Glad you’re Cookin’ with me today!
For everyone out there who has thought about being a mother, is soon to be a mother, or is a mother, I’m sure you have wrestled with how to be a perfect mother to your child or children. You have read books, blogs, magazine articles, listened to your doctor(s), your sister, your best friend, and your own mother (maybe even your mother-in-law).
My daughter-in-law will officially celebrate her first Mother’s Day in 2021 with Liliana Mae, and as my mother is celebrating her 80th Mother’s Day, I think about our four generations of women (if I count Liliana Mae being a mother one day). Lots of mothering happening! My mother really did teach me so many things about being a mother, while I was growing up and when was raising my own children. She seemed to do everything by instinct. There were no blogs, YouTube channels, Instagram or Pinterest apps. She knew how to treat us when my sister and I were sick, how to prepare a meal for dinner every night and for company, how to iron, make a bed, clean a house, all while going to nursing school when my sister and I were in grade school! She did it all!
My mother was a great cook and learned from my father’s mother when they got married. She always had a well-balanced dinner on the table, healthy breakfast, packed delicious lunches like sandwiches of cream cheese and jelly. No other kid in my class came in with that combo, but we thought it was the cat’s meow! My father on the other hand, was a natural cook, and I think my son and I took after him. She taught me to follow recipes, bake and entertain. But the craft came my father and his family. When my mother comes for dinner, she loves to look over my shoulder and watch what I’m cooking and find out what I’m doing. Funny how the roles are reversed.
The question is do you still try to mother your children once they become adults? Once a mother, always a mother? Are you a “hoverer” but try not to be? I watch my mother still care very deeply about my sister and me, our husbands, children and now grandchild (her first great-grandchild). We all love my mother to pieces. However, she’s a hoverer. She still asks if my 18-year-old nephew drank water today because she thinks he doesn’t drink enough water. Or if my son has fed his dog, in which Andrew responds, “No, Mom-Mom. We only feed him on Tuesdays.” (He’s had the dog for 6 years.) Or if our children read enough, if the baby will catch cold because she is in bare feet with no socks on (mind you, it’s 85° out). And no matter how many times we smile and say, “Mom, we got this. Sit down, relax and just enjoy the visit,” she responds with, “I’m just asking. I’m 80 and I’ve earned the right to say what I say.”
Well, do you really Mom? Now I don’t feel just because someone has lived 80 years (which is incredible of course), doesn’t give that person the right to say what he/she thinks out loud and with no filter! Then I think, “Have I become like that now? Or will I be like that if I live to 80 or beyond? I think we learn as much what NOT to do sometimes as what we should do from our mothers! If you ask my boys and husband if I “hover”, I think they’d say, “Well, your intentions are good!” And we laugh and I say “touché”!
I will admit I do hover over my family when they help me cook something for dinner. I watch out of the corner of my eye that they are adding the right amounts of ingredients, tossing salads ever so gently when asked, placing cookie dough evenly on the baking sheet or gently rolling the perfect size meatballs. To this day I will say to my oldest son, Andrew, “gentle, gentle” as he can get a little rough patting the breading around my crispy mustard chicken or stirring the sauce on the stove. I have to stop myself from jumping in and doing it myself!
But in the end, is it really more important that everything turns out perfect, or that we all contribute to the meal in our own way and forego the “hovering” because all that matters is embracing the joy of motherhood and sharing it. So, Andrew and Mike, when I start in on the “hover mode”, tell me to relax, sit down, enjoy, and grab a drink! Make a batch of Cosmos! For those who aren’t familiar it’s a Cosmopolitan, which is a mix of vodka, cranberry juice, orange liqueur and a splash of lime. It’s a pretty pink drink, served in a martini glass, or if you’d prefer, a small glass over ice. It’s an all-year round drink, too!
So, to all mothers out there, here’s a toast to the “Imperfect” Cosmo. Make it as strong or light as you like! I’m known for a strong drink! Garnish with an orange or lime wedge, and rim with sugar for that sweet-tart sip. Use any vodka you like, make it with real cranberry juice or diet. It doesn’t matter…..just make it and enjoy it surrounded by family and friends….or in the quiet space away from all the noise and calamity. It’s your day and your choice!
Madeline's "Imperfect" Cosmopolitan
- One Martini Shaker, Martini or 6 ounce glass
- 1/2 cup Vodka Tito's is a great gluten free choice
- 1/4 cup Cranberry Juice
- 1/8 cup Orange Liqueur I love Patron's L'Orange Liqueur, or you can use Grand Mariner or Triple Sec
- 1 slice Lime or Orange
- 1 cup Ice
- Place 1 cup of ice in a martini shaker.
- Measure the vodka, cranberry juice and orange liqueur and pour into the shaker.
- Shake vigorously for 30 seconds (this is what Ina Garten says is the exact time needed for the ice to chill the liquid)
- Pour into your martini glass or if you like it over ice, pout into a 6 - 8 ounce glass.
- Garnish with a slice of lime or orange.
- Sometimes I muddle a little fresh orange slice into the shaker first before adding the ice and remaining liquid ingredients for an extra orange blast!
A “Cosmo” toast to a Happy Mother’s Day, my dear friends and family!
Let’s Get Cookin’