As I have gotten older, I have become more sentimental than I used to be. As a result, I frequently ask for a story from my dad either on the phone or when he comes to visit. Story time usually occurs before I go to bed and while I know he dreads it, tries to delay it, and attempts to distract me with something else, I think he secretly enjoys it just as much as I do. Part of the dread is that he puts too much pressure on himself to share an epic story from my childhood, yet the best stories are the random memories that suddenly come to him.
The stories are sporadic, but my dad recently shared two especially good ones with me from his childhood, which got me thinking: more people (especially my age) should be doing this with their parents. I am even inspired to write them down to share with future generations – these are moments in time that I want to remember and share with my kids someday.
Here are the two stories in abbreviated versions. They are probably not as funny to you as they are to me, but both had me rolling with laughter.
STORY ONE: ROAD RAGE
My dad had an orthodontist appointment in Fort Wayne (where I grew up) and his mom and aunt decided to shop downtown during his appointment. On the way back to Geneva (imagine a very small Indiana town), their 1963 Chrysler had a flat tire. My grandmother (his mom) decided to leave them with the car while she walked county roads to find help.
Side note: I am a carbon copy of my grandmother: a tiny woman that weighed 100 pounds wet. She was stubborn, sassy, and she wore Burberry skirts in a town of 1,300 people. If she had a stain on her blazer, she covered it with a brooch. She had the most exquisite jewelry and clothes. She had a rubber band collection that was unreal. She was one of the best ballroom dancers I have ever seen. She loved Butler, being a Pi Phi, and she was an avid reader.
Back to the story: a man approached the car and asked if my dad needed help. The man fixed the flat tire and my dad decided to drive his aunt to go look for his mom. MY DAD WAS 13 YEARS OLD. Aunt Rachel (who I am named after) never learned to drive. Soon, his mom appears behind them in a tow truck. Let’s just say she was not happy to find that he had left the scene and was driving at 13. The visual in my mind of my grandmother, a tiny lady, yelling at my dad is priceless.
STORY TWO: BB GUN GONE WRONG
My grandfather brought back a glass barometer from his time in the Navy and it was one of his prized possessions. My dad’s prized possession at the time was a BB gun (think of Ralphie in A Christmas Story). One day after school, my dad decided to practice; however, he did not think the BB gun was loaded (first mistake). He shoots at eye level and hits the glass barometer located in the next room of the house. His dad came home and was (surprisingly) not mad. He gave it to my dad as a reminder to practice gun safety.
My grandmother – She loved pockets, just like someone else I know….
My dad looking fresh
The Burberry skirt, that I now wear. She also enjoyed cake and books.
My grandfather and photographic evidence that my hair has been a struggle for awhile….
PHOTOS FROM THE WEEK
Left to right: Porch kisses from Winston before work, the joy of eating out of a large container (and not the bowl), chess at City Market, and pink/pearls/leopard with a fall leaf in the background
My favorite thing that the chefs made at the sorority house at IU was pesto pasta. I could eat bowls and bowls of it, which I did. They used bowtie pasta and added additional pine nuts to the top as a garnish. It is one of the easiest things to make and you can even make mason jars of it and freeze it for later.
Every time I make pesto, it is by look and taste. It is all about the consistency – be prepared to use a lot of olive oil! You really can’t go wrong because all of these ingredients are delicious on their own. If the green color starts to turn brown, add a little lemon juice.
- A few handfuls of basil leaves (stolen from my neighbor, aka I will leave them more baked goods)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan
- A few tablespoons of pine nuts (I use almonds sometimes instead)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 pound spaghetti
Mix all of the above, except for the spaghetti, in a blender or a small food processor. Boil a pot of water, add spaghetti, cook until tender. You can always do the ‘throw a piece at the wall and see if it sticks’ test to make sure the pasta is done al dente.
Pour pesto over spaghetti. Enjoy!
I may have eaten the chicken sausage while waiting for the pasta to cook. It never had a chance of making it into the dish.
Wine and Winnie = the key to success in the kitchen!
Xx, Libby and Winston