Sunday, May 10, 2015

A special treat for a special day

HALLIE EPHRON: Happy Mother's Day! To celebrate, my sweet husband gave me the most gorgeous bouquet of yellow roses -- my favorite kind. We're celebrating double: Mother's Day and our anniversary. We were actually married on Mother's Day in 1969.

Today I'm remembering my mom, Phoebe Ephron, who taught me to savor well turned phrases and to appreciate really good, really REAL food. The perfect Mother's Day present for her would have been a bowl of home-roasted almonds, roasted in olive and salted with coarse salt so they come out like pricey Marcona almonds. (She wouldn't have turned her nose up at a few ounces of Beluga caviar. She loved salt.)

So, in honor of her, here's how:

Phoebe Ephron's "Marcona" almonds

1 lb. of unroasted (raw) almonds, skin on
A few tablespoons of olive oil
Kosher salt

1. Boil the almonds in water for a minute (not longer).
2. Drain them and run them under cold water and pat dry.
3. Use your fingers to pinch each almond, gently squeezing the almonds from its skin. (Time out for a contest to see how far you can shoot one across the room.) Discard skins.
4. Dress the almonds lightly with olive oil so each is lightly coated.5. Spread them on a cookie sheet,  sprinkle them with kosher salt to taste, and bake in a 350-degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Cool and eat, one at a time, savoring each one with a sip of champagne.

So what would be the treat you wish someone would make for you on your special day?


  1. What a lovely memory, Hallie.

    For the first time possibly ever neither of my sons is home today, so instead I'm getting treated to a sunny afternoon out at an historic site in Portsmouth, following by dinner sitting by the water somewhere.

    A homemade treat I used to get for Mothers Day breakfast in bed? Eggs Benedict. And I wish someone would make the California version I had in West Hollywood a couple of years ago, featuring - of course - avocados. Happy Mothers Day!

  2. Happy Mother's Day to you . . . .
    Hallie, the almond recipe sounds yummy; thanks for sharing.
    What treat would I wish for? My mom's wonderful chocolate fudge. Here's the recipe:

    Mix together in a saucepan:
    2/3 cup Special Dark cocoa OR 2 squares chocolate
    2 cups sugar
    Dash of salt
    3/4 cup milk

    Bring to a boil, stirring constantly
    Cover the pan; boil for three minutes
    Remove the cover; continue cooking to soft boil [234° - 236°], stirring occasionally

    2 tablespoons butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Cool to 110°; beat until creamy

    Spread in buttered pan; cool completely; cut into squares

  3. Edith, I love eggs benedict, too. But I get up too early for anyone to make me breakfast in bed.

    Joan, thanks for the recipe!


  4. Marcona almonds! Eggs Benedict! Fudge! YUM!

    Happy Mother's Day, everyone!!

  5. For lunch I would like clam rolls which are battered, deep fried clams that are stuffed into a buttered and grilled flat-sided hotdog roll, and a beer.

    Dinner would be steamed lobsters. No limit. Just keep them coming, please. Steamed clams. Same deal.

    Happy Mothers Day!

  6. Those almonds sound fab. Definitely on my to-do list.

    My treat would be my mother's shrimp boulettes, which she learned from her mother, and which I have yet to master, but I'm working on it.

  7. oh you all are making me so hungry! what are shrimp boulettes Ramona?

    Happy anniversary Hallie and Jerry--many more happy years together!

  8. Reine, come on over and we'll take you to Tony's Clam Shop on Wollaston Beach just south of Boston. Great steamers. Fried clams. And the best lobster roll anyone could conjure.

  9. YUM! I had no idea that's how you made them.

    Hmmm…oysters Rockefellers and champagne.--mom's favorites.

    And happy anniversary! yay! Love you!

  10. I'm with Hank on the oysters Rockefellers and champagne. Or the fabulous fried oysters from Pappadeux, a cajun restaurant here.

    But my mom made fabulous sweetbreads. What did she put in them? Cream? Sherry? Very French, obviously, so I should look up Julia Child. Was I a weird kid that I adored sweetbreads? (And yes, I knew what they were:-))

  11. A wonderful time for anniversaries! Mine (43) is this week, too.
    Have a great celebration.

  12. Hallie! Tony's Clam Shop sounds great!

    I'm very familiar with Wollaston Beach and would be happy to take you up on that the next time I'm visiting my aunt, Ann, who lives about four miles from there by Milton Academy. Then there's Aunt Carol over in Squantum, Aunt Margaret and Aunt Barbara just the other side of Cedar Grove. Uncle Kevin in Weymouth. Ellen in Milton.

    And there are all my cousins who think my cousin Marianne, now of Texas, and I are crazy for moving away. The proof? We moved away. You're a California girl. Aren't you? How are getting along on the south shore? Obviously the seafood is great! xoxo

  13. My Mother was not a good cook and I never saw her bake anything

    My Gram was an excellent cook/baker and taught me, I don't think I disliked anything she made

    This was her recipe and I Always looked forward to Strawberry season - made this few days ago

    Mary's Grams Strawberry Glazed Pie
    3 qts Strawberries (fresh not frozen) I usually buy 4 qts
    as you will have some bad spots
    3/4 cup water
    3 tbs. corn starch
    1 cup sugar
    1 tsp. lemon juice
    1 pie crust - pre cooked and set aside

    Clean berries and remove stems and any bad spots
    Cut berries into small pieces to make 1 full cup of berries
    ( I smooch the berries down in cup )
    Rest of berries cut in quarters or smaller depending on
    size of berries - set aside in strainer
    simmer 1 full cup berries and 3/4 cup water in saucepan
    for apx 4-6 minutes
    meanwhile in small bowl combine sugar and cornstarch
    add sugar/cornstarch mix to simmering berries, stir constant
    until thick and clear looking. Pull of burner and stir in lemon juice
    Put apx 1/2 berries in cooked pie crust and slowly pour 1/2 of the
    glaze over berries so it settles down in, then repeat with rest
    of berries and glaze

    I put in fridge over night, or make in morning if having for dinner
    that night

    Serve with sweet whipped cream -- ENJOY !!!