Sunday 5 May 2013

My Mom and Melkkos

My mom, Marie.
A glass of milk. Obviously.

John Lennon's lyrics for Beautiful Boy are especially poignant to me now. 'Life is what happens to you while you're making other plans.' Or as my mom would say 'Man proposes and God disposes. 
I had fully intended being slightly self-obsessed with the launch of my book: I saw myself lapping up the attention (gratefully), basking in the glory (hopefully) and being unbearably smug (just a little bit). I was really looking forward to this whole book-author thing.
But things haven't quite worked out that way. And the reason I'm writing this is so that  you may understand my silence and forgive me for not having gotten back to you or acknowledged your recent kind emails and messages. You see, on the day of my book launch my mom was hospitalized. She had been chemo-weak and sick leading up to my book launch but she was determined that she would be there on the night. But she wasn't. Since the 8 April, she's been in and out of hospital. Those familiar with cancer know how this goes; despair and hope.  Tears and tests. Bargaining. Acceptance. Prayers and practicalities. I have been unable to think of anything else. It has been all-consuming. And some days during the last couple of weeks were harrowing.
It's better now.  My mom is slowly regaining that familiar fighting spirit. That's why I can write this. Because I am less frightened now than I was 10 days ago. Ten days ago I thought I'd lose her.
I can remember two things about this time, the one was making myself melkkos late one night, in desperation, while she was in the hospital having a brain scan and the other was lying on the couch on our stoep one warm night, my head on her lap while she sat up straight. We spent an hour looking at the beautiful silver full moon that night and talking softly. I don't recall what it was we spoke of. Because words didn't matter....


1/2 cup of flour
1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
Pinch of salt
3 cups of milk
Cinnamon stick.


Mix the sugar and cinnamon to make cinnamon. (Obviously)
Rub the butter and the flour between your fingers until it's all nice and crumbly.
Bring the milk with the cinnamon stick to boil
Slowly, bit by bit, add the butter / flour mixture to the warm milk, stirring gently all the while.
Reduce the heat of the milk, adding as much cinnamon sugar as you like or need.
And simmer for 5-7 minutes, while stirring gently. 
Remove the cinnamon stick from the melkkos.
Serve in a deep bowls with some more cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top.