There is nothing like cooking alone in the kitchen where you used to cook (learned to cook?) with your mother to make you think of some questions you wish you'd asked on a previous kitchen experience. Mom and I used to talk about everything while we cooked. If you have always thought you should ask these things but you/your mother are too young and there's plenty of time, you should ask now. Trust me.
1. how exactly did you manage to feed yourself and two children on food stamps during the recession in the 80's?
2. how do i pick a cantaloupe?
3. what's the deal with opening the oven while bread/cakes are baking? is it really that bad?
4. how did you do that egg thing in the "lotsa noodle soup"? (i was actually planning on asking this the next time I talked to her, as Ramen has recently become a part of my diet again. Unfortunately, there was no next time.)
5. what was the last straw that made you want a divorce?
6. what do you want us to do with your jewelry when you can't wear it anymore?
7. what's your favorite memory of my childhood? my brothers? yours? your sisters?
8. what's the most important thing I should do with the person I get married to?
9. was grandma always the way she is now?
10. besides the Bare Naked Ladies, is there any good music made by a group formed after 1988?
11. what do you think about those "new" grocery store membership cards? Are they actually just a way to keep track of your personal info? are they really about getting people to spend more? or are they okay?
12. is it true that bad cranberries float? or is it good cranberries that float? or is it about bouncing? And should you really be bouncing cranberries you're planning on making into cranberry sauce? how do you keep track of them?
13. How many spices in spaghetti sauce is too many?
14. is it actually possible to make just enough spaghetti for us to eat today, or is it literally impossible?
15. what's the weirdest fruit you ever ate? and what are you supposed to do with a pomegranate (the weirdest fruit i have eaten so far)?
16. How am I supposed to use the "back of the knife" if it has that weird "don't cut yourself, dummy" lip thing on the back of the blade?
17. Do you have any idea how much I love you and how much I love learning to cook from you?
Things you should definitely say now and I'm sad I never got a chance to say properly:
1. Thank you mom, for teaching me to read and to love reading.
2. Thank you mom, for teaching me that anyone who can read can cook.
3. Thank you mom, for teaching me how to cut things without cutting myself.
4. Thank you mom, for doing the dirty work of peeling potatoes even when i wanted to make the mashed potatoes "all by myself."
5. thank you mom, for teaching me how to love everyone regardless of what they look like or how much money they have.
6. In general, thanks, mom. I love you a lot.