Besides being a day to show my mom how much I love her, Mother’s Day also reminds me of how much I enjoy cooking.

I learned to cook from watching and helping my mom and my grandmothers and great-grandmothers.

Each time this holiday rolls around, many fond kitchen memories come flooding back to mind:

Cracking eggs for my mom while making pancakes on Sunday mornings.

Measuring flour and sugar for Mamaw Georgia while we baked a cake.

Helping Nana stir and season spaghetti sauce.

All of these things gave me a foundation for my love of food.

Many of the recipes they taught me remain my favorites today — real comfort food, because thinking of them always makes me feel better.

Today, my siblings and I will prepare lunch for mom — grilled steak, green beans, corn on the cob, fresh fruit and homemade ice cream — some of her favorites as a way to say thanks for being our mom.

While the menu these days is a lot more sophisticated than the meals we served her when we were children — and a lot less likely to be under- or overcooked — the best part is knowing how happy it makes her to enjoy a meal with her children, especially now that we don’t live as close to one another as she’d like.

That gift is more precious than any present I might wrap — both to her and to me, because it’s another day to make a memory that further cements my love of cooking for the ones I love.

Contact M. Clare Haefner at or (254) 501-7551.

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