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Abrazos! xox Penny

Friday, August 28, 2009

Half Mast and Mostly, Filled with Fun

I got several comments about the " 'Boo.." post, almost as many as the "Let the elephant..." one and so I feel I need to add this post in before I move on to the granola and hot dogs which really are coming next!

Some of you were a little surprised by the peanut butter jar having a place of prominence at my dad's memorial service. I guess you did have to be there but I will share the scene better than I did in an earlier post. I had never planned a memorial service before and of course, my dad left me no instructions and my mom's only comment was, "Pensy, what are you going to do for Dad's service?"

Dad's "assignment" over the past few years was to write me a "Doomsday Book". When I was up with him in January, I gently asked him how the writing was going. His response, "Oh, good, babe. Yea, good. You will find everything you need in the metal box by my desk." The day after he died, I tiptoed up to his room to look for my book and you guessed it. The neatly typed Title Page was the book in its entirety. And so, feeling the heaviness of my dad's death and the fragility of both my mom's and brother's condition, I decided we needed to throw a party in Dad's honor.

While the flags all over their island were lowered to half mast and the antique fire truck was draped in black, our party for Dad was actually fun, moments softened with a few tears here and there, but mostly replete with laughter. One of Dad's most honored achievements was that he was a commissioner of the volunteer fire department and an honorary fireman, and so we had his party at Firehouse #3. I went full throttle on a display with different vignettes that told his story, right down to the foods and snacks he loved...hence the peanut butter. We had his letter sweater from high school, trophies won from sailing, medals from The War, oars from his beloved dinghy, books from the library, his walking stick and trowel and the piece de resistance...a collage of every theater and event ticket he had saved and a list of 85 favorite things. In the background, we played his favorite show tunes.

It makes me smile just to think about that day. My mom is still getting letters and cards which make her smile and my brother is happy . All is good. Here is one of the foods we served. Dad loved a good deviled egg and he loved Firehouse #3.

Firehouse #3 Deviled Eggs

10 large eggs, hard-cooked and shelled
1 clove garlic, minced
2 serrano chilies, seeded and minced
1/2 cup real mayo
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon good chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon chopped chives

Slice off top 1/3 of each egg and set aside. (It is a great help to slice off the bottom of each egg so that it sits flat and doesn't roll.) Scoop out the yolks and mash together with the rest of the ingredients except the chives. Refill egg white shells. Garnish with chives and serve chilled. Serves quite a few unless you are also feeding firemen. Those guys can eat!

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