Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

I am a mother thanks to these two handsome young men.  The one on the left is the one formerly referred to as college-age son.  No more.  He is now, as of yesterday, college-grad son.  Yipee!  He is very happy and his parents are even happier.  And very proud.  He has worked hard this year at his two internships, coaching and final classes.  We celebrated by going out for lunch at Bin 33 in downtown Greensboro.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  We sat outside and I sipped Prosecco and ate a grilled calamari salad.

College-grad son ordered a blueberry mint drink that was fabulous.  I hope he will remember how to make it at the beach in July.  The waiter, a truly great waiter, also told us about a drink called concombre.  Cucumbers and basil are involved.  Sounds very refreshing, doesn't it?  We ate, talked and enjoyed each other's company tremendously.
The son on the left is high school-age son.  But not for long.  In three short weeks, he will graduate from high school and in August head west to Knoxville to the University of Tennessee (note the orange hat).  He will then become college-age son.  He plans to study politics.  His AP Government class has been a turning point in his life.  He just can't get enough of it.  He will do his senior project with a fellow in the North Carolina Attorney General's office in Raleigh.  I have every reason to be a very proud mom.
This morning, I woke up and headed to the kitchen, as usual, to feed the cats and make coffee.  This is what I found on the counter--
a message from high school-age son created from yellow post-it notes.  A very nice surprise.  And very creative.
So, I had no choice but to feed him.  Seemed like the only motherly thing to do.  I made chicken with rosemary and potatoes.  It was quite good.  I think it is better simply because I took my kitchen scissors and cut the rosemary out of my little herb garden!
Then I decided to make my mother-in-law's no-bake oatmeal chocolate cookies.  Quick and easy when you need a chocolate fix.  (see index for recipe, if interested)
Even all that didn't quite satisfy me because I knew that I had a can of black beans in my cupboard calling my name.  We also had a brand new bag of Tostito's since high school-age son forgot to take them to his psychology class party on Friday.  I don't know what kind of dip his teacher made, but there were no chips to dip unfortunately.
This recipe (a favorite of the BFF), comes from Even More Special, a cookbook put together by the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties. 

When this cookbook came out in 1986, I bought three copies.  One for me, one for my mother-in-law and one for my sister-in-law.  Then, thinking that it would be easy to get another copy, I gave mine to a former student who had graduated from college and who still came to dinner at our house whenever he was back in Durham.  Guess again.  I borrowed the BFF's once in a while and looked for one whenever I was at a used book sale.  But it took me until 2010 to get my very own copy again, thanks to the Bookshop on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill.  And I will not give this one away!  There are too many great recipes in it that I still need to make.
What a great Mother's Day weekend I've had.

Black Bean Dip

1 15-oz. can black beans or black-eyed peas
1 Tbsp. chopped jalapeño peppers, fresh or canned
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. picante sauce
1 1/4 c. grated cheese (mild Cheddar or a combination of Cheddar and Monterey Jack)
Freshly ground pepper

** I substituted chunky salsa for the jalapeño, onion and picante sauce.

1.  Preheat oven to 350˚.
2.  Drain bean and discard juice.
3.  Mash beans with a fork, leaving some chunks.  Do not use blender or processor.
4.  Add remaining ingredients, reserving 1/4 c. of cheese and mix well.
5.  Pour into a 1-quart baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  (May be prepared ahead to this point and refrigerated.)
6.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
7.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Bon appétit, to all moms!

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