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I have my Mother's Day gift early this year

March 12, 2012

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I was just plain happy to kick back in the comfortable chair with a glass of ginger ale and a chunk of molasses cake and just listen while the snow melted and the sky filled with stars. It had been a day. I'd told the kids the day before what I'd like this year for Mother's Day (2 months off, I know) and they gave me The Look. "It's Spring Break, Mom." I know, I said. Please? How often are all three of you together?

They said they'd do it. We left the house at 1:40 pm Saturday afternoon, and arrived at the photo studio just before 2:00. Not a fancy place, by any means. I had a coupon, and you could just walk in, but I did think ahead enough to make an appointment. We ended up waiting anyway, behind a mother and daughter who'd brought in the daughter's baby boy to be photographed. He lay on the floor near his mother's feet, growling, as the two women looked over the photos on the computer screen.

I'm a patient woman, but my kids are still workin' on it. They'd each dressed in something comfortable that matched, somewhat, the other two. In blues and greens and plaids and sneakers, they looked like themselves, with a bit of hair gel and lipstick. They'd made a real effort and stood there trying to look as if they were ok having their photo taken together, and they began to argue about something small. "No it's NOT." "Yes, it is." "If you'd only LISTEN you would GET IT." "Look who's TALKING." It went on like that for a while. Then it got too loud. "This is my MOTHER'S DAY GIFT!" I kind of hissed. I don't hiss much. But really.

The photo shoot took eleven minutes. I sat off to the side, watching my three children, each taller now than I, arms around each other, then lying on the floor looking up, then piled together, each leaning against another, smiling. My eyes filled up. My gosh. How they have grown. How their voices have changed. My son's cheekbones cast shadows. My daughters' lines are curved. The woman asked if there's any other pose I might like. "How 'bout something where their arms are all wrapped around each other." The Look again. And then they did as instructed, and smiled.

Of the 23 photos taken, three turned out really well. Including the one of them holding each other. I have my Mother's Day gift early this year. Thing is, it wasn't so much about the photo, though I'm glad I have them. It was those eleven minutes watching them together, laughing, in one small room. How their eyes sparkled.

The Irish meals I make are good and simple: foods like colcannon (potatoes and cabbage), coddle (sausages, bacon, potatoes and onion) and fadge (potato bread). Here are a couple recipes you might enjoy this St. Patty's Day.

CORNED BEEF SAUERKRAUT SANDWICHES

2 (14 oz.) cans sauerkraut
2 cans corned beef
3 T salad dressing
1/4 lb. Swiss cheese
3 T horseradish mustard

Drain sauerkraut. Chop up the corned beef with a fork. Grate the Swiss cheese. Mix all ingredients together and place in a slow cooker for 2 hours. Serve on party rye.

In Ireland they say that a day without potatoes is a day without nourishment. Plain boiled, skin on, is how most Irish eat their potatoes at least once a day. "Collope" means a little bit of food.

POTATO COLLOPS

3 medium potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 T parsley, chopped
1/4 lb. raw bacon
2 T butter
1 c. milk
3 T grated cheese

Pare potatoes and cut into thin slices. Place a layer of potatoes and onion in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with seasonings, parsley, and diced bacon. Dot with butter. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with potatoes. Pour in milk and sprinkle top with grated cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until potatoes are done and top layer is brown.

Enjoy!

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