Today is mom’s birthday and I have reflected on some of hers from over the years. One memory is of the time I got her a birthday gift all by myself. I do not remember my age, guessing around five or six, but I vividly remember going through my room and opening my piggy bank to get all the money I had, a whopping three dollars. I then walked down to the corner pharmacy, on my own, to get her a birthday present. After looking through the store and at the things that I could afford, not a lot, I found her a brown plaque of an old spinning wheel. The nice lady at the counter wrapped it for me to take home and I gave it to her just before we all enjoyed her birthday cake. After looking at that plaque all these years I see how awful looking it really is but mom always kept it hanging in her room.
For several years dad and I would make mom a pie for her birthday, Cherry Icebox Pie. I know mom liked cherries, especially chocolate covered cherries, but while she never said anything I have a feeling that she asked for the pie as she knew it was so simple to make that the two of us could not screw it up. Dad would melt the butter and I would mix it with Graham Cracker crumbs and the crust was done, back then they did not have the ready-made crust like they do today. I think the filling was a can of cherry pie filling mixed with cherry Jello or plain gelatin and then cooled overnight in the refrigerator. We would serve it with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Actually pecan pie was always mom’s favorite pie from the time she was a little girl. She loved to pick the pecans off the top and one time her mother had to tell her that a roach had run across one she had made for a dinner party they were having so mom would not pick at it before the guest arrived. That night after the dinner her mom was ready to serve the pie to all the guest but mom piped up and said thank you but she did not want a piece cause a roach had been on it. Just goes to show you watch what you tell young ones as it may backfire on you.
Here is a picture of mom in 1981 blowing out the candles on one of her birthday cherry pies.
Most always we would celebrate mom’s birthday with our very dear friends the McLeods, photo below. We usually went out to dinner, rule was mom never cooked dinner on her birthday, at a place called Art’s Steak House, and mom would have a Grasshopper (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grasshopper_(cocktail). Here is a picture of a typical Grasshopper Cocktail:
After the meal we would always return home to have the pie.
(l-r) Eudine McLeod, Dad, me, mom and Thurston Mcleod
In my late teen years mom wanted a coconut cake that has to be made three days in advance. (See recipe below)
For this cake dad had to make a special box lined with foil to cover the cake while it was in the refrigerator. The three of us would all work together to make this one and yes it is worth the three days for this fabulous cake.
Seeing the above pictures reminds me of the year that dad and I had made the cherry pie and I gave mom Erma Bombeck’s book If Life Is A Bowl Of Cherries, What Am I Doing In The Pits, Yes, silly but we loved that kind of funniness and had good laughs from the book and the cherry pie.
I have to note here that mom never minded celebrating her birthday but we never talked about what birthday it was and truth be told I really never knew her birth year until she died. All the rest of us would get older but mom never did and besides she always acted a lot younger than what her real age may have been. When my sister started celebrating birthdays over 30 I asked mom every year, on her birthday and on my sister’s birthday, how if felt to have a daughter older than herself.
Happy Birthday Mom, as always you are timeless!