A Meal in Memory of Our Parents


Just weeks after a member of our gourmet group lost his father, it was my husband’s and my turn to host Gourmet. As I reflected on how many of our group members had recently lost a parent, it occurred to me that we could commemorate our deceased parents in true Easter fashion, by eating food that brought back memories of them. So we had a meal in memory of our parents Saturday night.

When I asked each couple to tell me what foods their parents liked, their answers all made me smile. Most were foods our parents fed us: roast, potatoes, cucumber salad, Jello, cherry pie, butter brickle ice cream. Some were special treats they only got when they went out to eat: fried shrimp, broiled halibut, fancy drinks. Others were usually reserved for when they had company over: potato chips, Dr. Pepper, a special bundt cake.

The event got me so sentimental that I started the night by reading to our group, story hour style, an old picture book called “Company’s Coming for Dinner“. (Obviously, this group is very good-natured). From Mommy wearing curlers while polishing the good silverware, to the grocery store clerk saying, “You must be having company!”, to the little boy going next door to borrow a folding chair, that book set the stage for our 50’s type appetizers: chips, peanuts, pickled okra (snacks enjoyed by two of the dads), and pina coladas with maraschino cherries (a delight of one of the moms).

The main course was raspberry salad (a salad her daughter remembers her mom liking but never making for herself) and chicken and beef enchiladas smothered in a pork and green chili sauce that my father in law used to create as an artist creates a fine sculpture. I’ll never forget him, years ago, obliging our family by cooking his scrumptious enchiladas in our tiny kitchen, then putting them in the oven to heat. I had accidentally turned on “broil” instead of “bake”, and soon we saw smoke rolling from the oven. To my huge relief, we caught them before his masterpiece was ruined.

Dessert was sour cream raisin pie, a favorite of my dad’s. We were all so full that we didn’t get around to toasting my husband’s mom with her favorite drink: good Scotch in a nice glass. But everyone took home a grapefruit to remember Eddie. He lived with our friends for many years, and always had grapefruit shipped in for Christmas. They are still adjusting to their much quieter home.

So, among the conversations about politics and sports and kids and hobbies, we reminisced about our parents this past Saturday night. And it was great.

Peg Mace

Meal in Memory of Our Parents

Meal in Memory of Our Parents