One of the things I could always rely on to make Mom relax into a smile when she was fighting her last pitched battle against pneumonia was the mention of any of her favorite foods. She often thought she was hungry — and I bet she often was hungry— because the dilapidated rehab she found herself in refused to serve her any food that was not ground to an unrecognizable mush. Everything the kitchen brought to her looked like dog food. Worse than dog food, actually, because it was called something tasty, which raised expectations that there might be something delicious or even just edible under the tarnished silver dome. I know mom died of pneumonia, finally, but I also think that that rehab was starving her to death. So I would tell her that when she got home her caregiver and I would make her favorite chicken soup, or whitefish salad, or hotdogs and beans. I brought her my homemade egg salad, which she loved, but I could feed her no more than a few forks before she declared herself full.
Every day, since she died in December, I make it a point to try to honor her memory in some way. And today, because one of her favorite meals was corned beef and cabbage, I’m celebrating her with that classic Irish dinner. I wish I were sharing it with her. But with every bite I’ll be remembering her delight. (The recipe is from allrecipes.com)