Many Things Remind Me of Many Things

Last night I made a baby portobello mushroom and brocolli rabe risotto. It was magnificent, thank you very much, but that isn't the point. It was merely the starting point for a poignant train of thought.
I was prepping and preparing my "meez" and realized that my knife was dull. One of my crazy neighbors had just sharpened it, too, and so that led me to think of how my father could sharpen a knife so that it held a razor edge. Many scars on my fingers are proof of that.

The thought of my father and his knives led me quickly to a scene in the family kitchen, shortly before his final decline. I had gone up to visit and he made kippers for me and my brother on a Sunday morning. He could barely stand, but he insisted on doing this for us.

Fried kippers were a Sunday morning treat for most of my growing up time. It was Daddy's signature dish. Fried, greasy, fish-stinky and with lots of chopped onions, sauteed in butter until they were carmelized (if not slightly burnt) and eaten hot with garlic toast... for breakfast. My mother hated the smell. My cousins were appalled by them. The RLA nearly passed out the first time he saw/smelled kippers. In fact, in all the years of trying to share this delicacy with friends and family, the only person who ever warmed up to kippers was Star, and she's Swedish.

I finally managed to shake off the funk, and started sauteeing the onions and the baby portobellos. I added the arborio rice and started to think about my mother's cooking as I waited for the rice to become transparent.

My mother was a fine cook and an even better baker, but she was also a homemaker in the 50s and 60s. Even though she owned Julia Child's cookbooks, she was much more at ease with The Joy of Cooking. My mother never made a risotto.

Which thought then led me to her current state, and how the nurses at the home all think I look just like her. An assessment which is only right and fair. And that takes me back to a conversation with my mother maybe thirty years ago, when she told me that, not only did she believe in reincarnation, but she believed that I was her mother, who had died when my mother was only six months old.

That has always stuck with me, that I am my mother's mother. Now that she has Alzheimer's, she has regressed to a point where she thinks she's still in school. She talks about her father's store. And I am her caregiver, so in some sense, I am, in fact, her mother. And so why shouldn't I look just like her, or her me, since this whole thing is becoming a quantum singularity.

Now the rice is ready, and I must shake off all the ghosts, and continue my meal. But my mind? it is a weapon of mass distraction, and many things remind me of many things.
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/30 at 10:36 AM in Food, Glorious Food Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/30 at 10:36 AM in Maudlin Crap Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/30 at 10:36 AM in Random Crap

(3) Comments
#1. Posted by oceanguy on March 30, 2005

Man, it’s been years…I’d love some fried kippers…  or grilled.. charred even.

On a different note, if you haven’t read: Many Lives, Many Masters, by Brian Weiss,  you should.

#2. Posted by Becca on March 30, 2005

How wonderful that you have such fond memories of your parents.  Cherish them!  (Like you have to be told to do that…)

#3. Posted by jdhauer on April 02, 2005

Kippers! Love ‘em!

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