Remi Fonseca Bauer
49, Gaithersburg, teacher and church musician
Twenty-seven years ago, my family hosted my bridal shower. On the surface, it was like any other, but just below, it was laced with sadness and uncertainty. As the fourth daughter among five children, I was doing something few New Orleanians considered back then: I was moving away from my beloved home town to Maryland, where a job awaited my husband.
In the midst of the pile of gifts, I stopped short, choking back tears at the sight of a basket filled with kitchen utensils.
I remember feeling as if everyone was watching my reaction to the offering before me, their own eyes brimming. Among the measuring cups and shiny spatulas stood my mother’s wooden roux spoon. It had been with her since she had been a bride some 30 years prior, and had become darkened and worn at a sharp angle. Thousands of pots filled with gumbo, gravies and sauces had spiced this spoon, and now it was mine.
It still sits in the canister next to my stove, though used more sparingly now for fear the developing crack will grow. The spoon has flavored many a meal, and my own children have mastered the art of making a roux, just as I did so long ago.
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