Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Oh the Moms We Know

Mother's Day is almost upon us, and I'm going to talk about all the women I call "Mom", think of as "Mom", and admire like a mom.  

Mom 1: The Natural
This woman taught me how to use a glue gun.  This mom instilled in me the importance of awesome birthday cakes and theme parties (hello toilet paper princess party 1995!).  She's the reason I have a [partial] green thumb, love coffee in the morning, and strive to make everything beautiful and vibrant.  My scout leader, story teller, cookie baker, confidant, voice of reason, and example of the strong woman I have always tried to be.  She is my first and natural mother, and though she's far away, we pick up the phone and it's like she just left my house and we're talking like absolutely no time has passed at all.  She is my home.

Mom 2: The Chosen One
I'd no idea what it would be like to have multiple moms.  None.  Maybe you know what it's like, and now I certainly can say I do.  This mom is a dancer, jiver, and rug-cutter.  She is independent and articulate.  Assertive in her convictions.  She's the mom who opened her heart to my brother and I without question.  She has taught me that you should always have your guests favorite wine chilling in the fridge when they come over.  She impressed upon me that we don't have to be perfectly pleasing all the time - sometimes you're in jeans and a t-shirt and if your friends come over and don't like it, then tough sh*t - you've been working in the garden all day.  Lastly, I've learned her guest bathroom will always be stocked with anything I could possibly ever need.  Seriously.  I bet there are Twix candy bars in there if I want them badly enough.

Mom 3: The Second in Command
This beautiful woman has been present for my entire life.  One time, I confused her with my real mother because they looked like twins for so long.  Surrounded by things and those that make her happy, I've learned that sometimes the hell you're going through is just necessary in life, and if you don't keep going, you won't know where you could end up on the other side.  She's taught me most of the time plan A won't work out; life is all about how you handle plans B,C,D, and E.  This woman has been a source of understanding without coddling, and has told me things I've needed to hear without any hint of sugar coating.  It's to make me better.  It's to show she cares.  And without her I wouldn't know what truly amazing seafood tastes like, what a dream a secluded beach can be, or how funny southern women truly are.  And I've learned the first time someone shows you who you are, believe them.

Mom 4: The Future Fourth
This mom and I have only begun to scratch the surface of knowing each other, but already she has opened up her home and her heart to me.  She's whip smart, pragmatic, and I love her silly side.  First and foremost, she brought my future wife into this world and for that I am truly grateful.  I've begun baking gluten-free and have pushed myself to think outside the box when it comes to the fares I feed her.  Her belief in her daughters strengths inspires my life tremendously.  I cannot wait to be officially in the same family with this mom.

So this Sunday, when you're loving up on your mom, think of all the things she's taught you.  Maybe she showed you how to make pizza dough.  Maybe she taught you how to prepare for an interview.  Or maybe she just taught you the difference between right and easy.  Thank her and feed her cake.

Almond Poppy Seed Bundt Cake with Berry Glaze
Slightly adapted from Joy the Baker.

For the Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

For the Glaze:
1/4 cup frozen blueberries, thawed and drained but not rinsed
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons buttermilk

*preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. butter and flour a 10" bundt pan*

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vinegar, and almond extract.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture all at once.  Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined and smooth.  Fold in the poppy seeds.  Bake the cake for 35-45 minutes, when a long skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  

Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn out on to the rack to finish cooling before adding the glaze.  

To make the glaze, mash the blueberries with the back of a wooden spoon until all of the juice has been released.  Push the mixture through a sieve into a small bowl, allowing some of the blueberry skins to push through (they add great visual appeal).  Whisk the juice with the rest of the ingredients, adjusting the buttermilk/powdered sugar until you get the consistency you want.  It should be slightly runny.  

Pour the glaze over the bunt cake, letting it drip and dribble all down the inside and outside. Let set for several minutes and then serve to the wonderful women in your life.


  1. That is about the most beautiful thing I have ever read, and spot on in every way. Love you, K-bird!