I can't say I needed it because it was something we usually ate together, or because it was his favorite thing to eat. Truth is, I don't even know if my father liked garlic chip and cheese. But three days after burying my father, and the night before I left my home in Ireland to come back to my home in New York, all I could feel was the absence of garlic chip and cheese. I always eat garlic chip and cheese when I go home, and this time I hadn't.
It was nothing and everything.
My brother's house is a twenty-minute drive from the nearest chipper, and no-one else wanted chips. We were all tired from a long week of shaking hands and shaking heads. I was too tired to force the issue. I wish I'd insisted, because maybe then I wouldn't have spent the night in my room crying (that I might never have garlic chip and cheese again). If I'd had forty-minutes alone with my older brother and that hot steamy mass of chips and mayo with melted cheese, I would have slept better. I wouldn't have argued with my mother the next morning. I would have been less angry at everyone around me. I would have shopped in Duty-Free. I wouldn't have cried like a lonely immigrant as the plane pulled away from Ireland.
It's my father's month's mind mass today. I can't go, so I made myself garlic chip and cheese (even though I have a feeling he probably hated garlic). For something consumed so widely in Ireland, it's impossible to find a recipe for it; I'm wondering now if it's an Irish culinary secret (like the fact that no-one eats corned beef and cabbage).
I decided to wing it.
I love how rugged homemade chips look when wrapped in brown paper.
Actually, it was half-decent.
Though, it didn't make me feel better either ...