Sunday, April 3, 2011



Spring, to me meant Easter and my father gardening.   He said his grandfather (Thomas Dowd b. 1858-1930 Galway Ireland) always had a big garden and he would take his wagon and grandfather would give him things that he had grown.

Since my dads father died when he was three I think his grandfather was his male role model.   My father was named after his grandfather in the Irish tradition.

During the winter the Burpee Catalog would come he would peruse it for many weeks.  Then he would decide what he wanted and order the seeds.   He would plant them in 13 x 9 inch cake pans and had some soil mix, then water them and cover them with plastic wrap.  He had some formula, that I do not know, when it started to get moisture he would vent the plastic.   Thomas had grow lights and kept them in the basement and it seemed to take a long time to grow.   By May he would plant his cold weather vegetables and then at the end of May he would plant the summer ones.

There was an upper and lower garden for vegetables and at the end of the yard near the property line was a wall of Concord grapes.  We had apple trees, plum trees and peach trees, he kept them pruned and not too tall.  

At Easter my mother would cook a ham with potatoes and vegetables.The Saturday before we would dye hard boiled eggs and set out our Easter basket to be filled with chocolate.

When I was younger my grandmother would cook dinner and we would go there.  Her brother William O’Rourke lived with my grandmother.   He worked and she kept house and was employed doing housekeeping at various places.  They shared the expenses.

What I liked were her carrots, she had them cut in tiny squares and added parsley, the carrots tasted so food. She would also cook parsnips and rutabagas.    My grandmother was very good at making pies and I loved them too.  

When she got older and in ill health she moved in with us and shared a room with me.  Uncle Bill still lived in the house and my father would take a Dinner to him every Sunday and on Holidays.  He did not like to go visiting so the meals went to him.

My grandmother died in 1965 and later had a stroke and came to live with us.  He died in 1979 from another stroke.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh yes, the eye coloring. I seem to remember we would begin trying to decorate the "most beautiful eggs in the world" and by the time we ended, we were mixing the colors and the eggs looked pretty; however, they tasted good :-D