I made meatballs the other day.
The meatball recipe came to me from my father, a man well known for colorful description. The words “add 17 peas” or “stir in one mouthful of water” sometimes crop up in these handwritten instructions, along with comments like “too good for kids” and “your mother eats this by the handful”.
Food in my family has always been an expression of love. I don’t recall hearing the words “I love you” as a child, but I didn’t have to be told as it was obvious with a glance at the dinner table. My mother, convinced that pre-packaged foods were a toehold into deviant behavior that would lead to paper-plate usage and a laissez-faire attitude toward making one’s bed, served full meals every evening.
They were delicious.
And now I have the recipes - and scribble in the comments: "Good "man" recipe," I write next to the Mackey Beans. "The Boy once held me at bay with one hand while finishing this off, directly from the pan," I write next to the Never-Fail Fudge.
“Mom,” The Boy said the other night. “When you die, can I have your cookbooks?”
And then he laughed, thinking, judging by the look on his face, that he’d stumbled a bit, said something graceless.
But for the recipes to go to him?
I only hope the handwritten comments continue.