That’s my mom in the photo below (with me in her lap). Her name is Toni.
I look at that photo and it makes my heart swell and my eyes well up. It looks like bliss and loss, a good season that has given way to time and change. Of course time and change are welcome, but sometimes it’s good to remember.
Someone snapped that shot when my mom and I were a two girl show, as we were until she remarried when I was twelve. Good times, those. I remember sunny days at Shasta Lake swimming with our dogs, road trip vacations – a favorite, to visit San Francisco friends whose apartment had a closet stairway that lead to the roof (I thought I’d found the CS Lewis Wardrobe) – and slumber party birthdays with as many friends as I cared to invite.
And I like to think of her.
Looking back now, I realize that she was lonely. She didn’t have a husband to help her, but filled the roll of both parents so fully that I never felt lack. She supported us on a shoestring, but made me feel rich. She was a mystery to her parents, a sheltered child turned hippy. She regarded me as her friend and instilled more confidence in me than is realistic. She walked me down the aisle. Her smile is big, her heart is bigger.
I thought of her as I made these pretty popsicles. They’re just her style – sweet, but not cloyingly so; tart, but not sour; softly floral, but not overbearing.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom – you mean the world to me.
- 1 1/2 cups Rhubarb & Rosewater Syrup see headnote
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 20 fresh red raspberries
- mint leaves optional
- rose petals optional
Stir syrup and water together in a pitcher with a pour spout. Taste the liquid; if it's too strong, add a bit more water. If it's too weak, add more syrup.
Place two raspberries in the bottoms of 10, 2-ounce shot glasses (or other popsicle molds - see note above). Add mint leaves and rose petals as desired.
Pour syrup mixture over raspberries, filling each shot glass to 1/4" below the rim. Arrange glasses in a steep sided baking dish and CAREFULLY transfer them to the freezer (one or two of them tipping over is likely to induce f-bombs - not that I would know).
After about an hour, carefully remove the dish from the freezer and insert the popsicle sticks at least halfway down the partially frozen pops. If the sticks don't want to stay upright, you can freeze them a bit longer and try again or (as I did) stretch a piece of scotch tape across the rim center adhering it to the sides of the glass and the stick. Return to the freezer.
When the pops are frozen hard and you're ready to eat them, remove from freezer and run the mold briefly under warm water to loosen the popsicle. Gently wiggle and twist the stick as you lift.