My mother Ruth Schachter (née Nisse) in the garden of her flat in Primrose Hill, London UK, in 2014
I wrote this in 2002 when I was food editor for the Toronto Star. My dear mother, 95, died peacefully in her sleep a month ago on April 21, 2018
“Immaturity and hair dye keep me young.”
I’m repeating the title of this post for a few reasons: First, everything clever is worth repeating. It usually gets a good laugh – one of life’s giddiest pleasures, especially at my age. It’s true and unabashedly honest. It sums up what’s to follow – the announcement that I turn 70 in a few days. And last, it’s original.
This appeared as my column “Dish” in the Toronto Star in 2002.
Today is Mother’s Day and this is a tribute to the person who first inspired my love of food and cooking – my mum.
I call her “mum” because of the formative years – from age four to 19 – I spent living with my parents and two brothers in London, England.
My mother Ruth Schachter (nee Nisse), age 88, is one live-wire.
She reminds me (and others) of the cute little old lady in the original “Ladykillers” starring Alec Guinness and a young, dashing Peter Sellers. White-haired and blue-eyed, that sweet, seemingly innocent, slightly scatter-brained octogenarian is far more savvy than she looks. ‘Nuff said.
U.K. – In January, 2009, I wound up my annual trip to London to visit my mother with dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s newest restaurant York & Albany located at 127-129 Parkway in my favourite neighborhood, Camden Town.
When I was growing up, my job at dinnertime was to set the table and make the vinaigrette for a salad my nutrition-conscious mother served with each meal. It was your basic version: 2 to 3 parts olive oil to lemon juice or vinegar sometimes with a little mustard whisked in, salt, pepper and, mum always insisted, a good pinch of sugar.
Whenever I cross the ocean to visit my mother in her lovely North-West London neighbourhood of Primrose Hill, we set out for dinner on our first or second night together to the wondrous nearby Greek restaurant called Limonia. Always packed, it is a local favourite with celebs and regular folk alike.
Marion Kane has been a leader in the world of food journalism for a few decades. She is an intrepid populist whose work combines social commentary with a consuming passion for all things culinary. For 18 years, she was food editor/columnist for Canada's largest newspaper: the Toronto Star. She lives in Toronto's colourful Kensington Market and is currently a free-wheeling freelance food sleuth®, podcaster, writer and cook.