Saturday, April 3, 2010

Call Her Macaroni

My mother left me with an indelible legacy. During the last, semi-rational, years of her life, she abandoned all desire for her traditional Easter dinner celebration. I don't know why. Maybe her Alzheimer's, plaque-filled brain could no longer remember or prepare her original menus. Instead, she opted to commemorate Jesus's day with a smoker.

You all know that His resurrection is best commemorated by having the first barbecue of the year, don't you? No? Maybe it was just our family. She would call at least a month in advance to make sure we would all be there for the ritual. She made sure we new that this was a heap big deal. As her kids, we rolled our eyes and humored her child-like excitement.

But know, when Easter rolls around, like Pavlov's dog, my mouth starts watering for a grillin'. I'm getting all of my Peeps in a row for Sunday. The grill is washed and wire brushed. A big, brand new bag of briquettes stands at ready. No gas barbecue for this girl. I've got all of my Ingredient Soldiers gathered on the Field of Preparation.

I can hardly wait for Macaroni's tender little elbows to make their first appearance of the year. Potato, naked, awaits being dressed. Sweet Pickle is drawn, quartered and ready to be tossed into those two salads. Olive has found the most worthy child's fingers to adorn.

I can smell the dark, thick molasses and taste the sweet, brown sugared memories of my mother's dalliance with Baked Beans. Lettuce's leaves snap out a crisp fan dance as she entices Burger to lay down on her ruffled bed. Plump and rosy Tomato yearns for a menage-a-trois with Burger and Lettuce. Bun exposes her white, sesame seed, dimpled bottom to the sun. Egg's devilish behavior encourages Wiener to misbehave. You know how his, plumps-when-you-cook-'em, body begs to be slathered in mustard.

Soon, my spring time friends, we'll be reunited again! It's been a long, cold winter and I've missed you so. And mom, I finally get your excitement.

Happy birthday, mom. This Bun's for you...and Jesus.

Happy Easter, all and blessed be.


joanny said...


How lovely a day you have planned-- nice tribute to your mother as well, ditto to our Mom's having gone from sight (but not forgotten) and last days spent with memory issues.. we have become our Mom's with the beautiful ritual's and nurturing and carrying on the rich tradition of spring...
"Tomato yearns for a menage-a-trois with Burger and Lettuce" also very clever writing almost had me miss ending meat -- I can taste those beans though YUM

Happy Easter Season - may your spring time be blessed with God's Grace Notes.

Gemel said...

What a lovely post, it is wonderful to learn about what others do on special holidays, especially when it is remembering a loved one who has passed..

Elisabeth said...

It's amazing how childhood rituals around food can taste so much better in the afterglow of our memories.

My current family had planned a BBQ for today, Easter Sunday today too, Ronda, but we neglected to buy enough of the basic ingredients and the shops are shut, so we will have to settle for left over home made lasagne.

Your meal sounds so much more enticing, especially in the shadow of your mother's goodwill.

Megan said...

If my sister-in-law hadn't already posted tomorrow's menu, I'd be on a train this minnit!

Ronda Laveen said...

Joanny: The Wonder Husband and I don't often eat flesh any more but, we will tomorrow in a rite of familial rememberance. Your are so right in your observation that we, especially if a child of a parent with the Big A, have become the adult in the relationship. In my opinion, the menage between Lettuce and Tomato doesn't really need Burger but, don't tell him I said so. You know how men are:-) My mother made the BEST Baked Beans.

God's Grace and Notes to you, adieu!

Gemel: Thank you! My mother's birtday is on 4/5. It always fell somewhere in the middle of Easter holiday. This year it is very close. Maybe that is another reason she resonated witn this holiday.

Elisabeth: Nothin' wrong with Lasagne!!!!! Mmmm...second only to BBQ. A beautiful crisp salad with Lettuce and Tomato. Bun's cousin, Baguette and Garlic, oh, yeah!!!

Megan: I'd love to read you SIL's menu. But, you are welcom in the Wonderland anytime. But the bus????? Oh, not up here. Have you ridden Greyhound's gestapo lines lately?

Megan said...

Copied and pasted directly from her facebook status - "Easter menu: roasted rack of lamb, roasted baby artichokes and red potatoes, asparagus and gorgonzola salad, parmesan rolls, and strawberry rhubarb pie. Limoncello cocktails and lots of pinot noir to drink"

Can you believe it? Who DOES that?!?

lettuce said...

Happy Easter to you too Rhonda - sounds like a great new tradition and lovely memories of your mum

TechnoBabe said...

Your mom would appreciate your humor in this post. Your barbecue sounds like it will be delicious. I have never heard the ingredients for salads and burgers and hot dogs described quite this way before. I can picture the olives on finger.Lettuce enticing burger. And tomato! Oh naughty tomato! I have to tell you I will not think of our little barbecue feasts in the same way ever again. You have converted me, I am now a believer. Happy Easter to you dear Ronda!

Brian Miller said...

wonderful. we are traveling after church to my parents...4 generations gathered around the grill...hope you have a marvelous easter.

Marisa Birns said...

Absolutely mouth-watering post!

We're going to a friend's house for dinner. She lives in an apartment (as I do) so no outdoor grilling for us. Alas.


otin said...

Wow, did you ever just paint the perfect mental picture of a cookout! You made me want to get on the phone and start inviting people over!

Happy Easter, Ronda!

Nessa said...

A bar b que seems totally appropriate to me, especially one like yours, full of warm feelings and happy thoughts.

Hoppy Easter!

DUTA said...

On Tuesday last week I attended a Barbeque Passover Meal. The host started a fire with oil and coals,and then put the seasoned meats on the grill: steak, liver, shishlik (marinated meat on skewers),hot dogs.

In the meantime, a table was set in a corner of the garden; on it a great variety of salads and beverages. When we started to eat, some of us complained of ..itching. It appeared that in one of the small bushes of the garden , there was a forgotten barrel with some stuff that attracted Flies. So we had to Fly inside to go on with our meal. What a shame, as the weather was so pleasant outside!

Jai Joshi said...

Happy Easter! Have fun at your barbeque. I like that your mother made up a different tradition for your family and that your carrying it on. That's the beauty of traditions.


Stacy Post said...

Great food descriptions, Ronda! Happy Easter to you too!

Ronda Laveen said...

Megan: I now have SIL envy! She is amazing and so is that menu. Posting your Easter menu on Facebook falls into rock star status. I think I'm bagging my BBQ and heading your way. She can cook. I'll wash dishes.

Lettuce: Thank you!

TechnoBabe: I now, that Tomato is one naughty girl;^) Those foods were really talking to me when I wrote this. I'll bet you laugh when you see lettuce at the next BBQ you attend.

Brian: you have a marvelouse Easter too! Four generations around the grill? Fantastic! I hope you get pictures.

Marisa: Enjoy your dinner at your friend's apartment. I'm sure you will come up with an amazing story from the experience.

Ronda Laveen said...

Otin: Happy out for Tomato. She's on the prowl:-)

Nessa: Hoppy Easter to you too. Thanks.

Duta: Sounds like the Passover BBQ was lovely until the fly incident. It was a shame that you had to move inside when the weather was so nice.

Jai: Yes, it is a nice tradition that I am happy to carry on. Blessings to you.

Stacy: Thank you, Writer Girl. Have a wonderful holiday.

Saint Dolores said...

You have a lovely way with your words. I love beautiful language. I'm glad I found you.

Dorraine said...

Sounds like you had quite the Easter feast! What a lovely tribute to your Mom. Happy Easter, Ronda.

Ronda Laveen said...

Saint Dolores: I am glad you found me too!

Dorraine: I hope your Easter was very nice. Thank you, it was more like an orgy.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

What a beautiful post !! My Wishes too on the sday !!Unseen Rajasthan

Harnett-Hargrove said...

I love the way yo personify!
What a great memorie-tradition. -J

Dave King said...

And why shouldn't Easter be celebrated with the first smoker of the year? I think it sounds a great idea - ev en if I'm not a great lover of the al fresco grill. A fascinating post. Thanks for the read.

Deanna Schrayer said...

Gosh Ronda, you made my mouth water with this post! I absolutely love a good grilling, especially when any type of bbq sauce is plentiful.
We had our traditional Too Much Food Feast at my parents - Mom makes turkey w/ gravy & stuffing, ham, mashed potatos, peas, corn, beets, deviled eggs, and carrots. But we somehow always have more dessert than the actual meal. This Easter it was coconut cake, pound cake w/ my raspberry sauce, pumpkin pie, chocolate pie, coconut pie, and strawberries (which was fantastic w/ the chocolate pie). Yes, we all stuff ourselves as if we've never eaten in our lives. Then we sit around outside and tell stories and laugh together. Well, everyone but my dad and my niece, who must have their own traditional nap. It was much fun.
This is a lovely tribute to your mother. We must always remember to carry on family traditions. It's one of the Most Important Things in Life.

Reya Mellicker said...

I love Easter - love it that after the somber nature of Lent, y'all really live it up on Easter. You SHOULD have a feast, dress up, wear fancy hats, eat chocolate and barbecue and get crazy. Seems so right to me.

There's no feast at the end of Passover which I think is so wrong. We eat the bread of affliction for seven days, then ... just stop without celebrating? Weird.

Happy Easter!!

25BAR said...

hope you had a gr8 day!

Ronda Laveen said...

Unseen Raj: Thank you.

Jayne: I was channeling barbecue that day.

Dave: You don't like al fresco grilling? Ahh, I guess I'll have to do it for you.

Deanna: Holey moley, Deanna! Your family really did have a feast. That is a totally awsome tradition. The Wonder Husband loves barbecue sauce and I love the raspberry sauce. Yes, traditions are very important.

Reya: That is odd that there is no celebration after Passover. Maybe you'll have to invent a new tradition. I love the fancy hats and chocolates idea though. Add a little wine...oh, yeah!

25BAr: you have a great day too!

Jill said...

After reading THIS post I am just PLAIN hungry!

A perfect way to start the spring season! PERFECT!

JGH said...

I think I would have liked your mom. And LOVED her cooking!

Mrsupole said...

Our youngest daughter had a barbeque at her house and they all had a lot of fun. The weather was great. Me being sick slept most of the day and then got up in time to get to my mom's house and make dinner for her and some family that came over. Well actually, Hubby and I just had to put it all in the microwave because I bought it all cooked already, since I knew I was sick.

I really like your mother's attitude and her idea of it being the first day for a barbeque.

Do you remember when we were young and it was the first day that everyone started wearing white shoes again. It was a day of celebration to start the beginning of spring clothes and playing outside all day long again. I need to change to a lighter colored purse now. LOL

Always good memories of this time of year.

Your mother passed on a great tradition and I hope it is okay for us all to join in it with you.

God bless.

PS....slowly starting to feel better. I can kinda hear out of my ear now and coughing up less stuff each day.

Ronda Laveen said...

Jill: Oh, meee tooo!

JGH: My mom made THE BEST baked beans and potato salad. But then, maybe everyone's did.

Sherry: You brought back so many memories. I had forgotten that Easter was the first day that it was okay to where white shoes. Back then, mine were white patten leather. And oh those stiff ruffled dresses and little Easter hats.