The Aromas Still Linger

3 Feb

roasted soybeansI’m so glad to back to writing after another hiatus. My break from writing is not due to any change in how often or how intensely I think about my mom. I should really keep track of the number of times I read (in books, magazine/newspaper articles, other blogs, etc.) sentiment similar to mine: No matter how long my mom has been gone (now 20 years), she is very much a part of my daily existence. And, so when I saw a recipe for roasted chickpeas recently,, I felt compelled to write about my mom’s roasted soybeans.

Back in my July 7, 2011 post, I wrote “As I have become increasingly obsessed with quinoa, I keep flashing back to the time that my mom first roasted soybeans. It was 1980: I had just turned 16 and she had just quit smoking. To help herself, she became vigilant about not smoking and living a healthy life.” It is true that her healthy snack made me very sick since, at the time, we did not realize that my peanut allergy extended to most legumes, including soybeans. If you have ever smelled freshly roasted soybeans, you will recall being coerced into eating a handful simply because of the aroma. So, as I ate her fresh-out-of-the-oven salty soybeans, my mouth felt the typical allergic itch and I soon realized that “healthy” or not, this snack would be placed on my tantalizing and inedible list.

For me and, I imagine, for most daughters (and even sons), our mom’s food interests and cooking are some of the most memorable, inspiring and even eternal connections we have to her. Recipes are often passed down to many generations. I have written about and, even more importantly, passionately spoken to my children about my mom’s specialties. It’s not just her secret for sweet chicken soup (parsnips), but the meals we shared and obsessed over that help keep her in my everyday thoughts. And, just as I am writing this, I realize that yet another recent experience brought back warm and delicious food memories. My family spent a few days in NYC over this past Christmas holiday and after the typical Christmas movie outing, we stopped into the TickTock Diner. My daughter ordered and relished their French Onion Soup (without the glutenous bread). I immediately reminisced about the lunch my mom and I shared during a day we spent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We each ordered their French Onion Soup and, either because we were starving or because it truly deserved the accolade, we rated it the best we’d ever had. Soon after, my mom topped theirs by making her own.  She even served it in the classic crock-bowl. So, after we got back home from our NYC adventure, I found a recipe, bought the ingredients and made the new best French Onion Soup my family has ever enjoyed.

This brings me to ask YOU and hopefully help you recall some of your mom’s special recipes or delicious food adventures you shared with your mom. Please share!

11 Responses to “The Aromas Still Linger”

  1. Deborah the Closet Monster February 3, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    I sadly have none of my own mom’s recipes, but will always relish the memory of her enchilada pie and tuna casserole. So good!

  2. Nina Badzin February 4, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    I wish my mom cooked more. She was (and still is) a take out kind of person. But I learned a lot from her about being a gracious host, setting a nice table, etc.

    Glad to see you back here!

    • Shari Danzig Stein February 4, 2014 at 10:58 pm #

      Thanks for your reply! And it’s not all about the cooking…such nice thoughts about your mom!

  3. lori February 4, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

    Hi Shar, Love your wonderful memories of your very special mom. Phyllis was a unique and special lady… ahead of her time! I can smell the soy nuts roasting as you described them! My house was always filled with lots of food and lots of company… I remember the company more than the food! xox to my special friend… how proud your mom would be.

    • Shari Danzig Stein February 4, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

      Thanks Lori – I love that you remember the company more – and I hope your mom knows she is one of my most treasured “other moms.”

  4. naomimgruer February 5, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    Lovely memories, Shari! I have my Grandma’s recipe for Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows (written by her) and I serve it every Thanksgiving.

    • Shari Danzig Stein February 5, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

      so special– esp. that it’s in her writing! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Andrea February 8, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    My mom’s infamous “Chinese Coleslaw Recipe” has made the rounds at many a pot luck and holiday meal, sometimes even when I am not there! My grandmother also left a recipe for her delicious Sweet Potatoe Pie with Marshmallows (canned sweets potatoes), but when we recreated it it was not the same.

    • Shari Danzig Stein February 8, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

      Your mom’s “Chinese Coleslaw” really did go viral! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Family Lives On March 17, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    Reblogged this on Staceygrantbonnell's Blog and commented:
    Authentic. And delicious…

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