I read a story the other day on The Smoking Gun about a guy in New Mexico who was on very thin ice with his mom, but he obviously loved one thing about here and that seems to be her cooking.

Johnathan Ray, of Albuquerque, New Mexico had already been arrested once for trespassing on his mom's property, so their relationship must have been strained at best. Well, a few days later, Ray returned to his mom's house and broke in and took only one thing: a pot of her homemade stew known as Posole. It must have been great because he thought it was worth the jail time he's now facing for the break-in.

The story got me to thinking about favorite dishes my mom would serve up when I was a kid. Strangely enough, one of those dishes my mom made that I loved so much was her beef stew. Now, there are a million beef stews on the market and most of them have a fairly think sauce to them, but my mom's stew had very thin liquid in it, but it was full of flavor.

There is some evidence in the old family tree that,I'm not at all Scots - Irish like my dad told me, but I only recently learned that the kind of stew my mom made was an Irish version of beef stew called Slumgullion. I don't know how authentic it was, but I could eat it by the gallon. Of course, growing up in Texas, it was served with cornbread as a nice Southern touch. That's just one of mom's dishes that I miss.

My mom also had a recipe for orange muffins that were a particular treat for me. She didn't make them all that often, but when she did, I would go home from scholl and walk into the house and the incredible smell of those orange muffins would hit my olfactory like something right out of heaven. All you needed to do was add a pat of butter and, for me, it was time to feast.

Now, I've tried many times to copy my mom's stew recipe, but, since she didn't write everything down, the best I can do is approximate what she did. When it comes to the orange muffins, as far as I know, that recipe is lost forever. Makes me kind of sad. Yeah, if you made orange muffins like my mom did, I'd break into your house to get them.

Send me a sample of your best orange muffins and leave your door unlocked.