Friday, February 22, 2013

Here Fishy! Fishy! Fishy!

I am sitting here missing my Momma a wee little bit. 

Not sad or anything, just ticked because I can't pick up the phone and call her.
Call her to say "Hey, how's it going?" or "We'll be visiting in a few weeks." Or what I really want to say one more time and regretting I didn't ask just once "HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR [POOLDAD'S REAL NAME] STUPENDOUSLY SPECIAL SEAFOOD CASSEROLE. IT'S FRIDAY AND I'M DESPERATE."

Y'know?

She would laugh at me and then give me the "pinch of this, dash of that" Patty version of that casserole.  My Mom didn't cook a lot, but when she did she was pretty good at it.  I didn't learn much from her, but she gave me the basics and occasionally she would come  up with a dish so amazing none of us ever bothered to try and copy. We just let her make it as her own.

And I am regretting that decision today. sigh

This particular casserole was only made for Pooldad. It was that special and I am guessing time consuming as well as expensive.  She knew he loves all things shrimp, scallops and crab.  Of those three things I don't think I can pick his favorite because he enjoys them all equally.

My Mom managed to find and/or create a dish that included all three, plus cheese and I think rice?  It may have been all seafood and cheese, I don't recall.  I wasn't the biggest fan of shrimp back then, so I only tasted it sparingly, but Pooldad loves it. My Mom would make it on rare occasions and it had to be an extra special day, like a milestone birthday or the birth of Wallene, something that big.

I am sitting here craving this casserole and wanting to surprise my husband with it, but. . .there is no one left that knows the recipe. Dagnabit.  Actually there was only one person that even knew it and heck if I can find it in what sparse paperwork I have.  I don't remember it well enough to even attempt to recreate it or find a similar recipe.

Okay, I know I could locate something that had all those things, but I want THAT recipe.

It makes me miss my Mom a little bit today. She was sick for so long before she passed that the fact she lived as long as she did, and on her own, in own home, was enough of a gift that when she did die we felt that we had gotten more [time] than we deserved. So, I don't go getting all weepy or heartbroken over the fact that she isn't here on earth with us. We all have to die and we were, you could say, fortunate to know that we had to make the most of our remaining time with my Mom. That was a chance only I was given with my Dad, as my sister and brother didn't live close enough [make the effort] when he died so soon after he was diagnosed.  It's just life that our parents go first and if we are lucky enough to live into adulthood and have families of our own before they pass I think it is easier to let them go when the time comes.

I have a good story about my Mom and cooking, if you would indulge me, please? Oh, c'mon, y'all always do anyway and besides My blog, My rules. ::laughing::

When Pooldad turned 40 we threw a huge outdoor party for him. Humongous.  Thank goodness we lived on half an acre because we had that many people there. It was so much fun, but . . .we miscalculated when we decided to do all of the food for the party.

We easily had 100 friends and family there and well. . ."miscalculated" is an understatement of Hindenburg proportions.

Hey, I was young! I didn't realize that when someone says "We'll be there. What can we bring?" you are supposed to say "Potato salad." Okay? 

Moms to the rescue!  Our Moms realized exactly what we had done and they got together deciding to supplement everything we had prepared with several of their own dishes.
 
 ::ThankyouGodLordJesusInHeavenabove::
 
While Pooldad and I cooked, replenished supplies and played hosts our Moms set out all their delicious food, which was immediately consumed into extinction by the mass of party goers. Pooldad and I were so busy that not only did we not get a taste of what our Moms had brought we didn't even have a chance to glimpse it. All we saw were picked over, barren carcasses of their once beautiful platters. When we found out that my Mom had brought two dips made especially for Pooldad we were crestfallen ::sad faces::  Like I said my Mom didn't cook often, but when she did it was pretty great and you always wanted some of whatever it was she made. Ah, well. The party was a success and Christmas was only a mere 5 months away. We stood a small chance of tasting them at least once in 1999.
 
My Mom wasn't having any of that.  When she found out we hadn't eaten any of her dishes during the party she went home that night and recreated them all.  Yep. I think in total there were five or six, but those two dips stand out because they had black olives in them and those are my husband's [and apparently 99 others] favorite thing.  She made all of them and returned to our home the next day to give them to us. It was great to see the look on Pooldad's face when he saw that he was going to actually get to eat Patty's food. YAY!
 
As I proofread this [yes Fitz, I do proofread. sometimes] I just realized something. An epiphany if you will allow me.  My Mom was a good cook and she liked to cook. She just didn't do it a lot. Okay, I know I've said that, but this is what I just figured out, realizing how much work it was for my Mom to make those dishes two times.  She loved to cook when people appreciated the effort. I get it now. Duh Skippy.  My Mom was a" live to eat kind of gal", while my Dad was on the "eat to live" side of the fence. They weren't very compatible in that area, because as long as it was hot and in front of him at 7 am, noon and 6 pm my Dad was content. Not so my Mom. She loved to eat, especially if it was made for her. Her favorite thing was to go out to eat. We never ran an errand that didn't include lunch out.  I don't care if we were running to the store to pick up a gallon of milk, she would schedule it around a meal time to visit the diner adjacent to our local grocer.  When she did cook at home it was usually pedestrian because my Dad didn't care and he wasn't going to rave over her efforts. It was just FOOD to him. Don't misunderstand, my Dad worshipped my Mom. He loved her beyond fail, but food was fuel and a peanut butter sandwich was as satiating as shrimp to him.  If she found someone who actually loved her cooking and that person shared their love on an almost daily basis they would forevermore be fed handsomely if it was in her power to do so.  Hence why my husband was the beneficiary of so many of her efforts. He loves to eat [surprised, aren't you? ::snicker::] and she would just smile as he served himself seconds and thirds of whatever she had prepared especially for him.
 
Ah good times. Nice memories.
 
Gee, this post took a hard left up there and ended on a detour I didn't expect.   Funny how that works, eh?  I guess that is what happens when I write my posts on the fly with whatever is on my mind. I have so much to do, but thank you for allowing me the luxury of emptying my head and my heart on an almost daily basis here in the pond.  It's nice to have friends like you to listen to me ramble.
 
I still have to clean the kitchen from yesterday [when I baked, four times, argh] find something for dinner, make a key lime cheesecake, get to Pooldad's work before 1 pm, finish an email to our realtor for the homes we are looking at tomorrow, get ready for a meeting with our Priest at 4 pm [no pressure there, mind you] and did I mention I just looked up and it is snowing? It wasn't when I sat down to write this, so um. . .I think I better get my size 4 fanny out the door. EEk!
 
Yes, that does say "size 4". GO ME! ::skippyhappydancingoutthedoor:: Coming next week: The wonderfulness that is size 6. WOOT!
 
See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles. Stay warm and safe in all the snow you're getting out there. Hugs and love, Skippy
 

16 comments:

SapphireBlue said...

What a sweet tribute to your mom. I hope you are doing okay in these snowstorms. My drive to work was insane.

Gypsy said...

I've always wondered why I didn't get my mom's recipes when she was alive, and then I realize she rarely used a recipe. I like to look at a recipe if possible, but then just make it pretty much to my own rules and ingredients. I would suggest you write down everything you remember about that casserole, ingredients and such, and then "wing it". You're a fantastic cook and you can do it!

Mystic Mud said...

Your mother sounds like a wonderful mom...you were lucky to have her.

Stay safe out on the roads - and don't work too hard :)

Jean said...

Gee, I'm sorry you didn't get the recipe too because that sounds like a just about perfect birthday dinner for about half the family and I know you'd pass the recipe on if I begged. Let's get ahold of that Long Island Medium and see if she can get it for us. *serious doubts here*

I don't recall anything that my mother made that was THAT special. She did good but ordinary pies but mine are just as good. And all of us make her coleslaw anyway. I wonder what my kids will miss when I'm gone. Probably nothing because they phone to ask how I make this or that anyway. I'm glad my DIL doesn't resent the fact that my son likes how I make whatever (better than hers) - she doesn't bother with hurt feelings, she just calls me up the next time.

Also, thanks for the reminder to call my mom. I don't do this enough although I mean to. I suppose I have been pretty lucky to have her as long as I have. When you figure she lost her mother when her mother was younger than I am now. Considering she was 37 when she had me, and is still going to be here when I am a (DNA)grandma too, that's pretty good. huh - just realized, our Avie will be her first DNA great grandchild. I suppose my oldest was her first DNA grandchild. Not that DNA really matters (although it really does to her - she has bypassed my sister to give me a number of family heritage items)

Tracy said...

Woohoo on size 4. I bet it had rice in it. Most of the seafood casseroles I've ever seen have rice. But other than that I have no idea.

Stay warm out there.

EM Illustrator said...

What a nice tribute to your Mom. Stay safe my friend.
Enjoy your weekend.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

Nice memories. My mom worked for SWBell telephone company while I was growing up and worked odd hours. She cooked - and taught us to cook - but because of her hours we were the ones who mostly cooked. She gave us her specialities on the holidays.

I remember table after table being laden with delicacies that only my mom knew how to do... Chinese Wedding Cake, Waldorf Salad (I know, there are recipes out there, but not "hers"), pies, breads, pies, cookies, pies (yeah, that many!) and more.

My mom passed away this past September and I barely had the energy or the emotion to face Thanksgiving or Christmas. I want to call her every day of the week.

You helped bring up some pleasant memories for me. Thanks...

Juli said...

She sounds awesome. :) My Mom has so many comfort foods that I love, and I have no recipe for them... because honestly, I could never do it like she does. :)

life in the mom lane said...

This makes me realize there is one particular recipe I need my mom to write down for me....What a nice post, you do your Mama proud :)

I'd be happy to trade you sizes any day girlfriend! ;) But I am happy you are packing some lbs. on!!!

Linda said...

That's an interesting analysis of why your mother cooked what she did. It makes me think of how hard my mother worked at the stove to please a difficult man.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

You have good instincts, so you should have a go at creating your own version of that seafood casserole. With all that yummy seafood in it, it'd be pretty hard to go wrong.

I haven't made it for quite a few years, but I used to make a seafood quiche that was FULL of seafood and mushrooms. My friend used to say it was like seafood cheesecake. HA!

Take care, kiddo. Happy weekend! 12:34

Tyche's Minder said...

Just found you. Love your memories. I've had that experience too -- moments when I've missed, not just my mom for her own lovely self, but all the wisdom she took with her!

CWMartin said...

Sounds like a lot of mom went into the recipe for you.

thisisme said...

Hi Skippy. Love how your mind just wondered on to thinking about your mum today. Weren't we blessed to have such loving mums. I still miss my mum, although she's been gone 17 years this June :( I love it how they live on in our hearts and memory though. Hope it goes well with the Estate Agents and you find a house you really fall in love with. Hugs.

ellen abbott said...

This makes me happy. you, up and about, doing things.

Knitty said...

Dum-di-dum-dum-dum (humming, not a commentary)...

"It's nice to have friends like you to listen to me ramble"

...huh?...

Did you say something? ;-)

Seriously, there are dishes that my mom made that I wish I had gotten directions for. I say directions because "a pinch" and "a smidge" don't really sound like words used in recipes.

Lots of other things I wish I had asked about too. We had a great relationship and talked to each other those 7 years she was still here after I married. The older most of us get, the more questions we think of though.

All that pondering makes us blog. Sideways, left turns and inside out. Hehehe