It feels weird to be back. I have been gone for ONE month, and it seems like everything is different. For years, my mother has been telling me and my three siblings that family is the most important thing. And now I fully see how true that is. For the majority of my trip, I didn’t even communicate with my friends at home because I was so busy cooking, looking at pictures, and hearing stories. I went days without even looking at my phone. It didn’t matter because I had the most important people in my life around me for the duration of my trip. Who you are related to will never change, and although we all may sometimes wish it did, it means the most to understand and appreciate what everyone has done in their lives and what they do for you. Each family member has a different story, different struggles, and a different outlook on how to be a better person.
Due to a weather delay, my mother and I left Wednesday instead of Tuesday to visit my brother, Danny, in Pittsburgh. He had surgery on his meniscus at 4 am the following day. He currently has to keep his knee at 180 degrees, so I am the one to take care of his two 4 month-old puppies. He heard that he needed to get the surgery 4 days after he got the puppies. At least they are adorable.
On that Friday, I met my mom’s cousin Judy (Mama Trudy’s sister’s daughter). She will be sending her mother, Anne’s, potato kugel recipe and pictures soon! My mom, Danny, Pudge, Mojo, and I went to State College Saturday to see Mama Trudy and Papa Sam. Danny and his puppies will stay at their house until the end of the month when he will hopefully well enough to go back to Pittsburgh. I think he’s doing pretty well so far- I am just happy he has his puppies to keep him company.
When I got to State College that Saturday, I showed Mama Trudy, Papa Sam, and Aunt Renee (my mother’s older sister) my poems I wrote about Mama Trudy’s family a week or two ago. I have tried posting them here for over an hour but the website appears to just not want to have my poems.
And then after that, we made carrot soup. Here is a picture of Mama Trudy and I making it.
My mom has been raving about this chocolate dessert Mama Trudy would make all the time when she was little. Her and Renee would always eat them frozen because they were too impatient to let them defrost. We found the name Petites Four Squares, and made them too. After following each direction to the letter, it tasted exactly how my mother remembered it.
We also made “liver pâté,” but we all know it’s just chicken liver ground up with onions and garlic. That is not my favorite, but here is a picture of it anyways!
After that, Papa Sam made his Southern fried chicken. He learned how to make it when he was growing up in Saltville, VA. He hadn’t made it in over 50 years! Mama Trudy told me that he didn’t make it in so long because he would always make a mess, getting grease on the floor, the counter, and even the ceiling!
When we were done, Mama Trudy said that he was much neater making it. And it tasted delicious.
My mom and I are commencing our 4-week-long trip Tuesday. We start in Pittsburgh because my brother is having a huge surgery on his meniscus. My mom and I are going to take care of him and his puppies for a week to make sure he is okay. My mom and I will be cooking, and I will be taking pictures and recording the recipes the entire time. From Pittsburgh, we go to State College to see my grandparents, Mama Trudy and Papa Sam. Mama Trudy is one of nine, but a lot of her siblings are no longer with us, so it is important to get a lot of recipes and stories for her to make up for her entire side of the family. Continue reading “Update on my trip!”