Over the last few weeks I've been catching myself mentally filing things away for the next time I talk to my Mom. (Just typing that is making me tear up a bit. I'm sorry.) I think I've done this for years and just didn't really notice it until now, when I can't tell her the funny thing I saw, or how weird the weather is, or what I just finished making. I still keep thinking it though, mentally filing things and then I have a start and remember and it's hard all over again.
I associate food with memories of my Mom. I think that's not uncommon. I made Rhubarb Crisp the other day and had happy thoughts of Mom making it. I made pickled carrots and again thought of Mom.
On Sunday my younger brother called to tell me that they had a buyer for Mom's house. This wasn't a shock, it's been on the market for a few months, but as I processed the thoughts I had a sudden overwhelming craving for one of my favorites from my Mom's repertoire. Zucchini Quiche. I don't know where the recipe originated, but it was a favorite for the whole family.
When I worked at an international boarding school in Germany cooking was a big part of my job. My mom made a recipe book for me with all of my favorites and some other recipes she thought I might enjoy. I have used this book for over 15 years now (you can see the stains) and now it's even more of a treasure for me. Written in her proper longhand, a writing style I was never able to master, it's a tangible and practical connection to my Mom. (here come the tears again. sorry)
Tomorrow I will be heading to Saskatchewan, to the town where I grew up, to help my older brother sort through the house. I don't know what awaits me but I'm terrified of it none the less. I've been avoiding this trip for months now. I don't know how to decide what parts of my Mom's belongings are treasures and what parts are to be given away. Or worse, thrown away.
I know it needs to be done and I know there are things of my Mom's that she wanted each of us to have and those things will be more tangible connections to her. I just might need to make another Zucchini Quiche when I come back though.
Mom's Zucchini Quiche
(clarification or things she left out because she figured I had seen her make it enough times in italics)
3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup biscuit mix Bisquick or similar
1 small onion chopped fine
4 eggs beaten
1 tsp butter or margarine
1/2 cup oil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Mix all ingredients together with electric mixer or by hand
Bake in two 10" or one 12" pie pan (I used two 9" pie pans because I didn't have 10") at 350F for 30 - 40 min. Let stand 5 min. before cutting. Also good cold (or reheated for leftovers)
(The biscuit mix will form the crust)