Once when I was a teenager I visited my mom at her job in the kitchen of the Sheraton Tara. I was shocked to find her standing at the end of the line, prepping salads and sticking toothpicks into rows of club sandwiches. Here was a woman who could make her own pasta, lasagna from scratch, hand-rolled gnocchi -- everything we now refer to as artisan peasant food. She told me with admiration in her voice that the head chef was educated.
The years at the salad station really did a number on my mom's feet. Every weekend before Mass she'd bend down and squeeze them into her best pair of dress shoes. Like the black pumps she's wearing in this photo, powdered with the flour from Sunday's raviolis.