This is the day, every year, when I lean in to my sisters. From afar, I rest my head on their shoulders as we mourn the anniversary of our mother’s death. We may talk on the phone and reminisce about silly moments. We may cry; we may share the hardship of not having Mom to tell our sorrows to. It may be too painful for us to speak to each other, but still, we lean against each other.
This is the day, every year, when I lean in to my children. I hold their heads against my shoulder and imagine how proud their grandmother would be. I hear the conversations: my mother and I boast to each other of their incredible intellect, savvy and creativity. We coo in mutual admiration of these extraordinary creatures. Only with her can I can boast so freely.
This is the day every year when I lean on my husband, and he holds me up. He asks me if I want to cook, and I understand he means one of my mother’s dishes. He knows I will feel her spirit course through my veins; though I may bristle at his suggestion, I am with her once I begin.
Chocolate Lace Cookies
These are my mother’s lace cookies. Her carefully typed recipe card says she got them from Connie Eisenstat, but they were hers from the time we were very young. I thought it was magical, the way she would make these so quickly; now I see that they really are that simple and easy. Having a cookie recipe like this is, indeed, a kind of Mommy magic.
1/2 cup corn syrup
5 tablespoons butter, cut in pieces
1 4-ounce bar sweet German’s chocolate, separated in squares
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup flour
2/3 cup walnuts, finely ground
1. Preheat the oven to 300°
2. Bring the corn syrup to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the butter and chocolate and immediately reduce the heat to low; stir until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat.
3. Stir in the sugar and flour; when smooth, stir in the nuts. Drop 6 scant tablespoons in evenly spaced mounds on each of two un-greased baking sheets and place in the oven. Bake 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through cooking. The cookies will continue to bubble a bit when you remove them from the oven. Let them cool 5 minutes (during which time they become lacier.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat using the remaining batter.
Makes about 32 cookies