Mother’s Day and snow is falling on the Front Range, after six days of rain. The world is wet and cold. Still a robin woke me at 430 this morning with its frantic good-morning song. The day feels bleak and strange and a little empty without my own mom, who has been gone for four months. For so many years while she was sick, she was the weight I carried. Now, her absence is an equally definable something in my days.
Of course she is on my mind and in the food I’m eating too. Yesterday, I had a craving for mom’s famous baked clam sandwiches, a mixture of canned minced clams, cheddar, and mayo baked until gooey inside foil-wrapped hoagies. It seemed just the thing to eat on a soggy day, along with way too salty Lays potato chips, onion dip, and iced Pepsi. All things my mother loved.
I rarely eat beige food—bread and chips and dairy—at all, let alone in such quantities. But by now, I knew the ghost of my mother was gasping audibly with pleasure—“Ah!—the same way she would whenI brought her cupcakes. Back at home, I quickly sautéed the onion until brown in scandalous amounts of sweet cream butter and let it cool while I assembled the sandwiches. While they baked in a 400 degree oven, I mixed the cooled onions and butter with sour cream and Worcester.
|The Thing Itself
Greg and I toasted with the Pepsi, the very last thing I fed to my mother as she was dying. “To Susan,” I said, as I bit into the satisfyingly crunch and cheese of the sandwich.
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