This Sunday, May 8th is Mothers Day, this year it is a little different for the Gilligan Clan as it almost a year to the day {May 10th 2010} that we lost our own mother Pauline Gilligan {nee Clohessey from Miltown Malbay Co. Clare} so I must apologize if this weeks article is a little too personal.

Our Mom had her own logic, that made no sense to us as kids but as we have grown up we find ourselves using her same sayings.

“If you fall out off that swing and break your neck, don’t come running to me."
“I’ll make you laugh on the other side of your face”
“Always wear clean knickers; you could get hit by a car.”
“Don’t bite your nails, you’ll get worms”
“If you make that face and the wind changes, you’ll look like that forever”
“We never had that when you were kids, and if they did-we couldn’t have afforded them”

Our Mom was a very honest woman, sometimes brutally so.
She called a spade a spade, especially if it was a spade that left up its Christmas decorations up too long. Or a spade that hadn’t tended its garden properly or a spade that thought it was a rake. You get my drift.
But I will tell you, she helped far more people than she harmed.

We’ve often heard it said that that great people would give you their shirt off their back,
I’m just going to tell you one story about my mom.

Growing up mom and her sisters lived in a convent in the West Coast of Ireland.
As we all know the nuns weren’t all Sister Maria from the Sound of Music or Mary Poppins back then.

Her little sister, our Auntie Mona {God rest her soul} had a kidney infection and she peed the bed, she got whipped for it, she was a scared little girl who peed the bed and everyday she got whipped for it. My mom took her place in that bed in the mornings and took the whippings for her.
She didn’t give the shirt off her back, she gave her skin.

She was no Angel our Mom. She was a saint.
Did she turn water in to wine? No, although when times were hard she could make a bottle of Ribena last 2 weeks.

What she did do was raise 4 kids in Birmingham who never went to jail or had kids out of wedlock or lived off the state, that my friends coming from Birmingham is a miracle.
I would like to see St. Francis of Assisi raise 4 kids in Brum; he’d be kicking Lepers down the street in the Bull Ring!

So now we are going to cherish the Mothers that our still with us by making a wonderful sour cream coffee cake that we will deliver in bed to them with a nice cup of tea.

Serves 8 to 10

12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups sour cream
2 ½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
For the streusel:
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¾ cup chopped walnuts, optional
For the glaze:
½ cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons real maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, and then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts, if desired.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. Whisk the confectioners' sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.

AND FINALLY… Mother's Dictionary of Meanings
Dumbwaiter: One who asks if the kids would care to order dessert.

Feedback: The inevitable result when the baby doesn't appreciate the strained carrots.

Full Name: What you call your child when you're mad at them.

Grandparents: The people who think your children are wonderful even though they're sure you're not raising them right.

Independent: How we want our children to be for as long as they do everything we say.

Puddle: A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry shoes into it.

Show Off: A child who is more talented than yours.

Sterilize: What you do to your first baby's pacifier by boiling it and to your last baby's pacifier by blowing on it and wiping it with saliva.

Top Bunk: Where you should never put a child wearing Superman Pajamas.

Two-Minute Warning: When the baby's face turns red and she begins to make those familiar-grunting noises.

Whodunit: None of the kids that live in your house.


Sour cream coffee cake