Thanks to the many, many people who sent in stories and recipes celebrating the refinement, practicality, humor and quirks of the women who were/are their mothers. Thanks for showing how their love for family and friends so often arrived via a birthday cake or a pile of fresh currants.
One daughter rediscovered a treasured stash of family recipes – long considered lost – one of which had been scrawled down on the reverse side of an ad for Kotex. Another daughter, writing a portrait of her mother, needed only to print one of the woman’s favorite recipes – a turkey stuffed with a cup of popcorn; it’s done “when it blows it’s ass off!”
Of course, now Tom Stockton (of the Landmark Files, creator of The Prize) and I will have to choose one winner, which may be a trial on our friendship. (You can read about Tom’s mother, Wootsie, and her fabulous house in Del Mar, California on The Landmark Files.)
Tom and I have renovated an entire house together without a harsh word between us; choosing the “zinger” from your submissions might be a challenge. We’ll spend the next couple of days reading, and hopefully still be friends by Thursday, when we announce to whom will be sent the Grand Dessert-for-Four-Table Setting.
I spent this mother’s day hunting down garden rhubarb to make my mother’s Rhubarb Upside Down Cake. My friend Mary Lou knew where there was a weekend retreat, no one in residence, and rhubarb plants with leaves the sizes of volkswagons. Thanks to her for abetting my cake.
Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
4 cups fresh rhubarb
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup bran cereal
1 teaspoon vanilla
Spread fruit in bottom of well greased 9 x 9 inch pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the sugar. Dot with butter.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt. Beat egg yolks. Blend in second cup of sugar. Add water slowly, beating well. Stir in bran and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Beat egg whites. Fold into batter. Spread over rhubarb. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
Here’s a portrait I did of my mother years ago:
- and here’s a homemade card my aunt sent my mother declaring her “The Duchess of Boxford;” She was shy, but my mother had style.)