When I want to remember my mother I turn the oven to 425 degrees and roast onions. The delicious, comforting smell that wafts through the kitchen tells me that I am doing something right. My mother loved onions with a passion that caught my attention as a child. I can still hear the delightful crunch they made as she ate smiling while we watched, envious of her pleasure. I remember the feeling of wanting to enjoy something, anything as much as she enjoyed onions.
The holidays, when virtually everything I do I learned from my mother, are very complicated. I am thankful for the many yuletide traditions that she taught me, but I also feel her absence acutely in carrying them out. Merrymaking and festiveness, together with sorrow; always and forever. This Christmastide week has been quiet and therefore most welcome. There is time to read, reflect, and roast onions and toss them with herbs and a vinaigrette. And then to munch happily in the knowledge that I come very close to matching my mother's enjoyment level of onions and hopefully many other things.
Here are the books that were given in our home this year: