Each Mother’s Day, I reflect on the women who have helped influence and shape who I have become. I learned about patience, kindness and devotion to family from my own mother, who no doubt inherited those precious gifts from my beloved grandfather.
Passion, leadership and dedication to community were characteristics gleaned from my late grandmother. My grandmother was someone to admire. She was stubborn as an ox (she was NEVER, EVER wrong), feisty, smart, beautiful, a loyal and devoted friend and, in a word, loved.
She was, without a doubt, my guidepost for life. I admire her tenacity, her dedication, her leadership skills and her deep devotion to faith, family and friends. The fact that my grandmother was the first female president of a Conservative congregation is something I brag about to this day. She never let any barrier stand in her way.
And while my grandmother is remembered for all those things and more, she is also undoubtedly remembered for “Grandma’s Eggplant.” The story, as she told it to me, describes her personality to a tee. While at a wedding, she tasted an eggplant dip that she instantly fell in love with. Rather than simply enjoy it, Grandma Ruth marched into the catering kitchen and demanded the recipe. And…they gave it to her!
From that day on, we had this dish coming out of our ears. She was constantly making it, freezing it and shipping it to her children and grandchildren. Our freezers were so full of these ridiculous margarine tubs filled with her eggplant dish that we started getting concerned about how much margarine she must have been consuming to acquire so many tubs. I’m pretty sure she had a deal with the local recycling center—no one could consume that much margarine.
Fortunately, she wrote down the original recipe and gave it to me at my wedding shower. I’ve kept it safe in a box since then. This Mother’s Day, I will pass that recipe along to my daughters. We will reminisce about Bubbe and enjoy the eggplant. I’m sure there won’t be any leftover to store in a margarine tub, but we’ll make it again soon.