Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Gathering of the 4 J's

I doubt this will be of much interest to anyone other than myself, but I must document it as a MAJOR HIGHLIGHT of my life.  I cannot tell you how RARE it is for the 4 of us to get together.  I have not been to my brother's house for 7 years.  Life just seems to get in the way a lot.  Years go by without me seeing my youngest sister also; but right now we are talking on the phone a lot, and we see each other pretty often.  It is VERY nice -- it is as it should be. 

I am beginning to feel like a member of my own family again, and I am a happy girl!

I pray nothing happens to mess it all up again.

So, here is the scoop:

We all arrived about the same time at my brother's house which is 20 miles away from mine.  My brother James, and my sister, Judy, are gourmet cooks as I have told you in the past.  They both love to cook -- and they love to cook together.  I think that is really awesome.  I am uncomfortable with anyone in my kitchen cooking with me. 

Here are the cooks working together in the kitchen today.


James was browning chicken breasts before putting them outside on his smoker.  Judy was making a delicious concoction to put on top of the chicken breasts.  I wish now that I had paid more attention to what she was doing.  I was distracted by AT&T calling me, but we won't go there right now.   

Judy spent a lot of time chopping fruit and shredding cheese.  I thought the cheese was just for snacking on.  I didn't realize she was going to use it in the meal.  James did his thing, and Judy did hers, and they just worked together like wind-up dolls that were preprogrammed to do their tasks.  They have an amazing chemistry with each other. 

Janice, her husband Jon, and I just sat at the table talking, and James and Judy did all the cooking and the serving.  It was a wonderful treat!  Here is what the entree looked like when set before us:

It tasted even BETTER than it looked.  The part that looks like sour cream is a concoction of the cheeses Judy mixed together and melted.  There are strawberries, pears, mandarin oranges, grapes and pineapple (I think).  There is also bacon in it.  The sauteed/smoked chicken breasts are on the bottom.  They were tender and juicy and delectable.  I wouldn't even ATTEMPT to try to make this.  It would probably take me days, and I don't own a smoker, and I can't even pronounce the names of the cheeses.

There were chips and exotic dips I'd never seen before.  A wonderful lunch.  BUT, the best part was just being together.  No kids and only one spouse, and he is a preacher, so he HAD to behave.  When we get together, we try to get a picture of the 4 of us.  When I got home, I had 66 pictures on my camera.  I always take a lot because it is practically IMPOSSIBLE to get all 4 looking picturesque at the same time.

Here are a few I took:

I'm the oldest.  My sister Janice, in the cute plaid shirt that she made, is next -- then Judy -- then the baby, James.

These are my brother's children.  He and his wife have never had children, and they are both dog lovers.  The big one is Einstein and the other one is Idabell.  I would LOVE to have a dog like Einstein.  I love big, hairy dogs that look like that.  I had two dogs in my childhood -- not at the same time -- that looked like that.  They were both named Jolly.  James says Einstein thinks he is a lap dog.  Imagine?

And WHY is my foot on the table!?  It looks really bad, I know.  Let me point out that we are all done eating.  I went over to the corner to set up my tripod, and I didn't notice the blind clips (blinds had been removed) sticking out on the bottom of the door.  I ran into one of them with my toe, and I cut it pretty bad.  My brother had JUST put a bandaid on my big toe for me, and I put it up so it would quit bleeding.  The guy in the middle is Rev. Jon.

I told you there would be lots of laughter!  There was.  WHY ON EARTH don't we get together more often?  Judy promised me tonight that we will.

After lunch at James', we went over to Judy's house.  She just moved in a few months ago, but she has it looking really nice.  Not only can she cook, she is a great decorator.  Somehow the decorating genes were in hiding when Dad and Mom made me.  I would rather sew. 

I showed Janice how to use the serger -- sort of -- while we were at Judy's.

I decided not to show her how to thread it since we were all full from lunch, and I was enjoying the delicious coctail Judy made for me. 

Janice is really good at learning from reading the manual.  She can always call me if she has any problems.  PLUS, best of all, the Bernina dealership is only a mile away from her house.

Judy gave us some fabric, and Janice sewed a test sample.  She was very happy when she saw the wonderful stitch.

The AT&T saga continued after I got home, but DWTS is on, and I'm going to go watch it.  Derrick and Shawn danced to one of my very favorite songs -- the one from the Titanic movie -- and it was UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Hugs, Joy

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Hugs, Joy