Three years ago when we moved half-way across the country I was in shock. We moved to a place where we knew no one. The closest people we knew were 500 miles away. Our little family drew closer together. We always did everything together but now we were all each other had.
I have grown to love some things about our little town, I still cannot bear to call it a “city.” We feel safe here. I can let me children ride their bikes more than 1/2 a mile away from the house without fearing for their safety. They can walk downtown with their friends or go to see a movie. They love their friends and their schools. They have both found what works for them. My son has found his niche. They have clubs and groups that challenge him and keep him interested. He is definitely one of those kids that could be at risk of dropping out if not challenged. He gets bored easily but loves a challenge.
Yet, we still miss our friends and family back home. Yes, it will always be home even though we are more settled here than we ever were before. Sometimes you need a clean slate to start over again when you hit bottom and that’s where we were. We felt stuck where we were and could not see a way out of the situation. A way out came but just not in a way we ever expected.
My partner went back home last week to visit her sister and her mother’s grave. It has been over a year since she had been there and really wanted to visit both of them. For many reasons it was best that she went alone. She needed time away from us and time to spend with her sister without having to deal with the rest of us.
She brought back some of our favorite foods that are not available in this area. I never thought of these as regional foods until we couldn’t find them. Grandma Brown’s Baked beans. You can order them on Amazon but of course these are from Wegman’s. My gift was a whole case of them! Add a bit of brown sugar and bake. They are delicious. I even ate the leftovers the next morning with a splash of apple cider vinegar. Yummy!
Red hot and white hot Zweigle hot dogs were the gift for my partner and daughter. They were both excited for hot dogs. The white hots were particularly flavorful after not having eaten them in years. These hot dogs have a skin similar to an Italian sausage so they “Pop” when you bit them. The white hots are like a slightly more savory hot dog in my opinion.
Finally the salt potatoes. Salt potatoes are new potatoes boiled in a ton of salt. You drizzle melted butter over the top and add a sprinkle of black pepper. These are my son’s favorite. I have made an approximation of them by buying small potatoes at the grocery store and boiling them in extra salt but there is something about these small round potatoes that you can just pop in your mouth as they drip with butter that is amazing!
So we ate our dinner and reminisced about the people and places we missed. It was a tasty and fun dinner.