Mom is definitely it for me. She started my love of food, but she didn’t do much to encourage my cooking. She comes from the old school where men aren’t allowed into the kitchen. Years ago I announced to her that I had started baking bread. Her response: "Oh really …. with yeast?" She has since learned to share the kitchen with me and has come around to accepting my wife’s non-cooking ways.
Mom is 74 now. She lives alone but is still independent. She was in a bad car accident a year ago and she can’t get around as well as she used to, but when I visit she’s transformed into a 40 year old housewife again. She knows all of my old favorites by heart. I try to approach each meal with her as if it may be our last one together.