Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ode To A Date Roll

I just read my sister's blog (she doesn't write very often, but when she does, it always makes me smile).   It's been a difficult time for our family these last few months as my dad's health has declined.   My mother has been a rock.  When I grow up I want to be just like her.  My sister was reminiscing about some of her childhood memories - in particular, Christmas memories.   We both have a ton of really great Christmas memories.   The one, however, that my sister recounted this morning was about date rolls.   You see, every year at Christmas my mother would make a delicious date roll.   And it was perfection.  My sister loves to bake, and tries to recreate this date roll every Christmas, and she says she mostly fails (I don't believe her!).  This year, though, I think in honor of our mother, she was determined to make it perfectly.   Just like mom did.  I don't think it worked out so well.

ODE TO A DATE ROLL (by Emma's daughter, who cannot make a date roll to save her life)
The color's not right, it tastes like a shoe.
I honestly, truly, don't know what to do.
I went to the store, bought all the right stuff,
And yes, I'm pretty sure I bought quite enough.
I carted my groceries out of my car,
Into the house and onto the bar.

I got out the thermometer, the pot, and the spoon.
I knew that the grandsons would both be home soon.
And, oh, they would marvel.  They'd oooh and they'd aahh
At this wonderful creation as soon as they saw.
But what did they see when they walked in the door?
My pot and my spoon and myself on the floor.
I give up, I give up I said in a state
You can all go fishing and use it as bait.
So now I give up, I won't do it again,
At least til next year when, who knows, I might win

My sister can't make a date roll to save her life, I can't write a poem to save my life.  So, I stole hers.  Cherish your families, with all their imperfections.  They are the greatest Christmas gift ever!

Mom - - we love you.


  1. That's so funny. I think it is the love and memories that make your mom's 'date rolls' and the like so perfect. The recipe is only half the magic.

  2. If you can't write a poem to save your life, then who is the "guest poet?" A tip of the Christmas stocking to her. I submitted a piece to the Observer, our community paper here in Northern Mendocino County, that was originally entitled, "The Degree of Cremation," one of my "Christmas Reflections" which dealt with Christmas morning itself in my childhood. My mom always made this outrageous cinnamon coffee cake, but in the rush of things it sometimes was in the oven a smidgen too long. We gave her a hard time, but she had to stand guard over it to make sure it made it through until breakfast.

  3. Mark, the guest poet is my sister, the one who tries so hard every year to get that date roll right, but never quite seems to hit the mark.

    "Degree of Cremation" sounds great! I just think it's so fun to think back to childhood . . .
    A couple of years ago my sisters, brother and I wrote down all of our memories from our childhood. I compiled it all in a nice little book and gave it to my parents for Christmas. They loved it. Best Christmas present ever . . . and it was so fun to do!

  4. Looks scrumptious! And I loved the poem. I agree with Tamera, sometimes the memory makes things even better than they are.
    (I hope your dad is ok and that you all have a happy and peaceful Christmas.)

  5. You are so right! Cherish the families! I always feel sorry for those people who are estranged from siblings and/or parents. What happened there? I feel so fortunate that my sibs remain my best friends. It's not that we see each other all that often - we really don't - but we are strongly connected and I have always known that I can call any of them for help if I need it. And, I know that I would be there in a flash if any of them needed me.

  6. Jewels - thanks, I don't think my dad will get better, but we have a strong family, so . . .

    sebtown - you're right. Family is everything. Geographically I'm not close to any of my siblings. But like you and yours, we can count on each other to be there for one another. Nothing better than that :)

  7. I wrote twelve "Christmas Reflections" beginning at the end of October, and then I did another eleven on "The Christmas Box" a cardboard box, upon which I wrote an annual message, addressed to next year's Christmas. I took many of those inscriptions and wrote a piece on each of them. I have one more to go. And you are right about my mom loving those pieces, and more importantly, the comments from her nine children. So Christmassy.

  8. What a wonderful verse
    it could have been worse
    the date roll might have been
    a total no win
    never fear
    there's always next year

  9. best wishes to you and your family

  10. Last year, my Mom gifted my sisters and I with the recipes of our favorite Christmas cookies that she makes. I haven't tried to make mine yet; I know they won't be "just like Mom's". Luckily, she sent some home with the kids last night!

  11. thank you, anni - - I love seeing Belgium through your lens! It's beautiful!

    Michelle, I think there are just some things that only mom can make :) I bet you have your claim to fame, too. Something your children will always remember!