Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Monday, December 5, 2016


Mom, age 21 - her college graduation photograph from 1949.

Today is Mom’s eighty-ninth birthday. Too bad she’s not around to enjoy it with us.

On the first night of Chanukah, we will celebrate her special day the same way we’ve done for the last twenty-nine years - by eating potato latkes and Chinese food. But since the first night of Chanukah coincides with Christmas Eve this year, we have a few more weeks to wait.

On birthdays, most of us have cakes on our minds. While a potato latke is, technically, a sort of cake, it is not what we think of when we think “birthday cake.” We usually imagine some sweet production, often with icing or a glaze. And candles... because birthday.

Mom wasn’t much of a cake person... at least, not in my recollection. (The Other Elisson may remember things differently.) As far as I know, she baked one - one! - cake in the entire time I lived at home with her, a rather tasty spice cake. She bought enough coconut custard pies and blueberry tarts to keep the Dugan man in business, but her favorite treat was a bowl of ice cream, devoured in front of the teevee set in the late evening.

So I suppose it would be entirely appropriate to celebrate her Special Day by having a nice big bowl of ice cream, perhaps with a forest of candles crammed into it. Burnt Alaska.

A perfect Rob Roy - Mom’s favorite.
But no. Anyone can eat ice cream. Mom’s special pleasure, though, was a perfect Rob Roy, best described as a Manhattan made with blended Scotch in lieu of rye or bourbon. It was an occasional treat, something she would enjoy for the odd celebratory evening... such as her birthday. And that’s what I will use to toast her memory this evening.

Ut absente mater mia. I hope you’re enjoying a Rob Roy in the World to Come.

1 comment:

Kevin Kim said...

Please and blessings to your mom, to you, and to your family.