Grab the tissues y'all—you're going to need them after you see this Instagram account. What My Mother Made (WMMM) is an entire Insta feed dedicated to celebrating the memory of our moms and the foods they fed us when we were kids. Creator Marie Saba says, "The WMMM account is a space to just love your mother, for all that she was and all that she wasn't. Maybe she cooked from scratch or maybe she 'burnt water'—either way, it doesn't matter. What matters is that your mother did the best she could with what she had at the time and that in and of itself something to be celebrated."
Saba said she was inspired by a visit to the hospital to visit her childhood best friend's mother. "I hadn't seen her mother in 15 years and, given the gravity of the situation, wasn't sure if I would see her again. Above all, I wanted her mom to feel loved and appreciated…to know that she did a good job as a mother and how grateful I was to have her and her daughter in my life."
When Saba arrived, she wasn't sure what to say, so she said the first thing that came to mind: "Martha, I remember your chicken spaghetti." The trio spent the better part of the afternoon reminiscing about cookies and tea, baked chicken, and Spanish rice.
After that visit, Saba started What My Mother Made and invited her followers to share their own memories. The feed is filled with sweet remembrances, old photos, and the love of moms' cooking.
"My mother worked full time and went to school at night for most of my childhood, and times were tough," Ellie Krieger shares in a post on the account. "The dishes I remember most vividly are those she served at parties in our small apartment in Queens."
Krieger describes her mom's deviled egg recipe, complete with a "decorative sprinkle" of paprika. "She told me only recently that deviled eggs were something her grandmother used to make for her whenever she requested them as a child, an act which made her feel deeply loved and attended to," she writes. "Looking back, I see now that she was tapping into that love and sense of giving whenever she made deviled eggs for her guests. Maybe that's why I favor them so much myself."
Creator Saba says her favorite part of running the account is the love she feels through the memories she shares. "How the memories make me feel. Each time I read a story, I feel so much love for humanity. There aren't a lot of stories in the news that make me feel that way, so it's truly a blessing to read about how all these mothers loved their children, and how the children remember that love," she explains. But let's not forget those amazing family photos!
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"The old pictures—so simple and raw, taken long before iPhone filters and photoshop existed," said Saba. "My hope is that the pictures on WMMM are a refreshing change to the unreality of heavily curated Instagram feeds."
Nicole Berrie, of Instagram account @bonberi, said that her mom was always cooking when she was little. "Whether it was a bubbling Korean seaweed soup on the stove, mung bean pancakes or rice and seaweed 'kim bap,' food was definitely my mother's love language," she writes. "We felt comforted and safe when we were home because there was always something cooking."
"Whenever I was sick or feeling off, my mom would make seaweed soup, a very simple, simple dish that just fed my soul and immediately made me feel home," Berrie writes. "After I had my son, she made it for me every day for a month, which is a Korean tradition to help heal new mothers. It's traditionally served in a steel bowl with a steel spoon. I never make it myself because part of nourishing aspect is the love my mother puts into it but I hope to make it for my kids."
Saba tries to post every single memory she receives, so if you'd like to contribute or share a special memory of a dish your mom made when you were a kid, get in touch via her IG page.