Mother’s Day is always a little bittersweet for me. While I’m so proud to be a mother to two wonderful sons, it also reminds me of how few Mother’s Days that I had with my own mother.
Having lost my mother at an early age, Mother’s Day is now a day to celebrate all the women in my life who offered me guidance and love—my mother, grandmothers, and my Aunt Peggy. All of these women helped shape the woman I am today, and they all shared traditions with me that I now share with my own children and grandchildren.
Of course, many of the traditions I know and love happened in the kitchen. In fact, were it not for those traditions, I wouldn’t have what I do today. I learned how to make fried chicken from my Grandmother Paul, and that very fried chicken was the foundation of The Lady & Sons. Y’all have probably heard of my lace hoecakes, too. I learned those from my mother. She made those beautiful lace hoecakes with every meal, and they’re something I now make for my family.
Of course, I can’t forget my Grandmother Paul’s Japanese fruit cake that she made every Christmas dinner. Now, it was neither Japanese nor the traditional fruit cake most think of, but boy, was it good. Full of spices, citrus zest, raisins, and nuts, it brings me back to those Christmases past with my family. For years, I actually continued this tradition before starting my own tradition of making a coconut layer cake. And every year, I make that coconut cake—I shudder to think about the reactions of my hungry family members should I skip a year!
And coming off of Easter, no tradition is closer to my heart than making those beautiful Easter baskets for my children and now grandchildren. It’s like Christmas mornin’ seeing them tear into their baskets to see what’s inside—candy, toys, games, and more. I have my dear Aunt Peggy to thank for this tradition. Having owned a toy house with Uncle George, she always offered the most beautiful handmade gift baskets for her customers. And I was lucky enough to learn from her when Jamie and Bobby were young. This is definitely one tradition that isn’t going anywhere.
My hope as a mother is that Jamie and Bobby will adopt some of my traditions and make them their own for their families as I did for mine. Are there any traditions passed down from the special women in your life that you’ve either made your own or continue to this day? I’d love to hear them and have you reminisce along with me.
Love & best dishes,