Home Part II…the Chef’s Momma

As promised here is the second half of our wonderful long Easter weekend home.

Traveling to the Chef’s mother’s house is always a treat and a little unexpected at times; you never know what kind of news she’s going to profess!  Once while visiting for Christmas a large moving type truck appeared in her driveway.  Now she has been known to move–a lot, but at Christmas? We all thought the person was lost.  Instead of moving she was getting all new living room furniture.  Thank goodness it wasn’t a moving truck.  She not only likes giving surprises but loves being surprised!

From the first time I set foot in Patty’s house 11 years ago, I knew she was one of kind; the quintessential Betty Crocker with a southern charm.  She was full of talent and delightful to be around.  I instantly knew where my husband (boyfriend at the time) got his winning personality.  She was actually Paula Dean, before there was Paula Dean.  While whisking around her kitchen wearing her blue jean and red bandanna apron she glided from the steak that was chickening frying in the skillet to setting the table for dinner–a dinner where she and I (her son’s new girlfriend that she met minutes before) dined alone; the boys were out doing boy things.  This could have made for a really awkward situation, since I was new to her and she was new to me, but it wasn’t.  It was if I knew her my whole life.  Over sips of sweet tea and conversation we got to know one another—ultimately learning we shared friendships with the same people.  Overall it was a splendid meeting.   Now that she has three grown sons she’s acquired three daughters to add to her brood.  Since I’m married to the son the other brothers call the *favorite* I’d like to think I’m the *favorite daughter-in-law*.  I’m sure she can’t really say it, but I see the twinkle in her eye when I arrive—just like it did 11 years ago over that glass of sweet tea.

If there’s one thing you can count on there being plenty of…it’s the food and there’s always a variety.  Patty has a long tradition of making homemade goodies.  I would assume it’s in her Bohemian blood. Turning out dozens of kolaches, tea rings, cakes, yeast rolls, jellies, preserves, pickled this and that—you name it, she’s made it.  In fact, before she and the Chef had the Holly Road Café, there was Patty’s Pantry—where she made baskets of her goodies from her own *portable* kitchen, *portable* being a classic word in this family.

Since the Chef and his momma share a common love of cooking, naturally he’s always in the kitchen with her or by the BBQ pit making sure the main star of the meal is tenderly being cared for.  This Easter, the Chef worked the pit—carefully babying the brisket.  He also had some time preparing the family’s traditional yeast rolls.  A little tidbit about Patty’s yeast roll recipe—it’s like the royal jewels of the British monarchy—highly protected and coveted by all.  A long time joke between the older brother and I was that once I married into the family I could be given the recipe.  Just last year for Christmas I was given only a partial copy of the handwritten recipe–which by the way had been kept in a locked metal fireproof box!  I guess in another 11 years I will be given the other half.  I’m not holding my breath!

While they were cooking, I was bird watching.

Like I’ve mentioned in the post before, going home is always refreshing.  A much needed oasis from our busy lives.  Lives which will very soon be even busier and turned upside down–we’ll miss that feeling of comfort which only family can give.  Guess they’ll just have to come visit us.

Duker...one of Patty's many surprises!

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