Well-worn cookbooks, lists of ingredients and recipe ideas, potential menus, all leading up to whatever is going to be for dinner that night. And not only does this go on during major holidays, it also happens on run-of-the-mill Wednesdays as well. She approaches dinner as an art form, and it was not unusual for us to come home from school and hear that frog legs were on the menu…or stuffed grape leaves made with grape leaves picked from the back yard, or homemade lo mein with scallion pancakes, or turkey vegetable barley soup that had simmered on the stove all day. Our sandwiches were made on her homemade bread made from the sourdough starter that was always on her counter. And on the best days of all, her cream scones would be cooling on a rack, with the aroma of currants and sugar in the air.
Now I’m not saying that we didn’t have our fair share of burgers (one of her favorite approaches was to spread seasoned ground beef on a slice of that bread, broil it until the meat was cooked into the bread, and serve it up for dinner under the exotic name of Greek Hamburgers) and macaroni and cheese with peas on the side (and there was one suppertime involving peas and forks with the peas being used as projectiles and the forks being used as launchers that I think resulted in all four of us losing dessert for a week), but even those suppers had my mom’s magic touch. But through all of it, there’s nothing I loved with the devotion that I loved her scones.
So with thanks to my mama, and a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to you, here’s the best Irish recipe I know…