Celebrating Mom on Mother’s Day
I’m a mother of two sons, Dave in San Francisco, who is CEO and my partner on Special Fork; and Chris, a freelance photographer’s assistant in New York City. I’m also the daughter of 91-year-old Kiyome Matsukawa. So on Mother’s Day, I am feted by my sons and my husband Steve, and I also honor my own mother.
Mom no longer cooks anymore, but she still loves good food and is an adventurous eater. Mom was an excellent cook, as was her mother. In those days when I was growing up in Hawaii, she was considered very progressive. While most of her friends, second-generation Japanese-American women, cooked just Japanese food, my mom was a great experimenter and was eager to try Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Hawaiian and other ethnic foods. She was a good baker, making guava chiffon pies, peanut butter cookies and Japanese manju.
Mom cooked typical American fare, too, like meatloaf, scalloped potatoes and stuffed bell peppers. My dad – I suspect he preferred Japanese food – was a pretty good sport, game to eat whatever she made. He only drew the line once, when she proposed to make a casserole with potato chips on top; he was having none of that.
Unlike my sister, I didn’t learn to cook at my mother’s side. As a teenager i was totally uninterested in cooking and preferred to wash the dishes than pitch in at the stove. My loss. Especially since mom cooked instinctively most of the time, and never wrote down her recipes.
But one gift I think I’ve inherited from Mom – or learned by osmosis – is the ability to taste, evaluate and adjust a dish to balance and correct seasonings. It has stood me in good stead professionally in recipe tastings, when we are trying to improve on the flavor of a recipe that’s not quite there yet.
I haven’t decided what to cook for Mother’s Day so I’ve been looking at some of our Special Fork blogs for inspiration. You may like to try some of these recipes, too.
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