When we last posted on Blue Willow Kitchen, it was August 2021; our Jersey tomato crop in Mom’s backyard garden had just peaked and we were having trouble finding takers for all of our Cherry, Roma, and Rutgers hybrid tomatoes.
Not long after that, Mom’s health began to rapidly decline. All options were spent and the decision was finally made that further treatments and surgeries were deemed more painful than just letting the cancer take its course… just in time for my husband and I to deliver the joyous news that our first child was finally expected in July.
Mom had every hope she would make it to July.
She passed away in early April. She never got to meet her grandson on Earth. She had fought an 11-year war with cancer, and the only battle cancer needed to win was the last one. I miss her every day, but I still hear her voice.
My sweet William arrived (a tad early but ready) at the end of June. All sweetness, gentle snuggles, and love from the moment they put him in my arms. (Then he peed on me but I guess that meant he felt safe and comfortable, right?) His Grandmamá would have called him a “lil sackah sugah.”
Today would have been her 63rd birthday. I would have pre-ordered her Ina Garten’s upcoming cookbook, taken her to tea at our favorite spot, make her her favorite birthday peach pie, and spent the day shopping for baby clothes, cooking curiosities, and vintage china and silver. Dad would have gasped at the receipts.
I’ve gotten plenty of waking hours to think about what
our my first post would be in this new chapter thanks to little Will. Blue Willow Kitchen is going to have to reinvent itself from being a mother-daughter foodie blog to being something else. Mom and I always wanted it to be more than just a foodie blog. For us, it was a record of family traditions and memories. We didn’t care how many followers we got, it was just our little corner of the Internet. The introductory non-recipe text (what Mom called the “narcissistic prattle” that always seems to go on forever in other foodie blogs amid pop ups and ads) was limited to one paragraph in our BWK posts. So thank you, dear reader, for making it this far.
So what is BWK going to be now that my mother is gone and I have a belching, snuggling, farting, cooing, drooling, absolutely adorable infant?
In the last couple months I’ve been reminded that one of the best family traditions I have actually has nothing to do with food, but instead is one of clever, warm, and intensely loving motherhood. So knowing that, BWK will carry on as a family archive, dedicated to all of the mothers who have had to figure it all out before me, creating new traditions along the way.
Beautiful Caroline. Carrying on the tradition of mothering is the most important thing.
A beautifully written follow-up to your last post. I so love the direction that you are taking. You have a lot of special memories, experiences, and recipes to share as well as the new ones we can’t wait to read about. For new mothers you will be a treasure. Love you!
I will continue to check this blog out! I know what great cooks you are …if only having mainly experienced Dina’s rendition of the recipes. Delish! Lots of love to you and the family.