Happy Mother’s Day

It’s still strange that someone celebrates this day with me in mind.  We had a lovely picnic in Prospect Park and recalled the picnics we used to take in Paris and dreamed of taking Julian there someday soon…

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Rosie’s Cakes

My grandmother, Rose, is a domestic goddess of mythic proportion in my mind.  She could do everything.  She made dresses for my mother that I am still able to wear.  She hosted dinners for over 50 people on a weekly basis. Everything she created in the kitchen was extraordinary and the best I’ve eaten  – even just spaghetti with meatballs (which was really the only thing I ate as a kid, earning me the nickname “the spaghetti wrangler”).  She hosted pea parties where only dishes with peas were served (and it wasn’t gross!).  She left her Christmas tree up all year long.  She could knit an afghan, read a book and watch “Days of Our Lives” all at the same time. She had a built-in brick oven in her kitchen.  She used to buy me gold lamé bathing suits and took me to the diner with her friends.  Maybe it was her special Grandma touch, but she could do no wrong.

She also used to make the most remarkable wedding cakes.  I was sorting through some old photographs with my mother this weekend and we found these pictures of cakes she made in the late 60′s to the early 80′s.  The images aren’t in the greatest condition, but you’ll get the picture.  These are the wedding cakes of yore – you’ll be hard pressed to find a baker who still makes them like this (except for maybe in the Bronx?) and, although, it’s not necessarily an aesthetic that’s stood the test of time – you can certainly appreciate the artistry that goes into them.  They have electric fountains and angels and sugar roses for crying out loud!  I don’t know who they belonged to.  I wish I did.  Even though they were promptly eaten on someone’s wedding day, I am happy that I can share them with you here.

My Parents & Their Wedding Cake…

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7 Course Dinner

I just finished eating the seven course meal Mr. Vanderberg and I prepared (blame all the Downton Abbey watching).  And I didn’t take one picture.  Can you believe it?  Here’s the menu and some pictures of the prep.  And what my table looked liked. I made that tablecloth for Thanksgiving.  That’s it.

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Yum. And some

Going to be doing a lot more of this.  Remember when we used to write about food a lot (Brooklyn Plated ring any bells?).  Well, that might happen some more. I really miss cooking for friends.

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I’ve never really addressed why we stopped. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to have Sunday Dinners or take pictures of food or eat that food. It was because I lost someone very important to me who read that blog every day.  He commented nearly every day as well and quite frankly, seeing his comments is like seeing a ghost and I couldn’t really bring myself to look at them anymore.   When he was sick, he would write to me about how much he loved reading the posts and imagined himself cooking a lot of the things.  So, sane as I am, I began to compulsively cook – just to make sure I had enough to share.  When he died, I realized a lot of those posts were for him. I think about him every day and I’m so glad we had something in common to talk about.  It’s been almost 2 years since he passed away and I’d like to start cooking for him again.