I stood, eight years old, at my mom’s elbow as she stirred spaghetti sauce. It bubbled and sputtered all over the stove as she tasted, seasoned, and tasted again. She taught me both how to stretch a recipe, and how to laugh off the burned-black cookies. Weeknight dinner or Sunday lunch— our family was always together, passing our plates and teasing each other between bites. It was loud and beautiful.
Beyond stirring, mixing, and chopping— I learned that there is always enough room.
Our table’s heavy wooden leaf sat comfortably in the corner of the room ready to make space. Space for more of us and our friends who were always welcome. Not one time do I recall my mother saying that there wasn’t enough to share. One of my tall, tan brothers would often cruise through the kitchen, clink the lid of the cookie jar and mention that guy-from-school’s parents were out of town and—- could he join us? Sure, she said, as she reached in the cabinet for one more can of tomatoes….
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