kitchen utensils that she sent were of an even better quality and I started to feel more & more like a real chef. I even started to cook like one. When Mom’s health started to give her troubles, I stepped in and started to cook the Thanksgiving & Christmas turkeys (there are blogs in my archives about that). It was least I could do for the woman who gave me & taught me so much

I love my Mom and I miss her very much. I know that the next time I make a cake or some brownies, my children will get a crack at what’s left over in the bowl. It’s what my Mom would have done for them too.
Sep. 1, 2010 12:47 pm
So sorry for your loss Doug. Glad you're going to share your Mom's habits with your kids. My Mom used to leave just enough in the bowl for me too.
Sep. 1, 2010 12:47 pm
thanks Magnolia Blossom
Sep. 1, 2010 12:52 pm
Ah, so sorry about your Mom. Wonderful that she took the time to teach you so much about cooking! Take care...
Sep. 1, 2010 12:56 pm
Thanks Jammin' Bread - i am trying to do the same with my kids
Sep. 1, 2010 1:04 pm
So sorry for your loss! Terrific that you learned so much in the kitchen. I'm trying to do that with my youngest son who is 14. He enjoys cooking, as for my 19 year old, that's a different story.
Sep. 1, 2010 1:05 pm
Thanks Nurse Ellen - the 19 year old will come around once he learns that girls are impressed by guys that can cook
Sep. 1, 2010 1:25 pm
My sincere sympathy Doug. Lost my Mom 2 years ago, not easy but I try to remember all the special times we had. Remember the good times and pass those special things on to your kids.
Sep. 1, 2010 1:26 pm
thanks Luvs2Bake - I plan on doing just that
Sep. 1, 2010 1:39 pm
So sorry to hear of your mom's passing. It is so great that you do have good memories in the kitchen with her! Keep those memories close - mom's are special people.
Sep. 1, 2010 1:50 pm
I'm sorry to hear about your mom, Doug. It's awesome that you were able to learn so much from her in the kitchen and now you can pass those wonderful memories on to your own children. Hold those remembrances tightly in your heart and your mother will never be far away.
Sep. 1, 2010 1:53 pm
very touching heart-felt blog. you had a great mom! mine died march 10th 1989. she was the same type of cook i came from a "mixed" family...i bother and 7 other children. i was the middle child. i think my younger sister was her favorite, but i got to lick the spatulas too. i learned to cook great southern food from her...great blog! may time ease your very sorry!
Sep. 1, 2010 3:32 pm
Yes, present tense "love". That part does not change. Your mom's cooking habits sound a lot like my mom's, who passed away two years ago. You don't stop missing her, but you don't stop loving either. Anyway, to full spatulas from Mom's hand to yours!
Sep. 1, 2010 4:02 pm
I'm so sorry for your loss. When I read the first two sentences, I felt cold terror in my heart. My Dad is 77, pretty healthy, but experiencing some "old age" symptoms and I really REALLY want him to be around awhile. True, here or some other where, I'll love him just the same. You (and I) are lucky we've had them as long as we have. I know you miss your mom, but your kids will help. You can pass Grandma's wisdom on to them. ♥
Sep. 1, 2010 4:21 pm
So sorry for your loss, Doug. Your Mom gave you a very precious gift in passing along her kitchen skills because I believe food pulls families together and makes for wonderful traditions and memories.
Sep. 1, 2010 4:37 pm
Sorry for the loss. I lost my dad a couple years ago, and my mom is in a nursing home right now. Mother's are the base of EVERYTHING in your life practically! I have a WAY different cooking style than my mother's fried chicken Crisco fatty diet for us. I am plain jane. My daughter on the other hand, I see in her my mother. So creative and ALWAYS wanting to try something new. Isn't that just the best?
Sep. 1, 2010 5:44 pm
Doug, I am so sorry for your loss of your sweet mother. I still miss mine and she has been gone more than ten years. I lost my dad five years ago at age 90 and he was healthy almost until the end. I was a daddy's girl and will always miss him too. You have some wonderful memories of your mom and she will always live on in that way. Moms are special in so many ways!!..Ginny
Sep. 1, 2010 6:52 pm
I am so sorry for your loss Doug. I too lost my Mom 3 years ago. You never stop missing them. And, that's o.k. I can quote my Mom verbatim sometimes and it cracks me up. She was a wonderful Mother and taught me everything important in life. Thanks for sharing how your Mom taught you to love the craft of cooking. She sounds like she was a terrific Mother to you.
Sep. 1, 2010 8:00 pm
Oh Doug, I am so sorry that you lost your mama. I am so lucky to still have mine at the age of 81. Your mom sounds so much like mine. I always marvel at the "gourmet" meals my mom would prepare for company in her tiny NON state of the art kitchen. Nowadays, we want all the latest greatest gadgets and yet our meals don't ever evoke the memories of our mothers's cooking. Your mom must have been so pleased to see the love of food , family & tradition passed on to you. Take care. Me ka 'oia 'i 'o
Sep. 2, 2010 4:42 am
Thanks Mother Ann - I agree completely, moms are special
Sep. 2, 2010 4:42 am
Thank you keri
Sep. 2, 2010 4:43 am
thank you gderr - with that many kids, I would think there would have to be a lot of spatulas
Sep. 2, 2010 4:44 am
Thanks Hezzy_tant_Cook
Sep. 2, 2010 4:45 am
Thanks LadySparkle - the kids do help a lot - except of course when they are trying to kill me but my mom never saw in wrong in them
Sep. 2, 2010 4:52 am
thanks mimosa - my wife is full blooded italian so we KNOW that food brings families together
Sep. 2, 2010 4:54 am
Thanks Nancy - it is fun seeing the traits that our children inherit not only from us but fom our parents
Sep. 2, 2010 4:55 am
Thanks Ginny - I have a couple of daddy's girls - I'm a sucker for them - I think I learned that from mom too
Sep. 2, 2010 4:57 am
Thanks Candice - mom was terrific
Sep. 2, 2010 4:59 am
Mahalo MauiGirl - sometimes I sit there in the kitchen when something isn't working and think, "what would mom do" and then I reach for some old school utensil or tool just like she would.
Sep. 2, 2010 5:06 am
I'm sorry for your loss Doug. I know she's proud of you and smiling just knowing she raised such a fine son! When you give the beaters to your daughters don't forget to take a lick for Mom : )
Sep. 2, 2010 5:29 am
Thanks dragonfly22 - my daughters better hope their little brother doesn't squeeze in and steal the spatula first - he will never give them a lick
Sep. 2, 2010 7:38 am
Doug, It is obvious that your mama also taught you great manners, by your thoughtful thank you"s to all here. Mahalo
Sep. 2, 2010 7:51 am
Doug, I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your dear Mother. You'll keep those wonderful memories of the both of you in the kitchen forever. My Mom is a great cook, but she is not a baker. My Grandmother on the other hand, who I miss so much, was a phenomenal baker. She would let me have the spatula or beaters, but as far as the bowl, she used to scrape them so clean, it never even looked used! Her theory was every bit of batter or dough counts. I could stilL hear her saying "Make sure you get every last bit of it Cyndi". My deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Sep. 2, 2010 8:21 am
I am so very sorry for your loss... my mother passed at 54 years of age not quite a year ago and my heart aches CONSTANTLY when I think about her... Her husband recently sent me the family cook book we grew up with - she's done major editing to it over the years and I wish she'd kept everything, but it is still SO precious to me to have that, to share that with my son and to have a little piece of her in the kitchen. I also have such fond memories of mom cooking and baking... she made our house a home and sharing dinner around the table as a family every night was a HUGE part of that... Blessings and healing thoughts for you and yours...
Sep. 2, 2010 8:21 am
I am sorry for your loss, Doug. On Saturday it will be a year my MIL passed away. I have spent the days since going thru her recipes and doing my best recreate them for my husband. It is just not the same but, it helps me feel close to her. My mom suffers from Alzheimer's and we have lost much ground to this disease in the past year. I am now using some of her cooking utensils and especially the apron she always wore. Small things but it helps me feel as if we are in the kitchen together. I am glad you pass on the traditions your mom had and am sure you will recreate many moments you experienced with your children. Savor every one of them. Peace and blessings.
Sep. 2, 2010 8:29 am
So very sorry for your loss. Cherish your memories!
Sep. 2, 2010 9:04 am
Thank you Cat Lady Cyndi - I appreiate your thoughts & comments
Sep. 2, 2010 9:19 am
Thank you SANDRA_92083 and I am sorry for your loss too. Mom has index card boxes full of recipes in her kitchen. I'll start going through them later on this fall to see what I can try & recreate & update.
Sep. 2, 2010 9:27 am
Thank you What's for dinner, mom? and my thoughts are with you & your fmily too. It's those little things that can mean so much. I have my grandmother's ancient cookie press, I can honestly say it was the only thing of hers I really wanted when she passed away.
Sep. 2, 2010 9:27 am
Thank you maggie
Sep. 2, 2010 12:14 pm
Doug, Like you, I was very close to my mother and she was my inspiration for cooking. She passed away just over 3 years ago at 67 and I still think of her every time I go to the kitchen to start dinner. I am very sorry for your loss, but what wonderful memories you have to cherish. And thank you for your very nice comment on my blog. Scott
Sep. 2, 2010 1:53 pm
The loss of one's mom is one of the deepest sense of loss we can experience. I lost mine over 8 years ago and still think of her all the time. I love making her favorite recipes. It makes me feel connected somehow. Thoughts and prayers to you and yours, Doug. It will get easier.
Sep. 2, 2010 6:04 pm
Thank you & you're welcome Fight the Fat Foodie
Sep. 2, 2010 6:05 pm
Thanks Lace. I am sure it will get easier with time and that connection will help.
Sep. 2, 2010 8:17 pm
How lucky she was to have you in her life. She knew it, too. You can tell! Best wishes to you.
Sep. 3, 2010 2:18 am
How lucky you are to have had such a close relationship with your mother! I know you will always feel her in the kitchen with you, especially when the holidays come around. So many treasured memories! Blessings to you and your family.
Sep. 3, 2010 3:22 am
Deepest condolences to you. So heartwarming you are passing on sweet traditions with your children. I miss my mother every day..just cherish your memories.
Sep. 3, 2010 4:34 am
Thanks Marianne - I feel very lucky to have had her
Sep. 3, 2010 4:35 am
Thanks Cookieweasel - I appreciate the thoughts
Sep. 3, 2010 4:36 am
Thanks Maggi - my mom passed on her traditions from her mom to me - i can't imagine not doing the same
Sep. 3, 2010 4:46 am
What a lovely tribute to your Mother. Thank you for sharing it with us. My Mother has been gone a very long time - I miss her to this day. Every Christmas my brother and I all spread out across the US still re-create her special Christmas dinner. It is our tribute to her and we in turn have passed that on to our kids and now grandkids. Blessings to you.
Sep. 3, 2010 4:48 am
BTW - I still have my Mother's cookie jar - that should always be filled with Oatmeal Cookies! Great memories.
Sep. 3, 2010 5:15 am
Thanks Baking Nana - I appreciate your thoughts and can I have an oatmeal cookie please ?
Sep. 3, 2010 5:56 am
Such a sweet rememberance blog for your Mom. My Mom's been gone since '07 and I still miss her. She taught me to cook too. It makes me appreciate all the cookware she gave me over the years even more. I especially cherish the 1958 Betty Crocker cookbook she gave me when I moved away from home. The best part of it is all of her little notes written in the margins. I'm sorry for your loss.
Sep. 3, 2010 6:29 am
I'm so sorry for your loss. My Mom past away when she was only 48 yrs old. I wasn't able to live with my Mom, parents divorce with I was very young. I lived with my Grandmother until I was 12 yrs old then move to Florida to live with my Dad and Stepmom. I didn't realize until now how much I did learn from my Stepmom. She was Italian and could make great Italian dishes. It is so nice to hear that you learned so much from your Mom. What a great way to honor your Mom and to past down to your kids what you learned. Maybe a cookbook you could publish for your Mom memory. Take care and happy and loveing memories of your Mom!
Sep. 3, 2010 8:06 am
I'm sorry for your loss. It sounds like she was a wonderful person, a great mother and a great cook.
Sep. 3, 2010 8:31 am
Thanks Cat Hill - I am actually looking forward to going through mom's index card file of recipes just to see her handwriting
Sep. 3, 2010 8:36 am
Thanks coco - I like your recipe idea - maybe a collection of her best
Sep. 3, 2010 8:37 am
Thanks Elle - I appreciate your thoughts
Sep. 3, 2010 8:42 am
sorry for your Mum, but I think that people go on living as long as there's someone to remember them. And from what you say she made sure to be remembered fondly and with great love. This must be a comfort for you.
Sep. 3, 2010 8:56 am
Thanks ANNAMA - I hear what you are saying - more than once I have turned around expecting her to be there.
Sep. 3, 2010 9:07 am
I am so very sorry about the loss of your Mom. One comment to gderr: don't ever say that one sibling is Mom's favorite-Out of three girls I am the baby-through no fault of my own-but I have been punished and left out because my sisters claim that I'm the favorite. I'm not but I have paid a painful cost for being perceived that way. Mom's love their kids equally but sometimes differently. Just something to think about. Sorry I got off topic-my main thought was Doug's loss.
Donna Hilbert 
Sep. 3, 2010 9:27 am
Thank-you for sharing this treasured memory of you mother. I am so sorry for your loss. This means alot to me because I lost my mother 7 months ago due to a lenghtly illness. Just this morning my sister and I were remembering our mom and crying over how much we miss her. It really is amazing that cooking or baking something she taught us can make us feel like she is still very much with us. What a comfort! We love you mom. Thank-you for everything.
Sep. 3, 2010 10:40 am
Thanks for sharing with us about your mom. She sounded like a great person. Isn't it nice to have such a wonderful parent to serve as a role model? I too always loved cooking with my kids. My son is the one that does the cooking in his family now. And like your mom, I have sent him kitchen appliances from time to time. I now have two grandsons that I share my cookie and cupcake batter with. I love hearing that kitchen chair being dragged across the floor to get closer to the kitchen counter or stove by one of the boys. It brings back such good memories. Such a nice tribute to your mom she must have felt great love from you.
Sep. 3, 2010 11:05 am
I'm so sorry for your loss Doug. Losing a mom is terribly painful! My mother died unexpectedly in March at 74, and she also had a lot of living left to do. It hurts quite a bit, I miss her terribly. But the pain does get more bearable. This was a really nice way to share her story with us, thank you!
Sep. 3, 2010 11:26 am
Thank you for sharing your wonderful Mom with the rest of us. May you be surrounded by comfort. And when some time has passed, may you feel her yet again, maybe in your kitchen. A hint, a whisper, a subtle aroma that lets you know she is standing right beside you. As she always did. In the interim know that there are perfect strangers all across the country that are keeping your circumstances in their heart and wishing you well.
Sep. 3, 2010 11:30 am
What a lovely rememberance of your Mom. Warmed my heart to read between the lines the love and respect for her. I am so sorry for your loss and can relate to what you said about her having so much more to give, but she left you such a wonderful legacy of memeories and skills that can be passed on for generations. You are a richly blessed man, and so are your children.
Sep. 3, 2010 12:01 pm
Ok, you made me cry. What a great testimony to a wonderful mom. I hope I'm not due to check out any time soon but it would be an honor for any mother to know that her son loved her as you love your mom. Sorry, tearing up again...My mom taught me to cook much the same as yours did you. So that's the same thing I did with my two children. My daughter's friends would show up at her apartment in college to eat because they knew she knew how. Now my son has just started college, we'll see how that turns out. My mom scraped every last drop out of a bowl leaving none for me! I always made it a point to leave a LOT in the bowl for my two to enjoy.
Sep. 3, 2010 12:22 pm
Sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. What a better way to keep her spirit alive....thru the delicious recipes and memories in the kitchen you shared. Her memory will forever live on, Doug. May God continue to bless you.
Sep. 3, 2010 12:50 pm
What a nice tribute to your mother. I'm so sorry for your loss.
Sep. 3, 2010 2:02 pm
You made me smile and think about my own mother. She passed away last Nov. and it has been very hard and always will be but we can smile and say our moms were great women. Love your mothers for time passes far to quickly.
Sep. 3, 2010 3:47 pm
My Mom died 5 years ago;-(-- so sorry for your loss. I'm glad to read your blog, and especially glad to hear the happy memories you have of cooking with your Mom. My mom taught me alot about art, and nature, and music...but I wouldn't say cooking. I spend plenty of time letting my children cook with me...especially making yummy stuff. Even as we type I'm teaching them how to make pizza dough. I hope they too have many happy memories in the kitchen as you do! I'm sure your Mom is smiling from Heaven as she sees your love of cooking.
Sep. 3, 2010 4:42 pm
I'm sorry for your loss, but the memories you shared here are lovely and I bet that's only the tip of the iceburg. Thanks for sharing this with AR.
Sep. 3, 2010 5:19 pm
thanks socalmom - I appreciate your thoughts and your well meaning "hijack"
Sep. 3, 2010 5:19 pm
Hi Donna - thanks and I am sorry for your loss too.
Sep. 3, 2010 5:21 pm
Thanks Rohnda - it's sounds like our kitchens & styles are very similar
Sep. 3, 2010 5:22 pm
Thanks Jodi and I am very sorry to hear of your loss too
Sep. 3, 2010 5:23 pm
One of my favorite memories about my mom was like yours - you could pick the menu for your birthday. And mom knew I loved her fried shrimp. She didn't have to ask - I would just show up at my folks house on my birthday and ..Poof.. fried shrimp would be waiting for me. It was the best birthday present every year. I know how much you miss her - and no one will ever replace her. But you can celebrate her life by passing on the special moments she made in your life with her cooking talents by making those special moments for your children - and then they will pass it on to their children. This way, the love lives on. You will be in my prayers.
Sep. 3, 2010 5:24 pm
Hi Peg* - thank you - I have to say, I have already felt Mom near by on several occasions - it's painful & comforting at the same time.
Sep. 3, 2010 5:25 pm
Thanks LAMBIESGRAMMY - I aprreciate your comments & thoughts
Sep. 3, 2010 5:26 pm
Hi LCook - I didn't mean to make you cry. Thank you for your thoughts & comments.
Sep. 3, 2010 5:27 pm
Thank you for your thoughts mnsweetpea
Sep. 3, 2010 5:28 pm
Thanks Barb K.
Sep. 3, 2010 5:29 pm
Thank you Becky - I am sorry for your loss too. Time does go too quickly.
Sep. 3, 2010 5:29 pm
God bless your Mom - and every Mom that cared enough to teach us to cook. I lost my Mom 5 years ago - and I have missed her every single day since. Tough moments become sweet memories. She would love that you honored her. You're a great son.
Sep. 3, 2010 5:30 pm
Thank you alohachristine - can I please get a slice of extra cheese when the pizza is ready ?
Sep. 3, 2010 5:31 pm
Thanks for the thoughts Hey, Cupcake! aka Lynna
Sep. 3, 2010 8:53 pm
May her memory be eternal. We only have one Mom and the love of a Mother is like no other.
Sep. 4, 2010 1:06 am
Sorry to hear of the loss of your dear Mother. Passing on her traditions will help keep her spirit alive within you and those you choose to share it with, thanks for sharing!
Sep. 4, 2010 6:00 am
I'm so sorry too Mom died 5 years ago at age 80 and I miss her every single day. My 3 kids and I talk about her all the time and it seems to have made it easier to cope. We have such good memories of her, just the way your blog sounds about your Mom You sound like a wonderful son and dad, and I'm sure she's proud of you!!
Sep. 4, 2010 7:20 am
Doug, I'm very sorry for your loss. Your blog came to me at the right time, tomorrow it will be two years since I lost my Mom, so I found it very comforting to read. We learn so much from our Mom's and even though we appreciate them when they are here, we really don't realize how much they do for us until they are gone. Keep her memory alive through your cooking and know that she is watching you in the kitchen and enjoying your creativity!
Sep. 4, 2010 7:27 am
My heart breaks for your loss! My mom passed away 10 years ago and I thought the pain would lessen in time. It hasn't! I still get sudden urges to pick up the phone and call. I have taught my kids and grandkids how to cook the same as she taught me and their abilities and love of cooking is very evident. You're passing on what she taught you is an honor and a tremendous tribute to her. She will always walk beside you!
Sep. 4, 2010 11:47 am
I'm sorry for your loss. I can only hope that when I die one of my children will have felt as you do. Food played a large role in our family and my sons cook as well, or better than, their sisters. With 5 of them I had to dirty a lot of extra utensils so everyone had something to "lick." Know she especially smiles on you every time you walk into a kitchen.
Sep. 4, 2010 11:49 am
So sorry for your loss. One of the greatest gifts a mother can leave her children is the art of cooking. From an early age it instills independance along with the love of preparing good food. Your mother has left a great part of her with you forever.
Sep. 4, 2010 12:58 pm
"Love is not a feeling, it's an ability." Your mom raised a good man who has an open heart. My 17-year-old son has been in the kitchen since he was very small and he loves to mix things, especially his "dipping sauces." It's kind of hard to watch sometimes, but he can feed himself, and not just with a microwave. I know that he will keep experimenting and he has a long time to perfect his favorite recipes. I hope he ends up like you. Sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing.
Sep. 4, 2010 1:18 pm
Thanks for sharing Doug, and sorry for your loss. My Mom has taught me a lot from cooking. I still use her Betty Crocker Recipie file box that she had when I was growing up. Thankfully I still have her around and your post made me give her a call just to say hello!!! KevinP
Sep. 4, 2010 1:45 pm
I am so sorry for your loss , I hope you enjoy passing down all of her wonderful recipes to your own children, in rememberance of your mother. God Bless.
jamie c 
Sep. 4, 2010 4:25 pm
Sep. 4, 2010 4:52 pm
Thank you luv2cook - I appreciate your thoughts
Sep. 4, 2010 4:53 pm
Thank you for your thoughts BellesAZ
Sep. 4, 2010 5:30 pm
Doug, I'm sorry for your loss. My mine has been gone since 96 and I still miss her daily. She was a gem, but did not cook much, which is why I spend a lot of time on the allrecipes website. Anyhow thanks for the blog. Your mom taught you a lot more than cooking.
Sep. 4, 2010 6:31 pm
My Grammie referred to spatulas as " child cheaters " and I do too :) I am sorry for your loss - you were given 79 very lucky years! My mom dies when she was 57 and miss he more every day!!!
Sep. 4, 2010 6:31 pm
grr.. typos!! i meant " died "
Sep. 5, 2010 1:04 am
The loss of a mother is never easy! My sympathies! It is, however, great to see more men frequenting the exchange and blogs. You add a LOT to this site and we hope you keep it coming! Teach those children well!
Sep. 5, 2010 4:13 am
This is just one of many ways she still lives through you. I bet someday you will even feel her presence in your kitchen:)
Sep. 5, 2010 4:20 am
So sorry for your loss..My Mom taught me how to cook also, homemade donuts, meatloaf and everything else in between, she is in a nursing home now with Alheimers and she is almost 92. Every time I make something from scratch, I have to smile, because she taught me the value of a dollar and the importance of not wasting a scrap of food. Anything left over from a meal went into a soup..her catch-all soup. You just can't buy anything like that in a can..And it was always delicious!!
Sep. 5, 2010 4:23 am
oops, typo--- Alzheimers
Sep. 5, 2010 5:28 am
this is great. i lost my mom 2 years ago. she was a great cook. i was never really interested in cooking before that but now i am finding it therapeutic. it makes me proud to cook some of her specialties and add to them. i scanned her recipes in the computer and uploaded them to snapfish and made a great album. it's a great keepsake, especally if you mix it with pictures. take care.
Sep. 5, 2010 6:29 am
I am sorry for your lost. I to lost my mother -in - law last week. She was 82. It is a sad time in ones lift. Sorry.
Sep. 5, 2010 6:35 am
My Mom was not endowed with a lot of patience for teaching us how to cook, but she was a great cook! There were 12 kids in her family (only two left alive now), and in tribute to all of them, we created a "Mooney Family Cookbook". Aunt Helen's Butter Tarts, Uncle Verne's Brisket, Mom's Pickled Beets, etc. While not "Gourmet" recipes - they're absolutely delicious and enough to hold on to the family's treasured recipes (and memories). If someone were to ask, "What's the one thing you would grab if your house were on fire?" - it would have to be the "Mooney Family Cookbook". Suggest you try it for your Mom's special recipes as it would be a shame not to pass on these treasures to your kids!
Sep. 5, 2010 8:10 am
Hoover, that is a great idea!
Beth R 
Sep. 5, 2010 9:37 am
I could just cry, in fact I have tears in my eyes. Your mom would be so proud to know her little lessons in the kitchen had such a lasting impact on your life. The batter left in the bowl just breaks my heart, it is so sweet. I'm sorry that your missing your mom right now, but every time you get in the kitchen you will be thinking of her. May God bless you and your family during this sad time.
Sep. 5, 2010 9:59 am
What a beautiful tribute to your Mom. She sounds like a very special and loving person and you were blessed to have her. I know she will live on through the beautiful memories of the times you spent with her! God bless you.
Sep. 5, 2010 10:31 am
Doug, I am so sorry you lost your mother. This is a nice way to pay tribute to her. I lost my mom a little over 5 years ago. She was only 43. I still have moments when I think "I should call and ask my mom about that" or "I bet my mom would know what to do" and then I realize, its been 5 years and no, I can't call her. It always catches me by surprise. My mom wasn't much of a cook, which is probably why I have such an interest in it. However, she did always have a sourdough starter in the fridge, so I think of her whenever I bake bread. She also made big breakfasts on the weekends, and made a killer pot roast. Oh, and egg noodles.... I can remember when she made egg noodles and left them to dry on the counter my sisters and I would sneak by and grab one at a time. She usually ended up getting mad because we ate half the noodles raw. I know what you are going through. We keep our mothers alive through the things they taught us that we use every day. Take care.
Sep. 5, 2010 11:09 am
Keep on cookin'! Her spirit will be right next to you in the kitchen :)
Sep. 5, 2010 12:53 pm
Doug your blog brought back so many memories of my Mom to me. It almost seems like we shared the same Mom LOL. I still use a lot of her cooking tricks which add so much to my dishes. Many times I'd like to reach for the phone to ask her how she made certain dishes. I understand your loss and know you will keep your Mom in your heart as I do mine. God Bless
Sep. 5, 2010 2:54 pm
You know Doug, I didn't even look at your name or picture before I started reading, and it was only as I finished your post that I noticed your gender. I was very touched by your writing, and I have to confess that being a son rather than a daughter certainly adds a special something to the relationship you describe: not every Mom gets a son who wants to cook with her, or who steps in to make the Turkey. I'm sure she was proud as can be of you, and that your interest in her traditions and skills made her smile all her life - there's nothing that warms a mother's heart like seeing her child carry a part of her and share it with others. My sincere condolences, and I hope all the time you spent together and the good memories that live on through the food you'll make will cushion the blow a little. Sharing these traditions with your own children will be the key to remembering her with love instead of sadness.
Sep. 5, 2010 2:54 pm
Like you, I lost my mom recently. For my sister's birthday I tackled her specialty, 12 layer chocolate cake. I remembered all the times I watched her make it and it felt like she was watching me now. I think cooking is one of the ways we keep their memories alive and share then with others.
Sep. 5, 2010 4:23 pm
So sorry for your loss. I lost my Mom on Sept 23, 2009. My sisters and I will continue to renew and carry on her culinary traditions. We miss her so as do you yours...blessings to you and your family.
Sep. 5, 2010 6:04 pm
Sorry for your loss Doug. I am blessed to still have my mom at age 90. She also taught me the basics... although she was not a spectacular cook. But, I learned with love as did you. Glad you are passing that on to your children. I am now cooking with my grandchildren and it's so much fun. Remember the good times and while you are cooking, share those with your children. They will love it! Blessings to you and your family.
Sep. 5, 2010 10:30 pm
I clicked on your blog b/c it said remembering mom. 9/17 my Mom will have been with the Lord for 3 yrs. Just want you to know you are not alone. Many people have felt what you are going through. Mom's from the time they give birth feed thier children with unmatchable love and it continues as you have shown in what you wrote. Take care and with time God gently heals the heart.
Sep. 6, 2010 4:30 am
What a lovely and loving tribute. Your mom will live on in your sharing of food and cooking time with your family and friends. My mom too was a fabulous cook and I now love to share kitchen time with my two children.
Sep. 6, 2010 5:09 am
How sweet and sad, I am sorry for your loss. No doubt your Mom will live on with all of your find memories.
Sep. 6, 2010 8:10 am
Sorry about your loss. Your mom's spirit and memory will surely live on in your cooking. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story!
Sep. 6, 2010 10:48 am
I'm so sorry for your loss Doug.
Sep. 6, 2010 12:15 pm
So sorry for your loss Doug - every time you cook you will be reminded of your Mom - in that way she is always with you. My grandma and mother-in-law are both gone now but that is how I remember them daily.
Sep. 6, 2010 1:15 pm
My mom passed in 95. Wanting your momma never goes away. I pulled my back out 2 years ago and was in agony for about 6 days. Couldnt hardly move and was bed ridden. I remember trying to get out of bed to go the the bathroom and I moved too quickly and got this horrific shot of pain and without thinking I screamed out "MOM!" I then started to cry because I realized that even at 42 having your mom take care of you is still comforting. A sweet blog you wrote. God bless you. We will be with our moms again in time.
Sep. 6, 2010 2:51 pm
My father passed away the day you posted this. He was also 79 years young with much more to give to this world. With you in your loss.
Sep. 6, 2010 3:13 pm
We needn't wonder why so many recipes have titles like: "Mom's Own..." and "My Mom's Special...". They are the ones we like the best because they feel like home. Wanting to recreate, in any way, the family home you grew up in is a high form of loving gratitude. Ask any Mom. I'll bet that is what's most wished for and all we Moms really want. You are honouring your Mom and don't forget or think it's a small thing that you are giving the same gift to your own children. Most are touched by this sad event in life. I hope soon your sorrow will hurt less. Take good care Doug.
Sep. 6, 2010 4:37 pm
Doug, my mom inspiring my loving too, and like you, I lost her too soon. Recently found a stack of hand-written favorite recipes she sent me when I was off to college and sick of cafeteria food. I'm going to put them in a special keepsake so I can save for years. Your mom will always be in your heart like mine.
Sep. 6, 2010 4:39 pm
Sorry, that should say, "my mom inspired my love of cooking too."
Sep. 6, 2010 5:55 pm
I was looking up recipes and saw the title of your post on the side margin...remembering Mom...I had to look. What a great tribute to your Mom! She was special! I was never much interested in cooking growing up but after I had kids I developed more of a need for cooking not yet a love. I had the same rules for my four that my mom had. There was no fast food and we sat down. We had dinner every night together. (I'd guess a 95% success rate) and my college kids LOVE that we still get together once a week. Something about food brings you together. And, my kids insist on Grandma's recipes. So, I hope I passed along the traditions of my own mom. We did this a several years ago: I gathered up all mom's recipes and put them together in a binder . They have computer programs for this now but we made several of them and passed them out to all the grandkids. We all have added to it and even put a few pictures in. I do tell my mom when I make her recipes they are not quite the same...something I call "essence of Mom" is missing...:) Or, she left out something so we all would mess it up and she'd still be the queen of cooking. :) In reality it just takes me a few times to get it right. I am sure your Mom is smiling upon you especially when you cook and I am so sorry for your loss.
Sep. 6, 2010 6:20 pm
Sorry for your loss Doug. As I read your blog, I can feel the love you both shared. She was a special Mom. She will live through your memories; keep her alive in your heart. I recently lost my Granny, she was like my Mom. God choose us to be part of them, Wow we must be really special right! God bless & my prayers are with your family.
Sep. 6, 2010 9:27 pm
So very sorry for your loss.She sounds like a wonderful woman !!!! Cherish your memories!
Sep. 7, 2010 2:16 am
What a great tribute to someone who was an awesome lady! Go and spend time teaching your kids to bake so they can carry on the tradition your mom loved to do! She will be missed, but thank goodness she left you with abundant memories!
Sep. 7, 2010 5:06 am
I am sorry for your loss, Doug. On the other hand, you have riches in the memories you have of your mother, and your abilities in the kitchen to thank her for. Thinking of my grandmother in the kitchen makes me smile. She lived with us and used to cook dinner for us every night. I learned good old fashioned Southern cooking from her.
Sep. 7, 2010 9:40 am
I am sorry for your loss. My mom died at 64 years young almost 2 years ago. She was an excellent cook and watched cooking segments and browsed the web for new recipes all the time. I took home all her recipe boxes and cookbooks and looked through them - full of her notes and refinements. The treasure was in one recipe box, stored in a plastic sleeve - her pumpkin chiffon pie recipe, along with an apple crisp recipe that she got from her mother. So I'm now the keeper of these family recipes and feel so blessed to have them.
Sep. 7, 2010 10:29 am
Deepest sympathy on the loss of your mother. I, too (like several others), lost mine about 3 years ago. She often said that she didn't teach me to cook. I believe that watching her & my grandmother (who attended Fanny Farmer School of Cooking in the 1920s) be able to create a meal or dessert has allowed me to be confident in being able to cook. Because you are her child, she will always be part of what you and your children do. Someone else said that loved one will be with us and our families as long as there is someone to carry on their memory. Savor those moments.
Sep. 7, 2010 10:32 am
Very sorry for your loss. Lost my Mom 3 years ago and am still missing her every day. She made amazing homemade coco fudge. She tried teaching me to make it but it is more of a learned skill. On the anniversary of losing her I attempted my first solo batch and am happy to say it turned out very well. I think I had an "angel" on my shoulder.
Sep. 7, 2010 6:34 pm
Doug, I lost my Mom in 1993. She was a phenominal cook and baker (the reason we all, there are three of us have too many fat cells). I "hear" her every time I am in the kitchen. When she passed, I became the family's "cook" for the holidays and thankfully discovered I don't think you ever stop missing your Mom.
Sep. 7, 2010 7:12 pm
I am so sorry for your loss Doug. I got my love of cooking from helping my mom in the kitchen, too.
K T 
Sep. 7, 2010 8:26 pm
It's so wonderful to have parents that teach us to try things, to excel at important things, and to really care for our family! Thankfully we who learn are grateful enough to want to pass this along and keep their love alive. Nothing better than to live a life worth repeating! Take care and enjoy your lovely memories of your mother.
Sep. 7, 2010 9:09 pm
What a beautiful tribute to your mom. I have little ones at home and I let them lick the batter too! I hope they will grow up to love cooking as you have. You made yo mama proud!
Sep. 8, 2010 5:05 am
I want to thank everyone who has commented and left their thoughts, support & personal experiences for all of us to share. It helps a lot. This is a wonderful online community and I just want to say thank you again for being there for me. Now who wants the spatula ?
Sep. 8, 2010 6:23 am
Doug, I am so sorry for your loss. My Mom is still with us and your post is a wonderful reminder to keep treasring her. Thank you for touching our lives with your love for your Mom and her teachings.
Sep. 8, 2010 8:15 am
Sounds like you had a "one in a million" mom. She must have been a very special lady. Sorry for your loss.
Sep. 8, 2010 9:19 am
It sounds like your Mom was a lot like my mom. My daughter is almost 5, and she has a hard time with making her letters and numbers, she just started kindergarten, but she cooks with me every night. She knows the difference between a tsp, and a Tbsp, flour, sugar, and brown sugar! She is an excellent cupcake froster, and not too shabby at clean up! I guess the letters and numbers will come with time! The important thing is we love spending that time together. Thanks for sharing your story..
Jo Jo 
Sep. 8, 2010 12:29 pm
Doug, thanks for sharing your Mom with us. I am sorry to hear of her passing, but I can see how lucky she was to have a good son like you. She passed on more than her cooking skills to you, she gave you a zest for life and love and it definitely shows.
Sep. 8, 2010 12:55 pm
Doug, we are all sorry for your loss. It will be 8yr Christmas Day my mum passed away quickly with MIL 3 days prior. Born in England,my mum grew up in France, and when married in America, she discovered Betty Crocker. Though she excellent at quick baking, she encouraged us to learn to cook at an early age (Jolly Breakfast Ring anyone?) She did teach a few surprises: the first thing I made and mastered in one try was pate au choux! Reading blogs in which peeps have trouble with this I wonder why, lol. Yorkshire pudding/popovers, roasts, and souffles were also part of our early repertoire. Perhaps growing up with box mixes/casseroles, we kids rebelled and rarely use convenience foods. I've branched out and love cooking with fresh, simple ingredients as well, of course, baking ;) My boys learned to cook at an early age: it was less $ than taking a date to dinner before a movie or party, and the gal was always impressed! My first stop on world travels or other cities is a stop at the farmer's mkt or grocery. Yum! Fond memories pop up every time I buy fresh raspberries or heavy cream, and eating for quality rather than quantity. Let us and future generations always embrace our heritage whilst making new memories. Always in our souls, pc
Sep. 8, 2010 1:25 pm
Doug, I'm sorry for your loss. My Mom died in 1989, and I still miss her so much. AFter Mom died, I took the handwritten recipe collection that she had gotten from her own Mom, and transcribed it to share with my sisters and their children, plus cousins and close friends. I added scanned photos of all the family members, illustrated a "cover", bound it into leather-covered notebooks, and sent copies (along with a copy on CD) to each family member. I sent notes, asking everyone to contribute their own recipes that I could add in chapters dedicated to each of them. I baked several kinds of cookies from the old recipes and shipped them with the books. The oldest recipes in the book are from sometime before 1890! Some of us are fancy and some are simple cooks. There are lots of stories around the recipes. It is a living document and always a tribute to my Mom, who was one of the sweetest persons who ever lived. Everyone who has received a copy of the book has been so appreciative. I send periodic updates via email. When I am gone, I hope and trust that the young ones will take over the role of family historian through this cookbook. Perhaps you will think about doing something similar... it was a very satisfying trip down memory lane for me and my family.
Sep. 8, 2010 2:03 pm
Hello Doug, So sorry for your loss. I am fortunate to still have my mom and wanted to share just how influential she has been in my life in the kitchen. We are Italian and food is our way of saying, "I love you." It is like our family's ministry. My grandmother was a terrific cook, and unusual for her time, she was a single mom. So, her cooking skills were then passed on to my mother and my aunt. When I was in junior high, my mother told my sister and I that we had to make one meal a week. We both went to 4-H and learned to cook there, but having mom and grandmom by our side was always wonderful. Well, when my first daughter was born, I always had her at my side when cooking. When she visited my mother (Memom), she was allowed to "make potions" using mixing bowls, spices, water, name it. Well, my daughter is now 19 and a baking and pastry arts student at the Culinary Institute of America. I feel like the love of food and cooking has been handed down from generation to generation. What a pleasure. It is amazing how the influence of others impacts our lives.
Sep. 8, 2010 2:21 pm
Thanks for your post Doug and I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my mum 6 weeks ago (she was only 62). 3 days after she died, I went to her house with my step-dad to go through her things. He said, take anything you want and the first thing I went for was the cookbook that we used to cook from when I was a girl. (Five Roses circa 1972). It was so incredible to go through the pages to see what recipes we/she used most often - those are the ones that are stained, torn and pulled out - some had her notes written on them (use less water, cook 10 minutes longer on slower oven). Cooking together is an important part of my memory of her - I try to cook as often as I can with my daughter.
Sep. 8, 2010 2:25 pm
im so sorry for your loss Doug. i can't imagine losing my mom, and im glad i still have her. your mother had a good wonderful long life, especially with you and your siblings with her, which is a thing mothers cherish most. thx 4 putting up this blog, its very touching.
Sep. 8, 2010 3:46 pm
Doug: You have really struck a chord. My mother died 2 years ago at age 92. She was a superb cook/baker and taught me more than I can post here. I still can't believe I have lost her. What a touching tribute you've made and you have obviously struck that chord with the other members. We still have our mothers in our hearts and with their mementos. I've got cookbooks - small items, photos I cherish. Keep cooking for yourself and to carry on her legacy. Best wishes.
Sep. 8, 2010 3:49 pm
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Unfortunately my Mom passed away many years ago in 1963 at the age of 52 from cancer. I was only 19 at the time and was devistated to lose my best friend, my mentor, my Mother. There is not a day goes by I do not think of her and how much of life and being together we missed. Love you Mom !!!!
Sep. 8, 2010 4:17 pm
Sorry for your loss, Doug. I lost my mother in July, and it has been real rough. I sure did like reading this though. Thanks. Hang in there.
Sep. 8, 2010 5:29 pm
Thank you for sharing. I didn't realize why I found it so important for my boys to learn how to cook but now I know why. She is smiling down upon you and I pray my boys in their adult life will come to understand just as you have. Thank you again and sorry for your loss.
Sep. 8, 2010 9:31 pm
Reading through all the comments, it's so clear how special our moms are to us. My sympathies to you, Doug, on your loss, and also to you, Mandopicker, on your recent loss. I know how it feels, as my mom just passed away this June. I miss her big time. Mom always said she was just a "plain" cook, but one of the things she is most remembered by is her delicious food! Maybe one of the reasons it was so good was because of the love and laughter we shared around the dinner table. God bless -
Sep. 8, 2010 11:04 pm
I lost my mom, too, five years ago this Thanksgiving. She never really taught me to cook, she grew up with a mother who spent every hot Texas Sunday in the kitchen frying chicken and thought that women's lib was a trip to KFC. But she till made us cookies, she added chocolate chips to her brownies before it was all the rage and she always let us lick the bowl. When she got sicker, I used to offer to cook the comfort food that she loved, home made chicken soup, a fresh quiche and she would say, "Don't waste the time in the kitchen!" Nevertheless, I often think of her when I cook and talk to her in my mind. This summer I fried chicken for my kids before a picnic and I was laughing just thinking of her saying to me, "Why don't you just pick some ready-made up from the store?" Your mom is still with you, in every dish you make, every bowl you let your kids lick. All of the tricks she taught you are more lasting than the kitchen equipment she gave you. And she will live on in the traditions you pass down to your kids. My thoughts are with you as you come to terms with your loss, but keep cooking and you'll find she's still there with you.
Sep. 9, 2010 1:33 am
I so hear you, Doug! My mom passed in 2004 and her mother, my Memere, in 1976. Both of them taught me so much about cooking along with my dad's mother who could make killer Cream Puffs, Sauerbraten, pickles, Springerle (to mention just a few) -she was my Oma. Memere (my mom's mom) could make Crepes like nobody's business along with great pies and cakes. I especially remember her lamb cake which she made for every Grandchild's Baptism. My mom was a fantastic cook! I learned to love tongue,heart,liver, goose, venison and other foods because when she made them, they were marvelous! I miss my mom too! Sorry for your loss!!
Sep. 9, 2010 8:05 am
I want to thank you all again for your outpouring of support. Your own stories of remembrance and loss have brought both a tear & a smile. Thank you all for being a part of the AR family. Now who wants the other beater ?
Oct. 29, 2010 6:40 am
One of the most important triggers of memories for me is food and the aromas surrounding them. When I think of my grandmother, I connect her with food since that is the way she showed love. I do the same. My children's friend's appreciate my cooking more than my own kids because they take it for granted. But I hope that the skills I give them and the food I cook will carry my memory far into the future. Thanks for reminding all of us to cherish those while they are with us and remember them in the kitchen when they are gone.
Dec. 30, 2010 1:19 pm
Went back to find your Snickerdoodle Vid and found this one first : ( I lost my Mother in June this year so I totally understand the recent loss. I don't have as many memories in the kitchen with my Mother as I was not raised by her, but both my Grandmothers shared their love of cooking with me. One thing I do remember learning from my Mother though was her Beef Stew. Unlike my Dad's, (who made a tomato-based Stew which was good, but Mom won out on this one). Mom's was a brown-gravy based Stew that was just awesome. Thinking about it, I actually learned several "techniques" from that one recipe to use in lots of things. I guess it was more the "methods" that I learned from her on that. Thanks for the sweet memory job Doug. Sorry for your loss, but so grateful she shared so much with you as I am with mine. Love and Hugs to you and yours!
Dec. 30, 2010 1:21 pm
that was "memory JOG" not job - oops : )
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Doug Matthews

Home Town
Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Living In
Mendham, New Jersey, USA

Member Since
Mar. 2000

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Southern, Healthy, Kids, Quick & Easy

Gardening, Reading Books, Music, Charity Work

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About Me
My mother decided early on that her sons would never have to rely on someone to feed them so we all learned to cook at an early age. I really started to branch out when I moved out west to Denver, SF & Dallas. Combine that with extended business travel to Louisiana & my growing love of spices and you get a real mix of flavors.
My favorite things to cook
Love to make cajun food with my favorites being crawfish pie, alligator stew & alligator chili - I go nuts on Super Bowl Sunday
My favorite family cooking traditions
We didn't have a lot of traditions per se but you could count on pancakes or waffles on sundays - dad making scrambled eggs twice a year on christmas morning & mother's day - veal parmagiana on christmas eve, Thanksgiving with Grandma Matthews and any menu of your choice on your birthday. We weren't a spicy family so I learned a lot of good strong basics in the kitchen from Mom that I have carried over into my cooking today.
My cooking triumphs
I love to experiment with variations of dishes I try around the country. My biggest success is here on allrecipes where I had 2 recipes published in the same cookbook - Southwestern Turkey Soup & Curried Carrot Soup. I think my corn muffins are a great starting point and my alligator chili has become a much requested Super Bowl favorite.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few times in the past where I tossed everything and took everyone to a restaurant instead. I'm not too proud to say my cooking is awful when it really is.
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