Favorite Things

This week, my usual space of words and recipes feels oddly hollow. The silence here reflects a much deeper quietude in my life, one that casts a long shadow over even the most brightly lit kitchen. My mom, the person who first taught me the magic of flour and fire, the alchemy of ingredients and emotions, is no longer here.

Marly and her mom

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I know this is a blurry photo, but I love this shot. Every time my mom called, this was the photo that popped up. It was a family day at Worlds of Fun here in Kansas City. I’m pretty sure we were on the Zambezi Zinger roller coaster.

Saying Goodbye to My Mom

It might seem strange to some, this connection between my mother and my blog. After all, I’m vegan. She was an omnivore. But to understand one is to understand the other — it was in her apron-clad embrace that I discovered the power of creation, the satisfaction of accomplishment, and the quiet joy of sharing something made with love.

Some of my earliest memories of my mom are of her in the kitchen. I’d sit there, a small child with flour-dusted cheeks, watching her hands knead dough, chop vegetables, and stir steaming pots with a practiced flick of her wrist.

In those moments, the kitchen wasn’t just a room; it was a universe. Each dish a story, each bite a memory.

My mom used to make this dish she called, Creamed Eggs on Toast. She’d make gravy and boil eggs. She’d add the boiled egg whites to the gravy. and mash the boiled egg yolks. Then we’d serve the gravy over toast with sprinkles of the mashed egg yolks on top.

I swear, one of these days, I will create a vegan version.

My mom in the kitchen, especially for big family holiday feasts, was a thing. I loved finding ways to make her laugh or smile as we prepared the dinners together. She lived a hard life and I made it my mission to make things better…at least when I could.

I learned from my mom by osmosis, soaking up the unspoken lessons of patience, precision, and the sheer joy of making something from scratch. It was a language whispered in the clinking of spoons, the sizzle of onions, the soft sighs of rising dough.

So, as I navigate this new landscape of grief, I am finding the familiar rhythm of the kitchen offers a strange solace. Each recipe, a whispered conversation with her, a way to keep her memory alive in the very place where she first ignited my passion.

My mom wrote me a poem once. This is what it said:

What a wonderful daughter you are,
You understand what I need from afar.
You encourage and inspire, to believe
That we can elevate our lives
And give a vision that we can be
More, than we ever thought before.

What I loved even more was her note explaining the poem:

  1. You work hard. You picked up the leaves for me; vacuumed the floor; helped me understand how to input on an iPhone. You took me to the doctor…and many more things.
  2. Understood and drove me to Dallas [for a family gathering]. So forgiving of my not getting around.
  3. Is it any wonder that Adee has achieved? I only wish I could have had a mother like you.
  4. I wrote some poems and you had me believing I could be a world-class writer. I have to say, oh well, it was kind of fun.

How sweet is that!

So, even as her health declined over the years, and her needs grew more and more, she always smiled and giggled when I came to see her. She would giggle so much we could hardly get a word in edgewise. It was adorable.

Everyone deserves to be celebrated like that. I only hope she knew how much I celebrated her.


The last week of my mom’s life was so intense with my sister and me (and others in the family) sitting vigil with her day and night. After she passed, I spent my days intentionally quiet.

Giving myself immense space and time didn’t feel like an indulgence, but a sacred necessity. There were, of course, calls to make, and affairs to finalize.

Today I am experiencing a bittersweet peace, recognizing the fading of Mom’s physical strength, and that the quality of her life had dimmed. I can accept that her suffering has finally found its rest.

I remind myself that self-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s important to take the time and space to grieve, to process, to simply be. Every journey is unique, and every healing deserves respect and tenderness.


Try Audible Premium Plus and Get Up to Two Free Audiobooks

The Family Game — Catherine Steadman is one of my favorite authors. She is about the ONLY author I know of who can narrate her own book. That’s because she’s a professional actress too. Her narration skills are spellbinding. This book is really good and kept me intrigued until the end. There were a couple of plot twists that raised an eyebrow, but overall it is a very good book.


We made time for TV this month, and here are some favorites:

  • For All Mankind (Apple TV+). We are watching the final season of this show and it’s been pretty good. A little farfetched at times, but overall entertaining.
  • Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (Apple TV+). This is a pretty good show, for a Godzilla series. We kept commenting on how the actor playing the young version of Lee Shaw looked so much like Kurt Russell (who plays the older Lee Shaw), and then we discovered it was his son. It’s an entertaining series.

Reader Spotlight

Here’s a review of my yummy Vegan Black Bean Brownies recipe. You feel a little better about eating brownies when there are healthy black beans involved.

Reader Reviews

I made these tonight and l have to say, these are phenomenal. It’s sort of miraculous that they can transform into such a tasty treat. Perfect amount of sweetness, perfect crunch on the top, perfect moistness. Not rubbery. I think these are better than most regular brownies I’ve had.

A stack of vegan black bean brownies has chocolate chips sitting around it.

Recently On Namely Marly

Here are some of the recent posts published this last month:

Vegan Red Velvet Cookies

These vegan red velvet crinkle cookies are colorful cookies infused with chocolate chips. With only a few ingredients, they're so easy to prepare too!
Vegan Red Velvet Cookies Recipe
Looking down on vegan Red Velvet Cookies stacked with more cookies all around them.

Vegan Split Pea Soup

This split pea vegan soup recipe is loaded with delicious flavors, fiber, and protein. It may be a bowl of comfort food, but it's also a guilt-free nutritious meal that you'll come back to time and time again!
Vegan Split Pea Soup Recipe
Looking down on a bowl of vegetarian split pea soup with a spoon in it.

Vegan Beer Bread Recipe

Indulge in the rich and buttery goodness of our Vegan Beer Bread. This delightful recipe combines the simplicity of plant-based ingredients with the depth of flavor from beer. Perfectly paired with stews, soups, or enjoyed on its own, this bread is amazing. Elevate your culinary experience with our easy and delicious Vegan Beer Bread – a true delight for every palate.
Vegan Beer Bread Recipe Recipe
A slice of plant-based beer bread sits in front of the rest of the loaf.

Vegan Protein Powder Pancakes

Craving a protein-packed breakfast that's 100% plant-based and oh-so-delicious? These Vegan Protein Powder Pancakes are a game-changer. Serve them with your favorite toppings!
Vegan Protein Powder Pancakes Recipe
A stack of pancakes has peanut butter and chocolate chips on top.

Meal Plan

Here’s a 7-day meal plan starting on Monday with savory meals during the week and breakfast/sweet treats on the weekend:

Monday: Day 1 — Easy Garlic Confit Angel Hair Pasta is comfort food in a bowl.

Tuesday Day 2 — These Fried Tofu Sandwiches are easy to make, loaded with plant-based protein, and perfect served with your favorite sauces.

Wednesday Day 3 — We regularly make this Vegan Split Pea Stew in the winter.

Thursday Day 4 — This Vegan Jackfruit Pot Roast may sound like a Sunday dinner meal, but it’s easy enough to make during the week and is real home-style cooking made plant-based.

Friday Day 5 — These Air Fried Impossible Burgers are perfect to serve on weeknights. While you’ve got the air fryer going, don’t forget to add some air-fried french fries, too.

Saturday Day 6

Sunday Day 7

Meal Plan Tips

  • Substitute ingredients as needed.
  • Store leftovers and serve for lunch or dinner the next day.
  • Stay energized with healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, and veggies.

Closing Thoughts

This was not goodbye, my dear reader. It was a pause, a moment to gather my ingredients, to find the recipe for moving forward. But rest assured, the kitchen light remains on, the oven warm, and the stories, like love and yeast, will rise again.

With love and flour-dusted hands,


8 Responses to Favorite Things

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySarah Reply

    I am so sorry to read of your sweet Mother’s passing. It is never easy going through the loss of a loved one, but it is truly a learning experience and you are doing everything just right. I am holding you close to my heart during this difficult time and praying for the strength to do what you must. Your Mom was proud of you and she will always be there watching over you—like the sun behind the clouds.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Sarah, This is such a beautiful note! I love thinking of her like the sunny spirit behind the clouds. It means so much to hear from you during this difficult time!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyUte Reply

    Aw Marly- my deepest condolences . I pray for your Mom, you and your family. Keep the good memories. Sending hugs your way

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Ute. It has been a difficult time, but in some ways it is bringing our family closer and I am grateful for that. Thanks so much for your kindness – I truly appreciate hearing from you!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDeborah Reply

    Marly, So sorry for the passing of your Mom. You have been already dealing with it with such grace. Your writings are beautiful, sweet and gentle. I hope you can find a moment to smile and be proud of yourself for everything you do, for your passions and creations. They are always looked at and treasured. Protein Pancakes, the bomb. Putting the ham roast in the split pea soup is genius and I cannot wait to do it. Have a beautiful day.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thank you so much, Deborah. It’s so easy to look back and think of the things I could have done better, but I know my sister and I did so much to support our mom. And thank you so much for your kind words about this site and my recipes. I really appreciate you. Sending hugs!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDeirdre Henry Reply

    My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. You have paid a lovely tribute to your late Mother.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thank you Diedre. It means so much to hear from you during this difficult time!

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