Long Lost Cousins Reunited (version 3.0)

Growing up, my mother and my aunt were very close.  My mother had three kids (me in the middle) as did my aunt.  All of us were within a few months to a year of each other.  Two months difference between my oldest cousin and brother; six months difference between me and the middle cousin; and a year + 2 days between my younger sister and my youngest cousin.

My aunt died from complications from lupus at the young age of 42 (or so).  My oldest cousin was 12.  After my aunt died, our ties to our cousins were essentially cut.  So after almost 40 years, we are now back into each others' lives.  Their father died recently.  At the funeral home, I mentioned that my sister was coming into town in a couple of weeks, and to see if we could get together. We did and had a marvelous time.  But as adults we were essentially strangers to each other having gone about the business of growing up, raising children (two of us have children, two of us do not) without the benefit of a relationship.

When we got together, I could not help being left with the feeling that we had been robbed of a precious gift of being able to be there for the other. 

My oldest cousin had a birthday, and my sister was in town.  We went as did husbando.  My husbando had a grand time sharing similar interests with her husband. Oh...such a time that we had.  

I'm hosting a get together this Saturday. This dinner will be our 3rd visit.  No season or reason other than my sister is in town, and we want to continue our trajectory of solidifying our bonds.

Being with them fills a hole.  They are the last bond to my mother's side of the family--that diluted Armenian heritage as second generation from an Armenian mother and non-Armenian father. No others but ourselves to remember the 'tales from our grandmother'.

I did learn the other day that my grandmother was a Hudson, and supposedly a direct descendant of Henry Hudson.

I look forward to welcoming them to my home.  EPA cleanup efforts will soon begin.  I found a great recipe in Bon Appetit for spiced sliders with date ketchup.  How good does that sound?  I think that I'll make the slider rolls.   Our potatoes will be ready.  Nothing so good as freshly dug potatoes.  I'll serve them with butter, parsley and lemon zest. Roasted asparagus to round out the meal. And to finish the meal....fresh brownies.

I found the best brownie recipe at Leite's culinaria.   http://leitesculinaria.com/36645/recipes-brownies.html  It is advertised as the best brownie, but for it to be the best brownie it requires the addition of salt.   I've also made this brownies stirring the batter by hand as recommended.  Today, in the brownies that I made for my father, I used the mixer.  No difference in the results--huge difference in effort of method!  Do yourself a favor and try them.  I'll never make another brownie.  They really are that good.  (I use Valrhona chocolate).

My proposed dinner, then, is informal, but I think will be "different".  I have become lazy about entertaining--meaning that I always wanted to go all out which meant much effort and expense to create a memorable meal. However, with such a large hurdle, my entertaining fell off.  I still harbor the goal of serving something different and interesting, but delivered in a package that I feel that I can deliver more comfortably. 

This menu seems just right.  The lamb burgers might be too much for some tastes--but we are embracing our Middle Eastern heritage, and my cousins are open to an introduction to lamb.  It has ground beef in it 1:2 ratio.  I might bring the ratio down to 1:1 to soften the lamb taste.

I'm looking forward to an evening of food and family and trying out an new recipe!


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