The house is old but well kept, the walls wiped down top to bottom and the dining table and kitchen curtains always freshly laundered. The cook can prepare your meals, even lunchboxes for a fee. I stock deli meats and fruits in my allotted space at one of three refrigerators or eat out mostly.
I get to enjoy home cooking when I go home weekends or when Mommy, as I call Lola Chocolate (a moniker bestowed by her grandchildren because she is fond of chocolates and has a personal ref stocked full for sharing), invites me to dine with her.
She is the kindly, advise dispensing, warm, cheerful and proper
I make her laugh, and we endlessly reminisce about how her husband wooed her and she would always tell me to find the right guy, not to think about settling “for” but of settling down. You have to speak up a bit, because she is hard of hearing.
We had great times together, Mommy and I, talking and laughing at her dining table - always set for a soup to dessert course, cloth napkins and table linen, natch! None of those vinyl, faux fabric. We are forever discussing the menu for her family’s monthly dinner party.
These tea things are ours. They remind me of Lola Chocolate's display at the formal dining table, which she opens to us for special occasions like Australia bound Anna's despedida and Jeanette's birthday. She also drinks tea from cups, no mug in sight. It was us barbaric boarders who drink from coffee mugs hehehe.
Dessert is fruit for breakfast and lunch, sugar free wafers for snack time, a few pieces of Cadbury Chocettes after dinner. She is allowed some ice cream when her sugar count is manageable. Whatever she had, I get extra. I can’t refuse. I am always stuffed!
Over the years, she would sometimes forget who I was but will stuff me with chocolates still. In the middle of our bantering, she would suddenly remember and we would laugh about her “senior moment”. Her cheery disposition is only marred by her being wheelchair bound and how sad it is that the only thing left to enjoy in her doddering age is food but she can’t have anything or as much as she wanted.
I have brought her cakes and brownies I made with just one cup of sugar and she would laugh at my attempts to invent ampalaya cake with honey frosting for her.
That day I said goodbye to
At home, I made a small chocolate cake spiked with three tablespoons of rum.
I iced the warm cake (yep) with Finetti cocoa and hazelnut spread and went nuts! I thinned some of the pasty spread with a little water in a pan over low heat until it looked syrupy. I drizzled it over the cake.
I ate a slice in honor of
who I pray is watching over me from her place in chocolate heaven. : )