in her words

by Michelle

From my daughter, Kaitie…

I am my mother’s daughter.
Mom came to visit me this weekend in Toronto. She hates it. Well, she doesn’t hate it,but she prefers that I come home. She likes me in my bed at home.
When she comes to see me, we always end up doing the same thing. Talk, eat, drink and talk some more. It is important to us that we know exactly what is going on in the others life. I love my daily phone calls about what we had for dinner, how our day was and the details of our lives that we want the other to know. Sometimes she throws her hands over her ears in protest “Kaitie, there are some things a mother just doesn’t need to know”.
I don’t care, I tell her anyway. She needs to know.
She landed on Friday and we went and sat on a patio and started what would end up being a 72 hour catch up session that I could only handle with my mama.
Mom always gets excited to go to little grocery stores to see what gems we can find that are not so easily found on the East Coast. I love watching her walk around looking at the food, dreaming up menus and dinners. I’ve watched her do this since I was a little girl, and I still love trailing behind her watching her magic.
To say that my mom taught me to cook is a bit of an understatement. My mom taught to me love food. For our family, dinner was always something that was done together. Even if we were making a Kraft pizza we made it together, dancing around in the kitchen, teasing each other, laughing (sometimes crying). She taught me the basics, but she also showed me the freedom of cooking. How to put ingredients together without following a recipe. Using just what you had on hand. She is always learning something new and always teaching me something new. We try things, and sometimes they seriously fail. But we still laugh about them. As a family so many of our stories are around dinners we had as kids.
As an adult, watching her dance around my tiny kitchen in Toronto makes me love her even more. When we cooked together this weekend it made me laugh how easily we work with each other. Anticipating the others next move or needs before any words were said. I guess being her sous chef my whole life has made us the perfect partners.
She teaches me with the same gentle guidance she has my whole life.
She makes me calm. She fixes all my broken pieces. She reminds me to breathe.
I will always be my mothers daughter.
Soft Shell Crab with Garlic Chili Butter
serves 2
4 soft shell crabs, cleaned
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 hot chilies, sliced fine
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
In a large skillet over medium high heat, warm olive oil
Add butter and heat until frothy
Meanwhile, mix flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl
Dust crab with flour mixture on both sides
Add to skillet and saute on both sides until crispy – 2 minutes per side
Remove crabs to serving plate
Remove skillet from heat and quickly add garlic and chillies allowing the heat of the skillet to release their fragrance
Pour butter mixture over crabs
Sprinkle with lemon juice and zest
Enjoy – shell and all!