Jello Pie

February 11th, 2007 — 9:56am

My mother has never enjoyed cooking. I grew up on TV dinners and iceberg lettuce salads, which I ate in part because she worked and didn’t have time to cook. On the other hand, she never pretended to enjoy cooking and food never really interested her. My father travelled all the time for his work, so he couldn’t, and wasn’t interested, in taking up the slack.
To say I grew up with a sense of loss around food and eating is an understatement — a loss I’m still trying to make sense of.

But recently I visited my 76 year old mother, and she proudly presented me and my 7 year old boys with a pie she had made — a diet lime jello, pineapple,  and low-fat Cool Whip pie in a graham cracker crust (no cooking, just mixing the ingredients and pouring them on). She brought it out the kitchen with a huge smile on her face and served us each a piece.

Maybe I didn’t enjoy it that much (though my son Matthew liked it), but she served it with joy and love. And in that moment, I felt just a little more full, a little more healed.

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