Happy Birthday Mom!
26 years ago I tricked my Mom into fake labor and ruined her birthday, sorry Mom! Hopefully I've made up for it since. Carol has always been that Mom who does it all - works full-time, exercises 3 times a week, bakes piles and piles of cookies for special occasions, goes to Church, makes friends with everyone she meets, and keeps track of my Dad - all while wearing cute earrings and lipstick!
Since I went away to college at 18 (and then moved to Hawaii at 22), she's even managed to talk to me, her only child, daily! Mom - are there more hours in your day than there are mine?
It's truly a mystery of the Earth that someone who has so much baking talent can remain so tiny, but somehow she does it! Last year my parents were in Hawaii for our birthdays (mine is on January 15) and Dad and I ordered a new pizelle iron for Mom, which was shipped to the house. Her specialties include pizelles, 7 or 8 layer cookies, biscotti, and chocolate covered pretzels. Carol cooks, too, but she qualifies for baking all-stars!
Mom has taught me so much about food over the years: eat as many cookies as you can when your Mom leaves the kitchen to take a phone call, to make ravioli go straight to Bloomfield and buy them from the Italian grocer's freezer, eating a salad is always a good idea, it's OK to ask a non-Italian how to help you with making wedding soup, and that homemade baked goods are better than dog treats, but you WILL survive if you eat ones made for canines! She takes custom food order weeks before I visit "Are you craving anything?", she's packed sandwiches for every road trip I've ever taken, and always provides comfort food for me and all of my friends! You rock Mom :)
This is her birthday dinner last year - can you tell we're related or what?! Obviously I get my love for food and feeding others from this lady.
In addition to her insane baking skills, she's also got a great sense of humor! This year she called the Nittany Lion a "bear". Mom, for one of your gifts this year, I'll absolve you of that comment!
This was part of our biscotti baking lesson, roll that dough Mama!
To go with our Christmas Eve cookies, we also enjoy a punchbowl filled with liquid sugar in the form of punch, each year! Mom's kitchen is FILLED with I love Lucy memorabilia, how many can you spy? She's also wearing an apron that was homemade by Pap - her Dad. He made us matching aprons in 1990 or so, I'll bet you 482930483290 dollars that she still has mine, too!
So Mom, happy birthday! I'm sorry I can't be with you to celebrate with you this year. It's not as great as last year but definitely better than 1986, right? I'm still watching and trying to learn how you do it all! I owe you a cosmo... or "46"!