How alike we are. I notice it more as I get older that I am speaking your phrases, using your laugh, gesturing with your hands (although I will never have such elegant hands as you). As a new wife, I think often of how life must have seemed when you and dad were first married, and looking at you now I hope I can be as happy, as gracious, as wise.
I think about how much I treasure our phone calls, even though half the time I’m too caught up in washing dishes or working on a project to put things down, really listen, and talk. This is the formal declaration of the end of that nonsense. Every time you exclaim with that particular note of joy in your voice when you answer the phone, I feel a stab of guilt over every time I’ve tried to do two things at once while talking to you.
Because I know how important it is to show you and to tell you, in little ways ever day, how glad I am that you’re my mother. I don’t want to dial your number one day to complain about the terrible job some dry-cleaner did or ask for advice on how to best leaven a cake only to remember that you aren’t there to call anymore. I don’t want that sinking pit in my stomach to remind me of all the times I failed to completely express my happiness at some good thing you’ve done for me, all the times I didn’t connect with you over a cup of coffee and a magazine.
For as much as you have taught me – about relationships, money, work ethic, compassion, service, dressing well, shopping for deals, driving – I still have so much to learn. You are an incredible woman with a vast store of strength inside you. Your heart is full of selflessness and optimism, and it has no rivals in capacity for love. The creativity inside you is busting at the seams, trying to get out. And I want to soak it all up.
— your daughter
Buckwheat Waffles with Hot Buttered Apple Chutney
If you’re lucky enough to live nearby your mother, make her some of these this weekend. You never need a reason to make waffles or to do something nice for the woman who birthed you, but thankfully Mother’s Day provides a nice excuse.
For waffles, adapted from Nourishing Traditions:
2 ½ c. freshly ground buckwheat flour
2 c. full-fat Bulgarian yogurt (or buttermilk, kefir, or acidic water)
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2-4 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. sea salt
4 egg whites
2 tsp. cinnamon
Soak flour in yogurt overnight. In the morning, mix with egg yolks, melted butter, maple syrup, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff – fold into batter gently. Pour onto a hot waffle iron and cook until crisp. If making enough for a group, keep waffles warm in an oven set to 200 degrees.
For the chutney:
4 small apples, cored and roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. coriander
¼ tsp. cardamom
½ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. salt
few grind of black pepper
dash of nutmeg
dash of cayenne
Melt butter in a small saucepan and cook apples, covered, over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Apples will soften and release moisture. Reduce heat to low.
Stir in apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and spices and simmer until it make a thick paste.
Add a splash of water if more moisture is needed, or a dash of coarse mustard or mustard seeds if you’re daring.