'Twas the Night Before Mother's Day


Happy Mother's Day! In continuing to employ our May flowers for their edible possibilities, you might try making  Mom a blue flower chive omelet some time.

This one finds me post-Saturday night retirement party, which is also the day after commencement at the school that employs me. My yesterday began at 5:30 a.m. post long night before of cocktails and rolling grape leaves with my great friend and neighbor, Kimcakes. 


The grape leaves, were of course, for dolmathes, and the cocktails, mine anyway, were a new attempt with Skinnygirl's Pina Colada, a pre-mix that left to its own devices tastes like bubblegum. But, with a little splash of Fresca, some crushed fresh mint (Kimcakes brought me lots of the latter) the end result was infinitely drinkable. 

That it is Mother's Day resonates nicely with the dolmathes evening, since the grape leaves that I taught Ms. Kim to roll are easy to make and easy to roll, but work best if shown first as a method, rather than followed or read as a recipe. Of course it is my own mother who taught me what the consistency of the rice mixture should be, as well as where to place the mixture and how much should be placed on each leaf before the three-step folding process begins.  I feel graceful at little, but realizing that my hands just know the first tuck-up of the bottom corners of the grape leaf and that they follow through with the fold-in of the sides and the horizontal spin to roll the whole thing together before placing them, tip folded-side-down, on the grape leaf covered bottom of the pot, is a mother thing, a known-thing, a many, many years of seeing it done thing. 

Our special mixtures, the herb and spice blend that my family favors, the fact that my old beloved and I modified our fresh mint vs. dried mint preferences (he, of the half-Syrian lineage) to make a grape leaf that held BOTH fresh and dried mint, these are all things that resonate with family and inherited knowledge of the mother and the kitchen and the things that a mother's hands know to pass to the daughter's.