This image contains: me, smiling.



by Abbie Johnson Taylor


I loved Mother’s meatloaf, steak San Marco, calico beans.
During meals, she often said,
“It’s too dry, too salty,
needs more pepper, should have been cooked longer.”

When I was an adult, she mashed potatoes for the first time:
boiled, peeled, sliced them,
added milk and butter, then attacked them with an electric mixer.
They turned out chunky but still tasted good.

On Christmas Day, with family and friends gathered at the table,
she berated herself for allowing
bits of potato to evade the whirring beaters.
I said I liked the potatoes, asked for a second helping.
As she scooped another delicious mound on my plate, she said,
“Well, you’re used to college cafeteria food.”


The above poem was included in my annual holiday letter, which you can read on my blog. You can click below to hear me read it.


mother’s cooking