There is something almost outlandishly generous about the act of offering away the best of something — we humans are so innately selfish — rather than keeping it for yourself. And it was always like that with her: whoever has the good fortune of sitting at her side at a meal will be offered something from her plate — but only if it’s so delectable that it cannot be missed. She would allow herself only a piece of the second best peach, the subpar pear, the plum that needed another day, so that her company might taste the very best fruit. It was like that with everything, really: the perfect morsel of lobster claw that slid from its pincer shell. Anything that took effort, that might be messy but whose taste was a reward — she would do the dirty work and turning to me, give it away. … These were delights harvested or prepared especially for me. There was a knowingness in it, though, as if she were saying, ‘I’ve been here before. I’ve sipped the ambrosia. It’s tour turn now.’ I do wonder whether this is typical of motherhood or of the love that attends that role. I can’t yet venture an opinion, but I suspect the impulse is more driving in my mom’s case than in most.
from Always Home: a daughter's recipes and stories,
by Fanny Singer
I just started this lovely book, which just arrived from the library, for my Kindle, months after I put it on reserve. (All things to be grateful for.) Fanny Singer's mother is Alice Waters, of Chez Panisse, nnd her book is filled with food (of course) and love,
The painting is Still Life (Table with Bowl of Fruit), by Pierre Bonnard