When I was a kid, I was sent to school every day with homemade cookies — chewy, chocolate-morsel-laden cookies, or crisp sugar cookies glazed with lemon. They were delicious, but like most kids, I wanted to be just like everyone else, and all the other kids had Chips Ahoy. I would have killed for one of those store-bought cookies, hard and dried out though they were. But my mom was a professional chef, so everything I ate was made from scratch. Most times, it drove me crazy.
There's some truth to the saying that you don't appreciate what you have until you're older. For me, it was the Mother's Day my mom and I decided to surprise my grandmother with homemade whoopie pies. My mother made the chocolate cakes while I made the cream, and we assembled them together.
I still remember the smile on my grandmother's face when she saw us coming with those pies. She made a pot of tea, and we sat down for an afternoon of "girl talk." Sometime during those hours, I realized that to my mom, cooking was so much more than whipping egg whites. To her, cooking was love — love for me, her mother, and all those who touched her heart.