Mama’s St. Louis Sauce

I peeled onions and apples

and scalded tomatoes red,

added vinegar, red pepper, cinnamon,

sugar and spice, like Mama had said.

I poured it into her big dishpan,

the one she once used to do dishes.

I stirred the mixture with a wooden spoon,

and considered my many wishes.

I wish Mama were here to taste

my St. Louis Sauce so mild,

the sauce like she made for our family

when I was only a child.

I wish Mama were here to watch me

as I cook and taste and stir,

as I strive in my daily living

to be more like her.

I wish Mama were here to go with me

to view exhibits rare.

I wish she could see the blue ribbon

I won for my St. Louis Sauce at the fair.

~ Freeda Baker Nichols

Read more of Nichols’ works at