She shows up in my mind unannounced, especially in May, the month for mothers. With her hand on her hip and head cocked in a question mark with its slight tilt and hair piled high, her soft smile betrays the set of her body.
My mother loved strays and tall flowers. We never bought a pedigree pet and there always seemed to be wild lilies, irises and ginger around. Pound mutts and homeless cats coachable enough to learn house rules were given names and entered the fold.
Recently I was in my backyard cutting a tall flowering stem of fragrant ginger to take as a dinner party gift when Maddy, my rescue dog, comes bowling into the stand leaving a trail of bent and broken stalks. ‘Hi Eula, you taking all of this in?’ My mother, descended from a long line of practical jokers, is also the reason I have had a lifetime of adopted shelter or homeless cats and dogs. She would appreciate this arc of irony. The delicate flower meets Maddy, the affectionate, sensitive, amped up, mixed breed of impatience and terrier, that she would have embraced. Maddy is a seizure pup and my mom had a soft heart for a hard luck story. Maddy would come to me via my equally kind and generous wife, partially explaining my choice in mates.
It’s curious that my mother Eula seems to know when I need her or that she’d show up without my dad. It might be that she was always there for me even when she wasn’t. I miss her. As the compass for a young boy’s North Star, she was a constant, reliable and fierce defender.
I’m not much for wearing jewelry–wedding ring, watch, that’s about it. But occasionally, in moments of solitude, I’ll wear my father’s neck chain with the attached St. Christopher medal and looped with my mother’s delicate high school ring. It’s my anecdote for wistful affection.
Sleeping in was the most decadent behavior my post World War II parents would indulge. Their work ethic was a virulent strain. But on Mother’s Day my mom got to do whatever she wanted and that included breakfast in bed. Take this opportunity to make your mom’s day special and serve her this brunch frittata and include mimosas.
8 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk or half and half
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon hot sauce
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
4 small red new potatoes, diced small
2 cups Louisiana crawfish tails
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
Garnish: sour cream, pico de gallo,
green onion tops
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large bowl whisk eggs with milk and spices.
3. Melt butter in a cast-iron or oven proof pan over medium heat, then add the onion and potatoes cooking until potatoes are barely done.
4. Add the tomatoes and spinach and blend. Pour eggs over the mixture.
5. Add the crawfish and cook for a few minutes.
6. Use a spatula to pull the set eggs away from the side of the pan allowing the liquid egg mixture to flow to the cooking surface. When the eggs are half set transfer the pan to the preheated oven.
7. Bake 10 minutes until puffed and slightly browned.