Among my mother Socorro Munoz Kimble's many talents, was her creativity in the kitchen. So much so, that in 1987 she co-authored the book "Mexican Desserts...the Sweet Side of Mexican Cooking". Born in Auguascalientes, Mexico, she emigrated to this country as a child with her sweet tooth intact.
She could easily have written about the wonderful world of tortillas or having fun with tequilla. But given her lifelong affinity for sweets, it was only fitting that she chose to shine a spotlight on the oft-overlooked end of the Mexican meal.
Those ingredients in her recipes, rich staples of her Mexican culture, made for some mouthwatering desserts, and in honor of Mother's Day, give me some food for thought for baking a recipe of life and love:
1. Sugar. The sweetness of life may come disguised as brown sugar or honey, or even powdered, but regardless of its form, it should be enjoyed and appreciated. It can be found in the littlest of things, the smallest of acts, the shortest of sentiments, like "I Love You", but its purity should never be taken for granted. And it will always off-set the sour moments that will be inevitable.
2. Spice. Always add a dash or two of spice to one's life. Yours, your friends and family. Just as cinnamon, nutmeg and chili powder evoke uniquely different responses, spice up your interactions with the people in your life, the places you visit, and the experiences that you heap onto life's plate.
3. Lemon Rind. Without a little sour taste or bitterness, life would be simply bland. It is a necessary ingredient for building strong spirits and characters of beauty.
4. Coffee. Life should be lived caffinated. Don't let the decaffinated version pass you by. Breathe deeply, love passionately, laugh heartily and soak up life like a sponge whatever rolls your way.
5. Warm Water. Without this binding agent, many recipes would fall flat. We will all encounter frigidly cold shoulders, and cold-hearted souls, but the warmth of a smile, an embrace or gesture will bind us to one another in ways we are intended to be.
Stir all these ingredients together, bake them in the oven of your heart forever, and savor the marinade of a mother's recipe of love. Afterall, ItMannersAlot! Happy Mother's Day!