(Photo above: my mom and me, at home in Mexico City; c. 1964.)
Mother’s Day is celebrated in Canada and many other countries today, on the second Sunday in May, for which we are again in lockdown here in Southern Ontario. A few years ago, I was writing my mom’s biography, and realized I did not know a few basic facts about her favourite things. I made a short list and asked her; I am happy I got to learn these facts before her passing in November of 2019. Remembering her fondly today, here are her answers:
Favourite colour: Pink. She particularly enjoyed pale tones, such as cherry tree blossoms, but she liked any shade. I have posted about rosa mexicano (Mexican pink, sometimes called Mexican rose), a colour that well defines the upbeat and artistic spirit of Mexico:
Favourite flower: rose. My mom would have loved this bouquet of pink roses:
Favourite age: young grown-up. When my mom turned 18 years old in 1945, she was in Japan, just as World War II had come to an end; because she was a Mexican citizen, she was able to work in Tokyo, during the American occupation. It took her over three years to obtain a new passport to go back home, finally arriving in Mexico City in March of 1949. In the photo below, my mom as a young grown-up, in a company photo at her job at a pharmaceutical company in Mexico City, c.1950:
Favourite food: fried foods, especially breaded cutlets. This was a big revelation, because she rarely cooked them, declaring any food that had been buoyant in oil as extremely unhealthy. Maybe my recipe for Golden-Brown, Crispy, and Oil Free Baked Breaded Cutlets would have been a good compromise:
Favourite boyfriend: her response, and I quote “hee hee, I am not going to tell …” Wow, I guess I will never know! (FYI: in the company photo above, my dad is the third guy from the right; they met at work, and were married on July 15, 1951).
Favourite T.V. show: “¡ME VOY A COMER EL MUNDO!”, a gastronomical travelling show, which translates as “I am going to eat the world!” Below, one example, featuring Mexico City:
In some of my last visits to Mexico to see my mom, we got to watch many episodes together, while snacking on Mexican sweet bread. Click here for my recipe for Conchas and Chilindrinas, classic favourites amongst Mexican sweet breads:
Favourite country: Japan and Mexico. She could not make up her mind, she equally loved them both! This seems very appropriate for the month of May, celebrating Asian Heritage!
In Mexico, Mother’s Day is always celebrated on May 10. When I was a young grown-up and the last child living with my parents (I am the youngest of four siblings), at my mom’s request, I would go and get us a bucket of fried chicken with sides (KFC™ was the only brand in Mexico, known as Kentucky Fried Chicken at the time) … oh, her choice makes sense now (see favourite food answer). My mom and I always baked a cake together, as well. This year, my younger daughter is still abroad in France, as I have mentioned before, but her sister made it back from a year working in Japan just before this lockdown started, so we might try to recreate the menu from my youth this year (probably with a different kind of chicken, though.) I have to confess that even before the pandemic, we have always avoided crowds, usually getting take out and eating at home, anyways. On the other hand, Mother’s Day in France is celebrated on the last Sunday of May (except when it coincides with Pentecost Sunday, in which case it is moved to the first Sunday in June); this year, it will be on Sunday, May 30, so maybe I will score some (virtual) extra celebration with my other daughter!
Do you celebrate Mother’s Day? When is it celebrated in your country? My “Favourite Things” questionnaire could be a fun activity for Mother’s Day, or any time, really. Feel free to share your list of favourite things in the comments.
To all those wonderful mothers, grandmothers and motherly figures in our lives