Over the past several years, it is become something of an informal tradition that my mother and I get together on both Thanksgiving and Christmas at my house instead of hers. It’s partly due to dysfunctional family relations but more importantly, it just works better for both of us. No one is offended that we have a little private mother and daughter time and no one is offended that my step father gets one on one time with his children and grandchildren. My sister does both holidays with her husband’s family and gets together with the parents the day after Christmas.
When I was little, my mother used to struggle with her weight behind closed doors. She eventually recovered but I still remember her food scale and playing with it. There were all sorts of cooking gadgets and gizmos around and I fondly remember the fondue set we had. She is no longer that kind of eater and I am still impressed and amazed that she ever battled and overcame anorexia and bulimia. The biggest challenge I ever saw her as dealing with for years after she changed her eating habits was guilt that she wasn’t a good enough mother. She stopped bingeing but just began dumping a different kind of garbage into her emotional system and it was very challenging for me to communicate with her when I was a young adult. Time has passed however and I am learning to care for her in ways that she can relate too. Subtly, our relationship is transforming into a new one on several levels. I am now feeding her foods that I eat and ideas that I approve of. And she likes them both! I’ve recently encouraged her to join Pintrest and she’s agreed. I am looking forward to sharing ideas with her thru pinboards because she does have a very creative soul. I had the kind of mother who would decorate to suit both her children’s fancy and her own. Art projects were always around and not only because she was getting her teaching degree when I was young but because she liked to have fun and do things together with her children. She hung drapes around my bed from the ceiling that tied like a four-poster and made a curtain of lace gathered together in the center with a needle-pointed jewelry box top for my sister’s room. There was always something that made her a magical and loving mother.
My menus are sometimes more contemporary than hers and I try to keep in mind that part of what may have driven her to the edge when she was younger was an overly developed social consciousness that may have been influenced by pretentious ideas of ‘prim and proper’ society as keepers of the social status quo. So I try to be creative each year but I don’t make a fuss out of presentation or a sit down dinner. Informal is best. Mom has come a long way and I also realize that I make a bigger deal out of her many accomplishments than she does. My mother is a very humble woman and at her core, she is very self-conscious. It can be a blessing or a curse such self introspection. It makes for great bi polar episodes… It’s so wrong to say so but it’s true! Now that I am taking medication for bi-polar disorder, I am dealing with weight gain related issues and if I stop taking my meds even for a month, the weight just starts falling off. So I am beginning to re-examine my own relationship with food and with my Profession, as it is related to preventative health and wellness.
So here is my opening salvo for Christmas Dinner that I will be serving my Mother this year. It’s made up primarily of recipes found on Pintrest and is exclusively finger food except for the salad. Just don’t judge me for the fact that it starts out healthy but ends up fattening!
Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Feta Cheese, Sugared Pecans and Strawberry vinaigrette Dressing with Martinelli’s Gold Medal Sparkling Cider. I plan to spray the pecans with an olive oil mister and then sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar rather than go the higher caloric route of candying them and I have a great Strawberry Basalmic Vinegar that I plan to whip into a dressing just for the occasion.
Poached Eggs in either Ham or Bacon cups with mozzarella cheese and scallions and I am thinking about adding a little Hollandaise on the side.
and finally Taco Wonton Cups.