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Soft Boiled Eggs

I went to Florida last week visit my mom who has Parkinson’s Disease and recently fell and broke a leg.  She is getting better and will recover.  But it was difficult. 

My friend Lou tells me that mother is always our connection to life.  And it’s true… I remember fearing her death when I was a child....  Well, the good part is that my sister Drea (who came with me) is a natural born comedian, and we had a lot of laughs, which I know cheered my mom.

I find Northern Florida to be such an odd place, with its palms and scrubby pine forests, its long flat empty vistas.  My parents live in a forty-year-old town where everyone is a newcomer.  All the buildings and houses look eerily alike. Yet the natural landscape is undeniably beautiful, with its vivid big sky and sun, its bright tropical flowers and lemon trees. 


While we were there, I cooked a bit for my parents, and while I was rummaging through the cabinets and found these three dishes—one for each girl--from at least forty years ago.  We loved soft boiled eggs.  When I look into these bowls, I see my mom moving quickly on strong fast legs, from refrigerator to sink to stove, to table, where we girls sat waiting. 

Nancy recently wrote me that “recipes just mark the places in the story, but the story is the important piece.” I agree, because I came to food writing for the stories.  But I would also add that women have so often been silenced by men, that they have learned to tell their stories ingeniously, through silences, through ellipses, through anonymity and secrecy.  Recipes give us this cover, this safety in the code. 

Here’s Drea, with beautiful blue eyes.


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those plates are awesome!

    – rebecca (March 07 2010 at 8:38)

This is a beautiful post.  I love the line “recipes just mark places in the story, but the story is the important piece.” I think of the women in my family who came before me as I make their recipes.  I am as they were, I will be as they are.  My mother too has Parkinson’s and broke her hip.  It is hard for us to see the changes of time, but it’s inevitable.  All we can do is celebrate the moment.

    –  (March 11 2010 at 3:01)

Janet, I really appreciate your thoughts and agree.  Yes, change is constant, but it is the nature of life.  Thank you for your comment.

    –  (March 12 2010 at 6:15)

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