I fear being judged sometimes, but then, I don’t usually allow it to stand in the way of my choices in life. My mother lay in her bed, not more than twenty minutes from here, and she’s got one or two days left to live. I have visited her daily even before this most recent pronouncement by her hospice nurse, and now?
Nothing changes. She simply lay there, asleep for the most part, and only momentarily opening her eyes to look with what seems a vacant stare at the world. I’ve been there to see it, and I’ve been there when she was alive and vibrant, and so I’ve come to realize that its to no good to sit by her bedside watching her slowly exhale her last breaths. She really isn’t home anymore, I had my last, sweet moment of her awareness about two weeks ago when she looked at me, clearly seemed to know who I was, and just smiled.
That will be my last and best memory of her this year, and I’m grateful for it.
So today, I cook. I cook like it was my mom’s last meal, and I sizzle livers, sautée vegetables and spices, and I slice bread. I bicycle to the store for pancetta and olive oil, I look out the window and I see a future, and I look down at my cutting board, the stove, and the food processor and it is in this moment that I am most alive these days, so yes…
Today I choose to live, and be enlivened, and honor my mother by being alive and enjoying it.
Mom, I wish you could enjoy this meal with me. Thanks for raising me and giving me the baseline of personal qualities and ethics that you did, so here’s a toast…and a taste for you.
First, a quickie menu drawing!
The first thing to make was the pâté as it needed to be refrigerated, so first I sautéed the thyme, bay leaf, shallots, and garlic..
Then added the chicken livers which were seared on both sides, then allowed to cool
I also chose to prepare my own aioli from scratch, so gathered the requisite ingredients
-salt and pepper
Here, a bit later, is the result along with the crudités.
Finally, I added oeufs en cocotte, a baked egg with some creme fraiche, asparagus, and a sprinkling of salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Overall, the majority of the food here is simple, fresh veggies, and the pâté and aioli mayonnaise is mostly an accent to the flavors here. Some fresh cheese, fresh bread, and one sinfully rich egg with creme fraiche, all reasonably healthy! Everything in moderation…