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Ode to My Mother

May 7, 2011


You’re a shining example of how a mother should be. Though your humble nature would protest, I couldn’t think of a better way to thank you than to let the world see not only your outer beauty but also the ways you’re even more beautiful inside.  I don’t have your gift of poetry but I hope this will do.

Happy Mother’s Day.

  • To me, you’re all things lovely.  Your beauty is like a spring flower in full bloom.
  • But you’re also a rock for those of us who rely on your strength.
  • You’re the epitomy of simplicity and I know no one else who wears it as well as you do.

My mother in the middle with my grandmother and two aunts.

  • Your unspoken motto is family first; you’re loyal to those you love without being unreasonable.  Thank you for the times you’ve seen right through my “I’m right” attitude and for respectfully pointing out the error of my ways.
  • You’re never boastful, always quite content to let others shine.  You’re a listener and not a talker.  It’s part of what draws people to you–you’re a wellspring of other people’s secrets but they go no further.  Trustworthiness and integrity are my biggest aspirations because, by example, you’ve taught me they’re the the best qualities a person can possess.
  • You’re a private person, shy even.  But to the lucky who are able to see all sides of you, your childlike playfulness is infectious.

  • I’ve seen your fiery side, too.  Yes, I know my sisters sparked your flames more than I did 🙂 but I had my moments with you, too.  I will never forget how much you loathed when I, as a teenager, would roll my eyes (unintentional, really!) as I got reprimanded by you.  But as children a simple look from you would stop our nonsense.  Was it fear you incited? No, it was respect.  And you sure have that.
  • You’re on par with most of us who don’t have a perfect life but your grace and patience ARE a study in perfection.  How do you always manage to maintain a positive attitude and do the right thing when most of us struggle between right and wrong?

  • You’re not only my mother but you’re also my good friend.  I drink from your fountain of wisdom when I can find none from within.  You’ve always prescribed sage advice, though it took years for me to realize this.  Even now, whenever  I would admit to yielding to my own poor judgment, it’s still music to my ears to hear words of encouragement.  Thank you for never saying “I told you so”.
  • You’re a mother, friend, cheerleader, counselor, therapist all rolled into one and each day I learn from you.  And if people were to ever say, “You’ve turned into your mother”  it would be all right by me.  Thank you.

You were wondering why I asked about dessert yesterday.  Here’s a carrot cake just for you.  It’s simple, sweet and perfect…just like you.  Love you.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

* Cake adapted from America’s Test Kitchen and frosting from Joy of Cooking

For the Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound carrots (6 to 7 medium), peeled and grated
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed (3 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar (I used 3 ounces golden brown sugar)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups safflower, canola, or vegetable oil.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and adjust your oven rack to the middle position.  Spray two 8″ round cake pans with cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper.  Note that the ATK recipe uses a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
Whisk together the dry ingredients from the flour to the salt in a bowl and set aside.
Using a food processor, process the sugars with the eggs until they’re well combined and frothy, about 20 seconds.  Keep the machine running then drizzle the oil through the feed tube.  Process the mixture until it’s well emulsified, about 2o seconds longer after all the oil has been added.  Transfer the mixture into a large bowl and stir in the grated carrots and dry ingredients.  Make sure the mixture is incorporated well and no streaks of flour remain.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Rotate your pans halfway through the baking period.  Cool the cakes on a wire rack (in the pan) to room temperature.
For the Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cold cream cheese
  • 5 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • (Scant) two cups powdered sugar
Using a hand mixer, beat the top three ingredients together until well combined.  Gradually add the powdered sugar as you continue beating the mixture.
This will be enough to frost a two-layer cake.
39 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2011 1:00 PM

    Jean, what a loving tribute. She is so beautiful, just like you. And just like you, of course beautiful inside and out.

    I have been contemplating to write a Mother’s Day post. We shall see. I actually did scan a photo of my mom just in case it happens.

    Thank you for sharing!

  2. May 7, 2011 1:45 PM

    Such a sweet post and a lovely ode to your mom.

  3. May 7, 2011 2:00 PM

    Jean, This is so touching tribute to your mom. Love the vintage photographs they weave such a story of family and love. You are as beautiful and gentle as your mom!

  4. May 7, 2011 3:14 PM

    Such sweet words, a lovely tribute to your Mom, Jean.

  5. May 7, 2011 3:43 PM

    Such a sweet set of words to thank your mom. Well said and well done on the cake. The carrot cake looks amazing.

    We invite you to share this post and some of your favorite food posts on Food Frenzy.
    Please check out our community.

  6. May 7, 2011 4:03 PM

    You have such a beautiful mother. She is so lucky to have a daughter like you who appreciates her for everything that she is. I hope she likes your lovely carrot cake.

  7. May 7, 2011 6:10 PM

    Fabulous carrot cake (my favorite) AND lovely tribute to your mom. She is certainly a stunning woman…and glad she is a beautiful inside as out.

  8. May 7, 2011 7:18 PM

    What a lovely and beautiful letter. Your mom and your sisters and you are gorgeous – inside and out!!!

  9. May 7, 2011 8:06 PM

    If this is not poetry, I would not now what is! I think this is the loveliest tribute to a mom I have read in a long time. It’s so personal, so touching. This alone (and the little more I know of you) make me feel you have taken a lot from your mom. Happy mothers day to your mom!

  10. May 7, 2011 8:50 PM

    Aww… Jean! What a lovely post. You brought tears to my eyes… your tribute is so special. Lovely photos to go along with it, and the cake, well it’s just as beautiful as your Mom!

  11. May 7, 2011 9:24 PM

    What a lovely post Jean! You are lucky to have such a mother and your mother is lucky to have you! Thanks for sharing beautiful pictures and tasty looking cake!

  12. May 7, 2011 10:32 PM

    What a beautiful tribute to your mom, I’m sure she is so proud of you and it must melt her heart that you are sharing how you feel about her.

  13. May 7, 2011 11:10 PM

    Jean, that is a beautiful tribute to your mother. I used to roll my eyes when told off as well and it annoyed my mum no end too. I’m sure that carrot cake must have pleased her. Wonderful post!

  14. May 7, 2011 11:35 PM

    Very touching post! Happy Mother’s Day to yours and a slice of delicious cake to celebrate.

  15. May 8, 2011 2:27 AM

    You have a whole family of classic beauties, and who needs poetry when you can say it with cake!

  16. May 8, 2011 8:43 AM

    “And if people were to ever say, “You’ve turned into your mother” that would be all right by me. Thank you.”

    That sums it up right there. What a beautiful woman and role model. I am sure, Jean, that your mom is so proud of you and the woman you have become. It sounds like you have grown to be just like her 🙂

    What a beautiful tribute!

  17. May 8, 2011 9:23 AM

    Wonderful post. Beautiful cake. Cheers to all the wonderful mothers!!

  18. May 8, 2011 10:24 AM

    This is the best post I have ever read! And I love love love your photos!
    Thank you so much for sharing…. your mom is absolutely gorgeous!!

  19. May 8, 2011 11:50 AM

    Absolutely lovely! All of the old photos are gorgeous!

  20. May 8, 2011 3:33 PM

    lovely pictures what a lovely way to celebrate

  21. May 8, 2011 5:31 PM

    Beautiful post and lovely dessert:)

  22. May 8, 2011 5:43 PM

    Lovely post, your mommy must be proud. And the cake looks yummy.

  23. May 8, 2011 9:03 PM

    What a lovely tribute to your mother. And that carrot cake…oh my!

  24. May 8, 2011 10:07 PM

    Hi Jean, Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you and your family had a wonderful day. I can see where you get your beauty, both inside and out!!! Thank you for sharing this lovely tribute to your mom.

    Your carrot cake is looks so yummilicious! I love cream cheese frosting. What a great dessert to celebrate this special occasion! 🙂

  25. May 8, 2011 11:11 PM

    What a lovely carrot cake, and a beautiful tribute to your beautiful mother! Thanks for sharing all the nostalgia photos, now we know where you get your great sense of style from ;-).

  26. May 9, 2011 2:43 AM

    Thank you Jean for sharing this letter to your mom. Your mom is beautiful and so as you! It was a very lovely post. Your carrot cake is gorgeous too! Your mom must be very, very proud of you!

  27. May 9, 2011 8:37 AM

    What a touching post! And a great recipe too. Always love your photos.

  28. May 9, 2011 10:29 AM

    What an amazing ode to your mom! Beautiful! And I love the pictures! (And the cake :D)

  29. May 9, 2011 2:48 PM

    I could linger on this post all day long! So beautifully written and thanks for sharing those priceless photographs.

  30. May 9, 2011 9:20 PM

    Jean this is SO beautifully written and I had tears streaming down my face by the time I was done reading – it pulls my heart strings and makes me think of my own mother and how much I miss her!! I loved the writing, especially this part: “You’re not only my mother but you’re also my good friend. I drink from your fountain of wisdom when I can find none from within. You’ve always prescribed sage advice, though it took years for me to realize this. Even now, whenever I would admit to yielding to my own poor judgment, it’s still music to my ears to hear words of encouragement.”

    And the photos… each one is better than the previous one, and your family is truly *beautiful.* What a perfect post to celebrate your amazing mother.

  31. May 10, 2011 3:15 AM

    What a thoughtful gift to your mother, the post and the cake! I’m sure she will cherish this.

  32. May 10, 2011 12:56 PM

    What a beautiful post for your mom 🙂 I love the old pictures you used. Your cake looks delicious too.

  33. May 10, 2011 7:54 PM

    what a lovely post Jean, your ode brought tears to my eyes. lovely photos. your mom is beautiful.
    and the cake, delicious. thanks for sharing

  34. May 10, 2011 8:18 PM

    Hi Jean, I read your Mother’s Day post earlier and loved it but didn’t get a chance to comment, just wanted you to know that I enjoyed it, you shared some wonderful family photos. I’m sure your mom was thrilled;-)

  35. May 12, 2011 5:40 PM

    Such a lovely post and an even lovelier cake.

  36. May 14, 2011 9:16 AM

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments. 🙂 Just so you know, my mother was pleasantly surprised by this post and touched by your comments. 🙂

  37. May 16, 2011 11:10 PM

    A very touching tribute … and such a nice cake !
    Thank you for both things ! ;o)

  38. May 25, 2011 5:21 PM

    very beautiful!


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