Thought for the day: If it's not one thing, it's your mother...
copping out giving myself the day off going to offer a slightly revamped re-run of last year's Mother's Day post, out of sheer laziness the goodness of my heart. Since I only had a handful of followers then, this will be new to most of you. After it was posted last year, my brother informed me that he'd recently discovered that our grandparents actually entered this country through Boston Harbor, and not via Ellis Island, as we originally thought. Other than that, this story is pretty much as it was told to me by our grandmother. Last year, the post was entitled, "Moms Cover Our Butts," and ya know what? Good moms always have ... and my guess is, they always will.
With Mother's Day right around the corner, I'd like to share a story about my grandmother. In early 1923, she, my grandfather, my father and his brother left Scotland and set sail for the United States, essentially abandoning the only home they'd ever known so they could sail off into the great unknown and start all over again. Must've been scary, don't you think? A huge sacrifice. But like countless other immigrants, facing the unknown was a sacrifice they were absolutely willing to make for the sake of their children and their children's children. NO sacrifice was too great, right? Then again, the (ahem) naked truth is, by the time they reached Ellis Island, poor Mom-Mom learned that she'd sacrificed more than she'd ever intended.
Try to picture it. Can you imagine how everyone on that ship must have felt when they finally caught sight of Lady Liberty for the first time? My guess would be intense excitement and pride, mingled with a shot of apprehension. Probably a good deal of relief, too, not to mention exhaustion.
For Mom-Mom, I have a hunch relief was tops on her emotional menu. Relief that the seemingly endless trip was finally coming to an end, and relief at the prospect of standing on dry stable land again. Because my poor grandmother pretty much puked her way across the Atlantic. From the time they left Europe, she had such debilitating seasickness, she rarely left her bed.
Which left Pop, a rather dour Scot, in charge of the kiddies.
My father was still in diapers at the time, and though Pop, a master carpenter, was quite skillful at building a custom cabinet, he wasn't at all accustomed to being saddled with the business of childcare. So he improvised. He blithely tore up my grandmother's clothes and, one by one, used them to diaper my father's bottom. When a diaper got dirty, he simply tossed it overboard and reached for another dress.
So by the time the Statue of Liberty came into view, a long trail of improvised nappies stretched clear across the ocean, and my grandmother? Let's just say that she came perilously close to being one of those "naked masses" yearning to breathe free, with few clothes to her name beyond those she'd been wearing in her sick bed.
Years later, when Mom-Mom told me this story, she was laughing, but I doubt if she found much humor in it back in 1923. Trust me, Pop paid for his blunder, though. As I remember her, my grandmother had an extensive wardrobe from some of the best stores in Baltimore.
For those of you who are mothers, I wish you a very happy Mother's Day. For those of you who are fortunate enough to still have your mother with you, do your best to spoil the living daylights out of her. After all, she may not have sacrificed all her clothes to cover your butt, but I'm sure she made many other sacrifices, and covered your butts in many other ways. For those of you who've already lost your mother, this is for you:
Your mother is always with you. She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street, she's the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered socks, she's the cool hand on your brow when you're not well. Your mother lives inside your laughter. And she's crystallized in every teardrop. She's the place you came from, your first home; and she's the map you follow with every step you take. She's your first love and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate you. Not time... not space... not even death. [author unknown]
If you're going to see your mom this weekend, wouldn't it be great to prepare her a special treat? If she likes strawberries, she'll love-love-love this pie. It's easy as pie (sorry) to make, and she'll be oh-so-impressed with your culinary skills. Or fix it for yourself, by golly. Guaranteed to please.
FRESH STRAWBERRY PIE
To make things easy on yourself, you can use a pre-made 8" pie shell, either graham cracker or chocolate. (If you opt for the chocolate pie shell, it looks almost too good to eat if you drizzle a little bit of dark chocolate over the whipped topping before serving.)
For the filling, you'll need 4 cups of strawberries, 3 T cornstarch, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, and 1/2 tsp lemon juice. You can add a few drops of red food coloring, if you'd like, and will need either whipped cream or good ol' Cool Whip to top it off.
Now, here we go, easy as 1-2-3:
1. In a saucepan, combine the cornstarch, 1/2 cup sugar, water, and 2 cups of the strawberries. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and clear.
2. Add the rest of the sugar; stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, food coloring, (if desired) and the rest of the strawberries.
3. Add Cool Whip and refrigerate until ready to serve, OR refrigerate first and garnish with whipped cream when you're ready to dig in.
Hopefully, I'll get back to what Laura calls Yammy Friday next week. These Friday posts have included some interesting tidbits and a pictorial tour of a state, (going through 'em in alphabetical order: New Jersey is next up) a little bit of fun-poking at some of the cockamamie laws still on the books in that state, and then finishing it off by (ta-DA!) the Weirdest News Stories of the Week. These compilations are rather time-consuming, but I've had fun (and learned a lot) by doing them. The thing is, they are long. Mega-posts. After doing the A-Z thingie, I wonder if they aren't TOO long. Whatcha think? Those of you who've been following those Yammy posts, shall I split 'em up over a couple days, or maybe drop the weird news stories or what? Any input? Any input at all? If not, I reckon I'll just keep on keeping on.
Which is all any of us can do.
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.