Food: Reflections on the meaning of Mother?s Day
I don’t think there’s a mother alive who doesn’t ponder the human experience of giving birth and raising a child when Mother’s Day approaches. One memory that has never left me was the first time I held my new baby son on the day he was born. I was in total and utter awe with the little bundle the nurse placed in my arms that bright September day so long ago. That was a life-changing moment and a memory that has never dimmed.
And while my own experience of having a baby was a fascinating one indeed, I have always been enamored with animal mothers and their newborns, no matter what the species. Looking back, I have witnessed plenty of little ones come into this world. When I was in high school, I was fortunate to have a friend who was a veterinarian and many times I would tag along with him on his calls. In those years I watched colts, calves, piglets, lambs, rabbits, puppies and kittens come into this world. I’ve watched deer being born, birds hatch and even jungle animals like elephants, giraffes and zebras be born.
I was held rapt with enchantment as these tiny ones grabbed hold of life with their first breath. I loved how these babes struggled to get their first meal and how the moms reacted when they saw their offspring for the first time. Most had the instincts to immediately nurture and care for their young with tenderness and affection.
So mothers have always held a special place in my heart and as the years have passed, I have realized a maternal instinct that has endured even after my own son flew the nest. Perhaps that’s why I’ve always shared my home with some sort of furry species which today includes Crawdad the Cat and Homey and Bobbi the canines.
While the cat seems to prefer to take care of herself, the canine boys are a different matter. And, I must say, they have me well trained. For instance, when they go to the door, I hop right up and let them out. When they look at me with their big brown eyes, wide and beseeching, I scurry to fill up their food bowls. They love their walks (twice a day) and car rides are a must, even if it is to just drive the Jeep into the garage. They demand play times by dropping balls and rope toys in my lap and they have a pretty good handle on how they can get me to reach for the treat jar.
Both of these “children” have come into my life at a time when they needed a caretaker and I gladly stepped up to the task. I adopted Homey after he was found as a stray and Bobbi lives with me now because his former owner gave him to me before she passed away.
So I’m looking forward to this Mother’s Day. I’m going to be spending it with my human son, his girlfriend and my furry children. I found a lemon pie recipe I’m going to make and we will have a Mother’s Day feast, perhaps using the grill for the first time in a while.
I wish I could express how truly lucky I feel to have such a wonderful family to celebrate Mother’s Day with. My little dogs are a joy that fill my heart to bursting and Jake has always been the light of my life. I don’t know why I am so lucky to have these beings in my life, but I am truly thankful. Happy Mother’s Day.
Lemon Refrigerator Pie
- 11/2 cups Nilla Wafers, crushed (about 50 cookies)
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3 lemons, juiced
- 3 eggs
- 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 Tbs. sugar
Mix the Nilla Wafer crumbs with the butter until pliable. Line a 9-inch glass pie plate with the crumb/butter mixture, making sure to go up the sides of the plate. Juice the lemons. Separate the eggs and mix the yolks with the lemon juice. Add the condensed milk and mix thoroughly. Pour this into the graham cracker crust. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar and combine thoroughly. Spread over pie filling. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, then bake the pie for 15 minutes. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.