Recipes of the heart

It was a cold, brisk November night several weeks ago that Pamela and I went out to dinner (a rare occasion), not an expensive “date” by any means; a burger and a shared salad along with a few Shipyard Pumpkin Ales which were quite good, one or two and you’ve had your fill of this delicately spiced brew.
Maybe it was the up and coming holidays that turned on the “memory” faucet for me but for some reason I began thinking about my mother. (big surprise, huh?)
When I think about her, I really miss talking to her.
I wonder if that feeling will ever stop?
The two just go together, I guess.

It was no surprise that I found myself on Sunday afternoon making a big pot of Beef Stew, a recipe that I adopted from her.
The simple act of cooking something she used to make brings her back to me, in a quiet and introspective kind of way.
She’s almost standing next to me in the kitchen and to be honest, I love it.
Strange, huh? Not really.
After Thanksgiving dinner, I found a great seat on our “way too comfortable” living room couch and joined my daughters while they watched “Ratatouille”, the Disney flick (and a real good one at that).
I’m not giving anything away regarding the movie but now and then souls and memories intersect for reasons unknown.
This simple children’s movie spoke to me deeply.
Sheesh. It’s Dizzney.
Go figure. (one scene in particular)
Should you ever care to watch it, maybe you’ll understand where I’m coming from, maybe not.
I’ll just say that special dishes are such a beautiful and lasting thing in terms of our deepest fields of memory.
Our minds literally refuse to forget the special foods we ate and loved as children.
They bring us back.
Way back.

It was no surprise to me that the beef stew came out as good as it did.
The simple act of re-creating a recipe my mom once made me feel so good.
Maybe she had more to do with the end result of the beef stew than I did.
I like to think of it that way, anyway . . .


My mom’s beef stew recipe is up for grabs for anyone that wants it.
If there’s enough interest, I’ll post it here at S&M.

12 thoughts on “Recipes of the heart

  1. m squared,

    thanQ so much for sharing that!

    i believe it is the sense of smell that is the strongest memory-evoking sense. just the hint of a scent can bring back a flood of memories. i remember reading somewhere that the reason the scent of vanilla is so popular is because it is similar to the smell of a mother’s milk.

    please send me your mother’s recipe. i will make it for the carnivores in my life, with love.


  2. Yes, recipe. Please. A must. Uhh, I said please.

    Even though she is no longer with you (physically), and you miss her like mad, isn’t it nice though that a simple recipe and meal can conjure up so many lovely memories. And that is what will keep your mom around. That’s what keeps her spirit alive.

    I do believe that.


  3. Please post it. I love stews but haven’t really found a recipe that I like. (And no, it’s not the fact that I am a lousy cook).
    Nice post Mr. Murphy.
    PS. Can’t wait for the template to change, sorry but I couldn’t help but comment on that. 😉


  4. Hi ,
    I would like to see the recipe too.
    My Mother in Law used to make a Swiss Stew. Which was my Husbands’ favourite. Mine never tasted quite like hers. Maybe it had something to do with the old casserole it was cooked in,maybe it had something to do with love.


  5. Smells are incredibly evocative. My ex-wife wasn’t much of a cook, but she loved to experiment. Consequently, whenever I smell something burning, I can’t help thinking of her (and needless to say, I did most of the cooking when we were still together).


  6. Yes, that’s ok. Thanks for taking the baby blue lines off. Ouch. At least you’re brave. There are some bloggers out there who stubbornly stick to the same old thing 😉 .
    (And just in case you were thinking about me here – that’s not who I am talking about since I have a reason; one doesn’t go around changing gifts 😉 )

    Gotcha, kiddo. 😉


  7. Man, I am gonna need to steer the wife over here to grab that recipe. I am soooo not the cook around here.

    Likewise I cannot smell a good roast with whole potatoes without thinking of my mom. Those were our Sunday afternoon watching football and NASCAR dinners. LoL

    Sounds real nice, Grimm.
    Steer the wife over. I’ll take good care of her.


  8. Mikey,
    I liked the idea of your mother standing by as you made the stew. I can totally dig that. It’s so real to me that there are things that we can do to evoke the spirits of our passed on loved ones – I have my own experiences with this. I’m a believer. Post the recipe.

    It’s on its way in a day or two. I need to visit some folks (you being high up on the list 😉


  9. I would definitely be interested in the recipe, for sure.

    Missing talking to someone can be the loneliest feeling in the world. It’s that one, unique connection you will never get back. I wish it wasn’t that way, but in this broken world, that’s how the seams tear.

    At the same time there is hope, healing, and new connections. They won’t replace but they feed the human soul.

    I love how dishes can bring back memories. I know Thanksgiving always takes me straight back to my childhood.

    “that’s how the seams tear”
    I really like the sound of that.
    The recipe has been posted.


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