What is one of you favorite childhood memories?
This was a question I was asked the other day.
My answer came quick and easy.
The day my baby brother was born. I was 7 and an only child. I had no idea my mom was even pregnant. Obviously something we just didn’t discuss. Or knowing me, i didn’t care because I had bigger and more important things going on. Who knows? All i remember is waking up for school one morning and my grandma was sleeping in my mom and dad’s bedroom. I remember her telling me that Mom and Dad went to the hospital to have a baby. I still don’t honestly remember being entirely intrigued by the idea. I mean, i wasn’t upset….i was just indifferent. I was in first grade at Laura Wilder and I recall being called down to the office by the loud speaker. The lady behind the desk handed me the phone and my mom informed me that my baby brother was just born. I seriously don’t know what changed in me but i recall this moment like it was yesterday.
I bolted out of the door. ran down the hallway as fast as my little legs would carry me. found my 1st grade classroom door. slammed it open. and declared “my mom just had a baby, we need to stop what we are doing and all make my brother a card.”
and just like that. we did. the whole classroom made cards welcoming my baby brother to the world.
we joke about that moment to this day. only 7 year old me would command a whole classroom to do something entirely unplanned. but i did. and that is that.
it’s weird. the bond we have. we share so many traits and mannerisms. we sing answers to each other. we always know what the other one is thinking. we joke the same way. we have little inside riddles. we just share something so unique that i am unable to explain it. all i know is, i was 7 when he was born. i was his “little momma”….i nurtured him…i believed in him…i taught him about life, love, how to throw a baseball, the importance of good music. ….i invested my whole heart into him. we always joke that he was my child.
when i was in college and he was still in middle school, i always swore that when he got older, i was going to lock him up in my basement and never let him go. two years ago, he moved to omaha and i feel like a little piece of me left with him.
so anytime he comes back, i get that little piece back…even if just for a little bit.
i am so grateful for my danny boy.
the greatest gift mom and dad ever gave me was you.
This weekend, my brother came back to help my mom and dad move. and we packed in as much family time, food and cards in as we could. we took him downtown to Swamp Daddy’s Cajun Kitchen. if you haven’t been there, GOOOOOOO!!!! there jambalaya is to die for. that’s the only thing i can recommend because i can’t seem to order anything else when i go. i crave it. it’s THAT good.
and because it was a little spicy, we needed a watering hole. you can’t go wrong with Remedy Brewing Company. Their Remedy Hefe-Metal Bavarian Style Hefeweizen may be one of the best Hefs I have ever had. i enjoyed the sampler this time because i always enjoy trying something new. i’m adventurous like that.
what a fun and jam packed weekend with my bro!
and because it was St. Paddy’s Day, i made an Irish Stew…..and it was totally share worthy….and super easy…..and made in a crockpot. GOLD.
- chuck roast cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 pounds yukon gold potatoes. sliced
- 1 bag baby carrots
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic (i always use garlic paste)
- 40 oz beef broth
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp balsalmic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 heaping Tbsp cornstarch plus cold water
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp parsley flakes
- 3 bay leaves
- fresh parsley for garnish
place the chunks of meat into a ziplock bag with the flour and salt and shake until coated. heat olive oil in deep saucepan and brown meat. while meat is browning, cut potatoes and place in bottom of crockpot, add carrots over top. when meat is browned, layer meat over potatoes and carrots. leave as much of the meat reserve juice as you can in skillet. then return to stovetop and add butter to skillet. melt butter and sautee onions and garlic. stir in beef broth, tomato paste, vinegar, and worcestershire sauce. in a small cup combine cornstarch and water. mix until smooth and then add to boiling beef broth mixture. *this will thicken the sauce. i use this trick ALL. THE. TIME.* pour contents over meat and veggies and then add thyme, parsley, and bay leaves. i started mine at noon and cooked on high for 4 1/2 hours. you may also cook on low for 7-8 hours. remove bay leaves and garnish with fresh parsley. top with more salt and pepper and serve with bread. we love rustic italian from the Breadsmith.