With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it is very apropos that my first post be about Mom! My mother, Dee Ann or Gee Gee, as the grandkids call her, is inspiring in so many ways! She is an amazing cook and entertainer, and, although she doesn’t really cook too much anymore, she taught me well and is reaping the benefits of her instruction! My parents entertained a lot growing up…my dad, who was on faculty at Michigan State, always seemed to have students, colleagues, delegates from other countries coming over. In addition to this, my parents had an active social life that included a number of groups… neighbors, faculty friends, church friends, among others! So I got to see first hand many examples of what entertaining was all about growing up! We lost my father (Larry or PaPa) 7 years ago…my dad was a spirited Irishman with a great sense of humor, who had a voracious appetite for both food and knowledge, and he was a pure intellect that could explain complex issues in a way that anyone could understand! My dad was smart…really smart. And my dad could eat…really eat! He travelled many places in the world and would come home talking about the food and the different regions of cuisine!
After my father passed at the early age of 74, my mom decided, after encouragement from friends and family, to move closer to me. She was in Gainesville, about 2 1/2 hours from here. So, my mom moved here almost 3 years ago. For a while now, I’ve wanted to have a party where my friends brought their moms–I have a number of pals that are also fortunate enough to have their moms close by–and decided I would call it BYOM or MIL….Bring Your Own Mother or Mother -in-Law. However, after my mom got settled in her new pad, we put our old home on the market (it sold in one day!), and then we had to settle into our new digs! And, that was the year I was PTO President for our elementary school…a big job! Soooooo….it took a year to get my home settled, we FINALLY had our housewarming, Dia de los Murtos (more on this later), and I was finally ready to host BYOM or MIL! The date…March 10th….perfect as that happens to be MY Mother-in-Law’s Birthday! Rosa Maria was with us in spirit…San Antonio was a bit too long of a drive! So, my gal pals brought their moms or mother-in-laws, I served my favorite cocktail, a Grapefruit, Elderflower concoction that is AMAZING, along with wine and sparkling water, and we noshed the night away! We served bacon wrapped dates and cheese olive balls (both of which are staples at my home!), tomato, strawberry, basil, and mozzarella skewers, roasted asparagus with black and white sesame seeds, two hot dips: Swiss Almond and Caramelized Onion and Kale, chicken salad in filo cups, shrimp cocktail (NOTE: make sure the fishmonger knows you are serving shrimp cocktail, and that you want to take the shrimp home cooked!)! I always like to send home a take home favor…a sweet remembrance of the evening. I found this Old Irish Blessing that I printed out and wrapped with a green ribbon to give to guests as they went home: https://homeandtherange.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/oldirishblessing.jpg . So perfect since we were days away from St. Patrick’s Day! It was a lovely evening and I was so thankful that my friends could bring their Moms and MILS to meet my Mom! I’m hosting the next one this fall! So to all the amazing mothers and mother-in-laws out there….Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks for all you do for so many! Enjoy your day!