My mom doesn’t cook and that’s one of my favorite things about her. Because of this, she has provided me with some of my richest food memories and favorite culinary treasures.
Saturday mornings remind me of sun kissed peaches, fresh peonies and folksy music. For what my mom lacked in culinary prowess, she more than compensated with the “foodventures” we frequently embarked upon. Trips to the local farmer’s market had become our little breakfast ritual ever since I was in kindergarten. We would leisurely weave in and out of the booths. My mom would pretend not to notice me going back for second segments of blood orange and white nectarine. She would splurge on snickerdoodles and herbal tea that we’d snack on as we ambled down the aisles. The end destination was always the same: Bibby’s Crepes.
I never understood why we would even kid ourselves with the prospect of going anywhere else. We lingered around the South African stand, eyeing the sambusas. We considered trying the Jamaican jerk chicken. But nearly every single time, we found ourselves at the end of the line salivating over those delicate, golden envelopes, dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream.
The process has been engrained into my memory over the years. The owner of the stand lightly butters the griddle, waiting until it comes to a sizzle. Then he ladles the smooth batter onto the piping hot surface and twirls a wooden stick over it to reveal a perfectly thin pancake. I always thought it was silly how my mom would order a crepe with brown sugar and butter. That’s it. I, on the other hand, preferred my breakfast to be spilling out a monstrosity of toppings. The finished product is slid onto a plate and we rushed over to the nearest table.
We dove into the pretty packages with our forks and knives. The first bite is nostalgic bliss. My taste buds immediately recognize an all too familiar flavor from countless Saturdays of training. The crepe itself is my mom’s favorite part. The center is soft and the edges flawlessly browned for a slight crunch. The batter is just a touch sweet while the butter adds a note of warmth.
I learned to appreciate the simplicity of dishes because of my mom. She made me realize that it isn’t about how many things you could tower onto a single plate, but about taking the time to really taste each component. Like the saint she is, my mom always offers me the last bite of her crepe — a gesture that I can only interpret as true, unconditional love in its finest form. These modest breakfast dates became the highlight of my week. Sure, the crepes are one, glorious aspect, but as I grew older, the food became less significant. It was more about the time that I got to spend with the coolest woman I know: my best friend, my mom. I am utterly thankful for the good food and good company throughout my life. Thank god my mom doesn’t know how to cook.