I am very lucky to have so many great memories of cooking with my mom, planning parties, watching her meticulously decorate platters and charm her guests.
My parents had a very long (over 50 years) traditional marriage and my mother was in charge of all the cooking and entertaining. My father helped. He loved to eat good food and he loved having guests at the house. This was the perfect compliment for a woman who took immense pride in her cooking, her exquisite food presentation and her picture perfect table.
Thanksgiving we all helped, starting early in the morning. I toasted the bread for the stuffing while my father chopped the onions. Of course, there was a large roast turkey with all the sides, but there were also pork chops baked with sliced apples and a New York strip loin.
Each dish had special garnish. I remember generously piling sweet shredded coconut into canned cling peach halves. I was assigned to watch the broiler as the coconut toasted. There were giant stuffed mushrooms on the turkey platter, for the steak loin; and on and on.
I remember for one of my father’s birthday parties making the meat sauce for the enormous pans of lasagna. For another party, my mother and I made rumaki chicken livers wrapped in bacon. We bought too many pounds of livers and after an hour of rolling bacon around raw livers, we began to laugh uncontrollably and vowed to never again make rumaki.
My mom Minerva passed away peacefully in her sleep several weeks ago. She had a great life and I miss her.
Cooking is not only a source of joy but also a source of comfort. So while I am still cooking and spending time at home with friends, the parties themselves are on hold for awhile. I will continue to post and share what I’m cooking and eating.
Also, videos of the actual parties are coming, so stay tuned.