My favorite picture of me with my mom

Twice a year. That’s how often my mom would make her almond twists. Christmas and Easter. Using her refrigerated roll recipe, she’d douse the dough with a bit of melted butter and then almond paste, twist, then bake. Sometimes, she’d drizzle them with a powdered sugar icing spiked with maple syrup or just a dab of almond extract. But I was always content just eating them plain.

Around the Christmas holiday I asked my mom for the recipe. “Oh, it’s simple, Kris,” she explained. And then she went through the steps. I made the twists following her directions. They didn’t taste right at all. They were okay. My husband said they were good. But they weren’t mom’s.

You’ll notice I’m not linking to any recipe–or including any. There are just some recipes that only mom can

That's me with the Easter bunny. And yes, I was scared.

make. And some foods that taste best tucked in with faded memories. So many of my childhood memories revolve around being with my mom in the kitchen. I’ve gotta say it: My mom is a fabulous cook. No internet, no blogs, no Food Network, just a few well-worn cookbooks led to crisp lemon chicken baked in a clay pot. Mounds of chocolate cookies that she would make in big batches so she could freeze some for a rainy day. Strawberry-spinach salad. Golden challah bread. Honey butter. Almond twists.

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom, who I don’t get to see often enough. And motherhood. I enjoyed reading through other moms’ thoughts on the real joys of motherhood pulled from comments on Motherboard. My favorite has to be finding purpose in my life.

Your turn: What are some of your favorite baking memories with your mom? Or maybe you want to share your thoughts on the real joys of motherhood?

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