Mother’s Day. Chin, Chin ala salud to all, not an easy journey but certainly fulfilling and worthwhile. It is much different for me now with my mom gone. The early years, bad different, not kidding. Now just different.
Breakfast for Sundays Off this week is in honor of my stepmother. I could not have been more than 7 or 8, because we were not at her apartment in Brooklyn, so it was after she and my dad were married. I helped her make blueberry muffins and she asked to fold in the blueberries…I thought I knew how to fold. Not so much. For those of you who bake, you know that if the blueberries burst, and purple juice comes out, when you bake in the muffins it turns green. That was one of just many more than patient moments she demonstrated. She was really good with 6 x 9 and 9 x 6 too. The multiplication table was not my friend either. I still kind of suck at fractional math as well, so every now again the Weight Watchers scale throws me a little.
My sister Stephanie died before she had the opportunity to be a mom; but she was a wonderful aunt, so good to my Blake, that I think she would have been a wonderful mother, so a nod to her today too and one my favorite memories. My mom and stepdad went to Mystic Connecticut for a weekend. It was just me and Steph at the house. I look back at that and wonder who thought that was a good idea? We had lots raw materials to cook and bake with always. And we both loved biscuits. Mom had left plenty of food for us, I think even spaghetti sauce in the freezer and always stuff for goobly-gops (long story, another post) but we loved biscuits and tuna fish. Steph made the best tuna. Apples. Raisins. Walnuts. Yum, although even her standard with celery and onions was good. For two days all we ate was biscuits, tuna and cookies because boy oh boy did she make great butter cookies! I like to think that our palettes would have grown together and so for an appetizer later I am doing a Rick Bayless recipe- Tuna in Jalapeño Escabeche on toasted bread rubbed with garlic.
Dinner is a nod to my Mom. For whom my eyes well up and I still can’t breath for a minute when I think of her. She made the world’s best spaghetti sauce, galaxies beyond mine, and mine’s good! In case her sauce was not over the top enough, she made pork parmagina with pounded tenderloin chops. It was probably, aside from her meatloaf which was my birthday dinner every year (and, no I can’t make it on my birthday because then all I would do is cry all day!) it was my favorite dinner. There was one drawback, it gave me hellacious heartburn…for hours. Not pretty. So I have a pork and pasta dish I am doing, a white ragu with penne pasta. Ground pork, sage, wine, chicken stock and cream. I cannot imagine she would object to any of those ingredients.
And finally dessert. She is not my mom, nor aunt, nor any type of relative. Naomi Graham gave a me a love and passion for the Italian language and culture that previously had only been an interest. When I returned to school for Art History, I knew I had to take a language and the Italian Renaissance was my favorite period. Three semesters of Italian later and a few years and I still have a great passion and love that continues to grow and ultimately will lead me to the trip of a lifetime. And so to her I owe much of my present and a big part of my future. I make an olive oil cake that she loves. Today, I am using Blood Orange Olive Oil and making rhubarb compote. Thanks Naomi, I hope you read today.
Honor the women in your life, treasure each day you have with your mom while you have them. The memories are wonderful, but the real thing was so much better.
Oh, and right, the reason for this whole Sundays Off thing…I think (remember fractionally impaired) I think I lost 2lbs since mid week. I’m telling you this 6 days gluten free, leaves, lean protein, and good fats really seems to be working!