Sharing Mom’s Love

Posted May 9, 2010 by jimhigley

Today we talk recipes. I’ve not done this before. And, I likely will not do this again. But, today we talk recipes.

My Bobblehead Dad column in TribLocal last week was a Mother’s Day tribute to my own mom who passed away when I was a pretty young kid. I shared, in the story, how I recently reconnected with an old friend of hers and how that long-lost friend had mailed me a couple recipes that my mom typed for her many years ago.

The kicker to the story was a promise, from me, to prepare and enjoy those mystery recipes for our Mother’s Day celebration. No matter what they turned out to be.

I thought it was a sweet story. And it apparently created a level of suspense with several readers based on the number of e-mails I received wanting to know what the recipes were for. Perhaps some of you wanted to find out if the kids and I, in fact, were forced to gag our way through the long-feared tomato aspic I mentioned in my story? Perhaps you were jealous at the prospect of us having an entire Mother’s Day meal comprised of sugar cookies and snicker doodles? Or, perhaps you related to the idea of a mother’s love travelling back to her son in two simple recipes.

Well, the recipes were waiting for me in last Thursday’s mail and I immediately tore open the envelope containing them. Inside I found, along with a note from my mom’s friend, two index cards covered with the all-too-familiar typewriter font that was my mothers. Stained, dog-eared and having a moistness that only could come from years of use, I loved holding them. I also liked the few hand-written notes from my mom in the margins of the cards.

But it was her initials, also hand-written at the bottom of each card, which caused my eyes to swell. “B.H.” Her name was Betty.

The first recipe was for a “Hot Chicken Salad Casserole” – apparently her trademark dish for the bridge club she enjoyed with a few of her friends on a regular basis. My favorite part of this recipe was her suggestion to pair with “Brown N’ Serve” rolls because you can easily pop them in the oven, along with the casserole, for the last ten minutes. My mom was so efficient. I’m surprised she didn’t integrate a load of laundry into the recipe somehow.

The second recipe was for a “Frozen Fruit Salad” (also a bridge club favorite) which made me laugh because I vividly remember my mom’s frustration with all of her boys who turned up their noses to fruit. We eventually wore her down so I was pleased to find out her bridge friends were kinder to her. My only comment, however, is “Mom, since when are marashino cherries considered a food group?”

So, the kids and I had our Mother’s Day celebration. Complete with the Brown N’ Serve rolls and the marashino cherries. While none of us claim to be a food critic, I think we all agree it was our best meal ever. But, of course, it had nothing to do with the food.

It was all about the guest of honor.

And, if you want the full recipes yourself, email me at I’d be happy to share the love.