I wrote this menu two years but I wanted to share this again, for one reason this is what I would like for this year’s Mother’s Day celebration. It was my momma’s favorite. My momma would want nothing more than for the whole family to be together on Mother’s Day. She didn’t want gifts she wanted family around her along with music, songs, kids running around, and people in the kitchen cooking. She loved to see a beautiful table set with flowers, nice china, and great wine! She always dressed for the occasion making all of us up our game. I tried to come up every year with a different menu as she loved to try new things.
She has been gone for 4 years now but I continue on as if she would walk right through our front door, so elegant and excited to be surrounded with love.The thing I cherish and remember most of all about my mom was her fierce love for her family, making us feel loved and valued and how proud she was of ALL her children. She lives on…………
This year we are serving Chilled Cucumber Soup with fresh cracked crab. The soup is light and full of flavor from the cool cucumber infused with fresh herbs. The melt in your mouth crab meat with its sweet and salty taste is the star of this dish.
I hope this year we will be able to be together with our families and we don’t have to do a “Zoom” Mother’s Day! In any case, Happy Mother’s Day!
I loved my mother she is the best person I’ve ever known. She has always been my hero and whenever anyone asks me who my hero is I say without hesitation, “my mother”. My mom passed away 4 years ago from Alzheimer’s disease. It was a long painful journey as our whole family watched her disappear into a world we had no power to pull her out of.
My mother Renata was born in La Spezia, Italy, survived a war as a child and married at 14 (still a child) to my father who was stationed in Italy during World War ll. She came to this country not speaking a word of English to begin her new life here in the United States. She gave birth to me at 17, my sister Diana at 20 & brother Gino at 26. Basically my parents were children raising children. An unbelievable story of courage and survival is a story to be told for sure but for now, I am going to keep it simple and to the point.
I want to honor and say thank you to my mom, Renata, who is the backbone of our family. She led by example at such a young age. She knew and understood instinctively the importance of family, discipline, loyalty, and hard work. We didn’t have much money growing up but there was always laughter, music, and the wonderful family meals my mother would cook. Preparing the meals, setting the table, and sitting down to eat as a family imprinted my life. The warm wonderful feeling of being together, sharing, and connecting live inside me today. It makes me smile; it gives me hope and makes me happy.
SETTING THE TABLE
My mother loved roses and the color pink. I would find beautiful pink flowers for her at the open market where I go to get everything I need for our Mother’s Day celebration!
My mother would always set beautiful tables no matter if it was for breakfast lunch, snack, or dinner. It wasn’t elaborate but it had her special touch. Even if it was a lone flower in a glass vase she would brighten it up by leaving written messages on little rocks she would find in the garden with a personal note at the bottom. We could read them through the water! I would reach in after the meal and save mine and put them in the soil of the plant that I kept in my room! I have so many wonderful memories of the “little” things that my mom would do for us and for my sister and brother. They are forever indelibly ingrained in my hears.
Happy Mother’s Day!
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CUCUMBER AND YOGURT SOUP WITH DUNGENESS CRAB
MAKE THE SOUP FIRST
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 cups white onion diced small
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 large Persian cucumbers
1 cup of water
1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
2 ounces cream cheese
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
In a soup pot on medium-high heat add the olive oil. Add the onion and salt, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Roughly chop 3 of the cucumbers, add them, and water to a blender. Blend in high until smooth about 1 minute. Strain the puree through a mesh strainer. You should be left with 2 cups of cucumber juice.
Add to blender, onion mixture, yogurt, and cream cheese and turn the blender on high speed for about 45 seconds until smooth.
Finely dice the remaining cucumbers into even cubes. Stir in cubes into the yogurt-cucumber puree. Add the lemon zest and Tabasco, mix. Cover the soup and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
30 minutes before serving, place the serving bowls in the freezer to chill.
AIOLI, YOU CAN MAKE THE DAY BEFORE
1 tablespoon shallots minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup crème Fraiche or sour cream
½ garlic clove pressed through a garlic press
2 tablespoons Italian Parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fresh chives minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
Place all the ingredients into a glass bowl and whisk together. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Will keep overnight.
ASSEMBLE THE CRAB SALAD THE SAME DAY YOU SERVE THE SOUP
2 cups fresh cooked crabmeat rinsed and picked over to remove any small fragments of shells
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons chives minced
1 tablespoon dill finely chopped
½ teaspoon tarragon finely chopped fine
3 Tablespoons aioli
Edible flowers, optional
1 jalapeno sliced in thin rounds
In a glass mixing bowl gently stir together crab, lemon juice, chives, dill, tarragon, pepper aioli.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Evenly divide the soup among the bowls. Add 1/4 cup of the crab salad in the middle and garnish with edible flowers, if using, chopped chives.
Serve with the aioli on the side.
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