Wednesday, 28 August 2013

My eulogy for Mom: Ode to the Original Foodie

1950s Mom
Mom in the 1950s

You fell in love with Bernaise sauce in Europe.

Blender Bernaise on Seafood Crepe
Shrimp crepe with Bernaise Sauce

I followed you and Dad in utero and fell in love too.

Mom going to Mount Washington
Mom on her honeymoon

Shannon was born. You in the hospital. Cooked carrots? What the hell?

Jamie made ketchup pizzas with oregano.

Jason ate butter and my teeth hurt.

Suzie Ridler
Mom took this picture of me actually looking like a little lady, very rare moment in time

I mortified you when I became the olive thief.

We ate pickled herring and sour cream for breakfast.

I always admired the majesty of your gourmet dining club.

The indulgence of your crab, Velvetta and butter spread.

The savoriness of the meatballs on toothpicks you made for parties.

All the laughter and joy, I carry with me.

Auntie Laima and Mom Shopping Trip
Auntie Laima and Mom on one of their shopping sprees

Smoke detector went off when you made chicken skins in the oven.

Then it was Sunday night spaghetti dinners for years and years.

Sometimes your cheesy potatoes.

Often Chinese food for Christmas.

My husband, me and my Mom
Reg, me and Mom when she visited in the early summer of 2009

When you came to visit me I made steak and kidney pie.

We celebrated your name’s day on June 3 with a pork roast dinner.

My Mom's Names Day Dinner
How I loved making Mom happy with food when she stayed with us

You taught me so much about our food that I had never eaten.

A foodie fool, finally converted to my mother’s wisdom.

I made Bernaise sauce.

It broke.

We froze it.

You brought it home, happy.

My second attempt at making Bernaise Sauce, this time from the Joy of Cooking

We spoke on the phone for years.

Mom did not have a sieve so we used a new pair of pantyhose to sieve out the shallots and tarragon!

Sharing stories, adventures and recipes.

The bowl for the double boiler would not stop moving so my sister Shannon helped me out.

Then we got the news.

I came home.

Turns out I over-heated the sauce... damn it.

Again, I broke the Bernaise sauce.

I was so upset I broke it... again!

You ate it, in love with it still.


I got you Popeye’s chicken.


Burger King’s onion rings.

We had High Tea.

Another pork roast dinner was shared.

Things changed.

I knew I had to try one more time.

Blender Bernaise on Seafood Crepe

I made the tenderest crepes in the world.

Filled them with shrimp.

Bernaise Days

I got out the eggs, butter, vinegar, wine and tarragon.

Blender Bernaise on Seafood Crepe

This time I used a blender.

It worked. Thickest most beautiful Bernaise sauce in the world.

Blender Bernaise on Seafood Crepe

Sprinkled with chives from you balcony garden.

You tried to eat it but could barely speak.

Then you fell asleep.

Wanted more but could barely chew.

I brought you water and you rested.

I ate my crepe.

The most delicious and saddest dinner of my life.

I know you will be with me in my kitchen.

Telling me to add more salt.

Suggesting new camera angles for foodie photos.

I will study from the Larousse Gastronomique you sent me

And all the cookbooks you gave me.

You will live on in every photograph.

Every bite of food.

Each recipe I write.

And all the stories I tell.

The foodie queen in my life has fallen. I am shattered like a raw egg crushed under a meteorite. You told me in a dream it was time for me to forget you.

Inta Ridler

I responded, "Never."


kenora said...

Suzie, this is such a moving, beautiful tribute to your mom - thank you for sharing such a personal piece of writing.

Michelle said...


so beautiful. so much love. you were so lucky to have each other. you still are.