Double Whammy

When someone you love passes away, you cling to every little thing that recalls their memory — no matter how long they have been departed.

There are few people I feel so connected to that I can’t let go. Most of them are associated with memories of delectable food…. especially dishes they taught me to cook.

Delores Marie Nicholson

Delores Marie Nicholson

Today, my mind has been consumed by thoughts of my mother, who died in 2005. There is no special reason to remember her TODAY… her birthday was in May, she died in November. Yet, on days like this, I still can’t get it out of my head that she is TRULY gone. Nor can I banish thoughts of the good things she cooked for me to eat.

My mother wasn’t the greatest cook in the world; but she was more than adequate for small me. My father bragged that he taught her how to make gravy. My stepfather, who wasn’t a very adventurous cook, refused to teach her how to make his “perfect” Mississippi biscuits. For family and pot luck suppers, she was more likely to bring a bottle of Ballantine Scotch than a dish.

In her honor this day, I offer a recipe for Hawaiian baked beans — PERFECT summer fare for an impending weekend. The recipe originally came from my aunt Janet, who lived in California (close to Hawaii?). Between her, my mother and my grandmother (their mother), I ALWAYS ate well.

I cherish the fact that this recipe is written in my mother’s own hand…. in that perfect script I copied but which belies the fact that she was not a good speller. I continue to be amazed that she rendered  “Hawaiian” correctly when, on a grocery list, she spelled steak as “stake.”

I have cooked this recipe all over the world to overwhelming acclaim. It tastes especially good on a plate of BBQ ribs with cole slaw on the side.

Recipe - Hawaiian Baked Beans



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