'a piece of heaven'
When I tell people
that I spent part of my early childhood in public housing in New Jersey,
it may not seem like a happy childhood to them. But for my sister, three
brothers and me, it was great. There was always someone to play with,
and my mother's parents and 11 siblings lived in the neighboring towns.
Money was tight, but
we always had food on the table. Sometimes, when there wasn't enough
money to go to the market, our meals were based on whatever was in the
house, and my mother had to be very creative. Even though meals during
the week were often light (meaning no seconds), on Sundays we always
had an excellent dinner. There was meat, two different types of vegetables,
rolls and, of course, the most exciting part of the meal...dessert.
When my mother prepared
her Old Fashioned Gingerbread, the five of us couldn't wait until it
came from the oven so that we could get our piece and smother it with
butter. Or we would try to wait patiently while it cooled and then we'd
drown the gingerbread with whipped cream and enjoy a piece of heaven.
Vicki grew up in New Jersey. She and her husband now reside in Mill
Valley, California. Vicki works in administration for a company with
offices on the East Coast, affording frequent trips back east that enable
her to visit family, including her two adult children. Vicki loves eating
her mother's food whenever she has the opportunity.
Story excerpted from:
Our Mother's Recipes: Remembering the meals
that shaped our lives by Jonathan Cutler and Lanny
Udell. Click to read more
about Our Mother's recipes.
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