My mother's coleslaw
I ate coleslaw last week and thought about my mother. She made the best coleslaw for years. She had the perfect blade for her food processor to get the cuts just right. She used a lot of carrots and just the right amount of paprika. It was creamy and prefect cold dish at a hot picnic. Thinking about eating my Mother's coleslaw makes me eat a hotdog or hamburger off the grill.
For the past 20 years of my life, I've been judging all other coleslaw against my mothers. Fancy restaurants tries to make fancy coleslaw, I think this misses the point. Many stores make coleslaw too crunchy, that is too much work. Most fast food coleslaw is too bland, it still needs to taste like something. The coleslaw I get at parties have way too long of cabbage cuts. I will always try coleslaw when I see it, even if I expect not to like it. Right now my two favorite places to get coleslaw are Popeyes and Safeway.
My mother passed away earlier this year. Thinking about her coleslaw have made me melancholy. It is something small, but it has a strong association with her. Many people would say, "Of course you think your mother's food was the best." My mother was admittedly not a great cook. There were a handful of things that she did great, meatloaf, quiche, ham loaf, and brownies. All of these things will forever bring her to mind.
I know I'll never have my mother's coleslaw again. When she turned 80 she said she retired from the kitchen. I can't remember the last time I had her coleslaw, I know she made it for one of my trips visiting her after I moved to California.
Mourning my mother would be different if I lived the last 20 years in Pennsylvania, not in California. It is going at a different speed because I don't encounter bits of her life in my life everyday. I am not being reminded she is not here anymore. I am reminded on days like Scooter's first day of second grade, buying Halloween costumes, shoe shopping, back to school night, and picture day. Things where I won't be calling her later anymore.