Mom sure could cook
Mother’s family, named Monk, had deep roots in Massachusetts. One of her ancestors, Deborah Sampson Gannet, was a Revolutionary heroine – the only woman known to have enlisted and fought with the Continental Army against the British. Once her wartime exploits were done, Deborah settled in Sharon in 1784, where descendants of the family continued to reside for the next 175 years.
The family was middle-class but quite cultured. My mother graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston with a major in piano. She was a high-spirited, pretty woman, always cheerful, always humorous and, it seemed, always driving a laughing load of children in our family car. She gave piano lessons to half the children in town. In the evening, she played our grand piano, specializing in Liszt and Chopin.
Mother was also a fine cook, and I got my first hint that cooking might be an art form when she and her mother, Mrs. Laura D. White Monk, took over the restaurant at the Blue Hill Country Club in Canton, Mass. Though they didn’t produce gourmet fare by today’s standards – they were, after all, devout disciples of Fanny Farmer – I recall with a watering mouth their delicious poached chicken and crisp home-grown vegetables, followed by mouth-melting lemon meringue and mincemeat pies.
Editor’s note: This the 10th installment of the Vail Daily’s serialization of “Vail: Triumph of a Dream” by Vail Pioneer and Founder Pete Seibert. This excerpt comes from Chapter One, entitled “The New England Years.” The book can be purchased at the Colorado Ski Museum, as well as bookstores and other retailers throughout the Vail Valley.