Saturday, February 26, 2011

Never Cried Over Pasta

Until today.

It didn't even occur to me.  Today is Saturday and I finished work a bit early, around 4 pm, allowing me enough time to stop at the store and make dinner- not just put something together, but actually cook. Make real dinner.

I opted to make a big pot of pasta sauce with Italian sausage.

I malliardized the onions, added fresh garlic, then assembled the pasta sauce that my mom taught me how to make years ago.  Then it hit me.  She's gone.  The smell is here, the same thoughtful assembly of ingredients in the right proportions and right order was here, but she's gone.

My kitchen smelled like her kitchen and I crashed.

As a kid I learned how to cook from my mother.  She was really good, good at a gut instinct for what to add and in which proportions. I guess that is where I get it from.  When I was in Cub Scouts part of the badge requirement was to learn how to set a table and how to assist with serving a meal.  I learned that stuff from my parents. Dinner was a formal daily event, and it was always good.

The pasta sauce is not so much a recipe as an assembly. It comes from my mom's best friend's mother, a person I called grandma until she passed away, and for the most part of that time it was unclear why I got to have three grandmothers.  Why argue with that?  She was Greek, but knew how to cook Italian.

My mom borrowed that recipe and at one point showed me how to do it.  My house smells like her house, right now.

At some point I showed this to my nephew and will show it to my niece eventually.  This one is too good to lose.

I have not written anything because I've kept myself packed with business so that I can't think about the grieving process.  If I keep running I can't have the time to break down.

Being in Gainesville, FL I can avoid pictures, I can avoid the topic.  I live 1154 miles away so I can't see her home or think about the places she'd go or the things she'd do.

But I can't hide from the wonderful aromas and the thoughts and memories they carry with them.

I've been blindsided into grief by a steaming pot of simmering tomato goo.  This will be a long process.