Family

Family and July 4th

Happy Fourth of July!

A last minute decision brought our oldest home to Ohio with her husband, Shane and 3 y.o. daughter, Evie for a short visit this long holiday weekend. They spent Saturday with Shane’s family and his Uncle’s family from out of state. Evie played with her cousins, ate watermelon, and watched fireworks that night. The next day, we had them and Leigh Ann and her husband, Zach at our house for a cook-out. We spent most of the afternoon and evening outside in the beautiful weather playing, talking, and riding the golf cart around the yard. We could hear “pops”and “bangs” late into the evening from the surrounding neighborhood.

We had surprised Evie earlier in the day with a red tricycle and a matching bike helmet when she arrived. Yes, there was a tumble and a few scrapes treated with sprays of Bactine. The helmet did its job, too, getting a few scrapes on its front edge while protecting her head when she fell off the trike going too fast.

Grandpa building the tricycle for Evie.

Later, we had our typical hamburgers, hotdogs, with several homemade sides- cole slaw, baked beans, and potato salad. Leigh Ann brought made-from-scratch muffins and brownies. She is an excellent baker! I had gotten down from the cupboard our old melamine plates with the lighthouses. I’ve had this set of dishes for decades! You know, the ones offered for purchase as a promotional by grocery stores where different plates, bowls, trays, were featured each week to add to your set. We’ve used these plates for every summer holiday since the girls were little.

Melamine tray by Oneida.

Allie brought her current crochet project with her plus several pieces she had made using a beautiful French wool yarn. I will block these pieces, take pictures, and post them in my Etsy shop to sell for her. Her crochet skills have taken off this past year and her ability to create and design exceeds her mother’s!

Aunt Leigh Ann brought paints and I supplied the paper plates, and plain paper. Sitting at the high-top table in the kitchen we showed Evie how to paint fireworks with a paper towel tube cut and splayed on one end. She had so much fun and it gave her mom and dad a short break.

Evie painting fireworks with GiGi and Aunt Leigh Ann.

Last evening our cousin Lori who is more like an Aunt to our girls and her grown daughter, Madi (who recently graduated with her BSN and passed the NCLEX for her RN this week) stopped by to say “hello” and play “grocery store” with Evie- and push her, laughing and squealing, on her toy train. Needless to say, Miss Evie crashed for the night!

Selfies with Madi from a visit a couple weeks ago.

This morning, bright and early, Evie was outside playing on the patio. Allie and I sat, sipping coffee and watching her play and chatter in her make- believe world. Then her chattering shifted and she talked about her family. She talked about playing with her cousins at her MiMi and PaPa’s house and about her Aunt Leigh Ann and Uncle Zach and Lori and Madi. She kept saying, “my family”. It warmed my heart that she was understanding at her young age that these people are her “family”. May she grow up with many fond memories of spending summer holidays with her family.

Evie asked me to draw her “outline” while she laid on the concrete. Then we filled in her chalk outline to match her dress.

Everyone has gone home and the house is quiet. The dishwasher hums in the background washing all those lighthouse plates used this weekend. Alan is doing a couple chores outside and I’m drinking more coffee and writing this post. This evening will be the fireworks at Silver Park and we will watch for the high ones over the tree tops.

Crochet

Mom’s Potato Salad

By Sharon Andreani

My version of Mom’s Potato Salad

Summertime means family gatherings and cook-outs to me. I get nostalgic for “comfort” food which means I’m making my mom’s potato salad. My mom was a good cook, but she had her “short-cuts” in the kitchen. Considering the time it takes to boil potatoes, let them cool, then peel and cut them into bite-size pieces, I don’t blame her for using a short-cut when she made potato salad! Now, when I make potato salad, I use red skin potatoes so that I don’t have to peel them and I cook them in the microwave. Still, one has to cut up the potatoes, the onion, the green pepper, and the celery. If you like hard boiled eggs in there, too, you’re boiling, peeling, and chopping eggs. Homemade potato salad is a lot of work! But, oh so worth it!

I make my potato salad the day ahead so that all the flavors of the vegetables, potatoes and dressing marinate together. Below is my mom’s recipe in it’s original form, but feel free to update and use your short-cuts to fit your schedule and what your family enjoys!

Mom’s Potato Salad

6 hard boiled eggs peeled and chopped; set aside.

Boil until fork tender 3 lbs quartered potatoes. Drain and let cool. Peel and cut into bite size pieces. Place in a large bowl.

Chop one small onion. Add to the bowl.

Add 1 Cup chopped celery.

Add 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped.

Add the chopped eggs.

Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Gently combine all of the above ingredients in the large bowl.

Pour 2/3 of a large bottle of Marzetti Slaw Dressing over the potato salad and gently stir together. Yes, the slaw dressing was her “short-cut”! She would slice up rings of green pepper and decorate the top of her potato salad with those slices along with slices of hard- boiled egg and paprika sprinkled over the top. Her potato salad looked like a masterpiece when served. It tasted so good!

Immediately cover and place in the refrigerator. This potato salad must be kept cold at all times and returned to the refrigerator immediately after serving.

Have a wonderful start to your summer! – Sharon

My favorite bowl with potato salad.