This is why I refused to die

Toward the end of the evening, Dominick ceremoniously brought out his glorious special dessert, which he makes every year for the party, a mound of croquembouche: pastry cream–stuffed profiteroles piled high into a cone-like mound and linked with crunchy strands of caramel. My mother was the only other person I knew who ever made them (every Halloween, while most kids got Snickers and jelly beans from the neighbors, my mom made croquembouche, and that’s what she passed out to the small ghosts and princesses and aliens who knocked on her apartment door). As Dominick approached with the tray, my mom took one of the doughy balls very carefully with her left hand—her right hand and most of her right side were basically still useless at this point—and bit into it. I remember the look on her face as the taste resonated, and I watched her lick a dab of the custard that had settled on her upper lip. Our eyes met and, although she didn’t utter a word, I knew what she was saying to me: This is why I refused to die.

~ Peter Gethers, My Mother’s Kitchen: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and the Meaning of Life 

Photo: Mary Mary Culinary with Croquembouche (Caramel glazed pate a choux filled with passion fruit curd and vanilla pastry cream)


  1. That sounds like a good reason to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So many reasons – all of them delicious in one way or another

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I would like to add letter “t” to this blog title… This is why I refuse to dieT 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This post elicited a flashback for me to my grandmother’s homemade cream pies–coconut, banana, and chocolate–which appeared on the table at every big family gathering. Swoon worthy!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can’t think of a better reason. Looks delicious enough to keep you here for a long time.☺

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So sad and so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. such beautiful passion and strength

    Liked by 1 person

  8. carolwelshphotography says:

    Awww…sweet, in more ways than one. 🙂 And a little bit sad too. My mom turned 85 this year and I find myself thinking many times of what she must feel. And I’m next in line now. I was just thinking the other day about what I want to see most, why I hope I live a long time. It’s to see what my children and grandchildren become…I want to be around and I really want to see. And then there are the sunsets, and the trees, the flowers, and on and on. Anyway, melancholy feelings abound and posts like this one take me there. Sweet and sad.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Too many places to see, people to meet, delicious foods to eat…to make that pause the final one.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. roseanne333 says:

    Loved this.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautiful writing! I’m hungry. 🍰🎂🍧

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I make these. They are fun to make. You can buy the profiteroles (they call ’em cream puffs) at Walmart, then just melt some sugar and, um, follow your dream.
    Made one for my daughters wedding, and I like to make them for fundraiser bake sales too. They are always a big hit. Had one go for 150 bucks one time, and it was just a little one.
    You can make them smaller still, like just 6 puffs stacked for an individual plating for a nice dinner party. Set it on a nice Raspberry sauce. garnish with the spun sugar, shaved chocolate, and an edible flower. Just follow your dream!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My mom too had a unique technique for baking toll house cookies. How she got them to stand tall and not lay flat after baking is a mystery that has passed with her. Appealing to the eye and palate.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: