It's been quite a year since you headed off on the next great adventure. We've transited the year of 'the firsts' since you've been gone with grace and decorum and some times of celebration too. I'm guessing you know all about our happenings?
I felt you standing beside me when the ship docked in Mumbai. Together we watched Dad marching on the pier while the band played the Colonel Bogey March. I know I saw you in Madrid at the Elizabeth Arden counter in that upscale department store. Did you get the red lipstick you wanted? And the fragrance too?
At Geoff and Kath's wedding you were standing in the middle of the circle for 'your song', Sinatra's New York, New York. What a great celebration that was! Auntie Elaine remarked how much she saw of Daddy in Geoff. I don't know as I had noticed that before, but I see it now. Geoff and Kath make such a lovely couple!
It must have been you who gave Kristen her fashion and makeup sense. She surely didn't get it from me!! I wouldn't be surprised if you've been at every one of her photo shoots, including the ones in Japan. She is her Grandmother's girl. Gorgeous, smart and lover of books!
I know that you are as happy as I am with the new kitchen. I've heard you singing along with me while doing the dishes, or sweeping the floor, or making a meal. Have you seen YOUR bookshelf? It has your Fannie Farmer Cookbook (aka the Boston Cooking School), the Casserole Cookery book, one of your coffee/tea cups, the old juice strainer, the screw down nut cracker we used for hazelnuts and walnuts, and that old fish scale. I tucked in 2 little bookie from 1958: The German & Viennese Cook Book and the New England Cook Book. I can look up at your picture whenever I'm sitting at the desk.
Kristen and I are making a celebration supper in your honour today - "Macaroni & Fisherman Sauce a la Cudbird". I've had to make a few changes to it - I do hope you approve! I'm replacing the oysters with scallops. I recall oysters were more Dad's thing than yours, and that if you were given a choice between the two, scallops would win hands down. Also I could not find a can of Manhattan Clam Chowder, so I going to use tomato broth and add more clams! Oh, and I have some left over grilled tuna steak which I will use instead of a can of solid tuna. You wouldn't believe the variety of fresh and frozen fish I can get at almost any supermarket now! And pasta in all shapes and sizes too. Back in the day, it was just spaghetti and elbow macaroni, then lasagna appeared. Remember the excitement when 'wagon wheels' came on the market? I recall pleading with you to buy them and eventually you did, even though I suspect they were a tad expensive. <Sigh> Anyway, I've stayed true to your recipe and elbow macaroni it is!
For dessert, I've made Ebinger's Crumb Cake (Kristen's idea). I think she just wants the crumbs. Remember the fights we girls had over the crumbs when we were at the beach? Those were the days. I think we'll have some pistachio ice cream on the side. What do you think? Never mind, I can hear you smacking your lips already!
Time for me to get back to work on this celebration. If you're in the neighbourhood, I'd love to have you drop by for supper, or even just to share a spoonful of pistachio ice cream and a bit of crumb cake. There isn't a day go by that I don't think of you. I miss you, but I'm so happy you are free.
Heaps of love.
p.s. There's a lovely bottle of 2009 Pinot Gris (Coyote's Run) chilling in the fridge.
Here's to you, Mom!
photo: June 1961 - one of my fav's.