Happy Mother's Day, one and all! This was my first official Mother's Day, and I am very thankful for my Baby Girl and to my Darling Husband for his help in making the little bundle that makes me a mommy. I got to sleep in this morning, by virtue of Baby Girl herself, who slept all the way until 7:30! (her usual rise and shine is 5:45) Then Darling Husband took her downstairs and sent me back to bed, but not before I got my Mother's Day present. It was hard to fall asleep with tears in my eyes... Only to be awoken later by breakfast pastries in bed and flowers! I'm lucky my family is so sweet to me, on this day and on every days, too.
But on to the food! I made the oatmeal cake (about which I've previously blogged), and showed remarkable restraint and discipline in doing so. I didn't add in stuff (not even the cocoa) and I measured everything (except the vanilla--I can totally eyeball a teaspoon). I did substitute pecans for walnuts, and put a crumb layer in the middle instead of just on top. Outside of that, it was exactly my mother-in-law's cake.
Remember the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the two families meet? The WASPy family brings a cake to the Greek family's gathering. It's a bunt cake, and the Greek mom has never seen one before. She mispronounces it "BOOnt" and calls it a "keck." To serve what she clearly thinks of as a weirdo dish, she puts a potted plant in the middle. It's a funny scene, made funnier by the fact that my mother dissolves into hysterics at the mere thought of it. It's enough to say "bunt" and she'll giggle, start quoting it, then full on burst into laughter. We all do. It's one of those things that makes me love my mother.
So I was very excited to show up at her house today, bearing flowers and the keck. I had baked it in a springform pan to make it easier to serve, but was a little nervous as the middle had collapsed overnight almost to the bottom of the pan. When it was baking, it was difficult to tell if the cake was done. Plus, I was removing it from the oven at five minutes past midnight. Looking at it in the light of day, I realized I had underbaked it. Was it the pan's fault or just timing? I don't know.
I considered cutting the middle out and making an impromptu bunt, complete with potted plant. Instead I served it as-is. Turns out, my family likes raw cake. My brother-in-law especially seemed to like it, which is high praise coming from him. He's an honest man who doesn't offer false praise, and his mother is a renowned baker. He said it started as cake, turned to brownie and then to pudding--and that he thought it was great.
I was pleased, too. It wasn't quite like I remembered it, but it was gooey and dense and tasty. It has almost a coffee cake sort of quality, with the cinnamon and the crumble topping. The oatmeal adds a little chewiness but you'd never guess it was in there. All in all, a pretty rockin' desert.
So again, happy mother's day, one and all. It shouldn't take a note on the calender for us to appreciate those women in our lives who have created or nurtured life, who daily cook us dinner or offer words of encouragement. I'm lucky that my family doesn't need the note on the calender, but I also appreciate a day where people go out of their way to make your day a little bit easier. Where they make sure to tell you they love you and think you do a good job. Where they rub your feet, and get you a pop, and do the dishes, and let you sleep in. Most of all, where you're able to give yourself permission to sit back and enjoy it, because you truly earned it. Or, maybe that's just me.
Thanks, mom, for being there for me. For giving me life, and helping to mold it. For teaching me values and compassion, for cleaning out my skinned knees and kissing the bumped elbows. For showing me what it means to be a woman and a mother and a wife, and for supporting me when I veered from your path to find my own. I love you, mom.
Oh, and thanks for 30 years of good food...