I made tacos for lunch today and as Robert was stuffing the first store-bought taco shell he started to chuckle, all the while trying NOT to. I knew what he was going to say when I asked, but I asked what he was laughing about anyway. He said he was remembering the first time he had tacos with me.
Robert had completed his mission to France/Belgium for the church and had returned to campus. Along with one final companion, Mark Weibell. I think it was for safety or security or fear...who knows...but I don't remember a date with Robert that didn't include Mark those first months (altho Mark didn't have a problem single dating and managed to be married before we returned to BYU in the fall). I had been living in a apartment with 5 other girls at the time and thought I'd have these two guys over for lunch. I asked what they might like and one or the other said, Tacos.
Now remember....I am from Ohio. Cultured Ohio. We didn't have a McDonalds until well after 1962 ( I know that because I had my first McD in California in 1962. In Ohio we had Royal Castle NOT WHITE CASTLE. There were not holes in those burgers and they were far better than White Castle). I don't have a clue when Taco Bell arrived so naturally I wasn't too clear on what a taco was.
But my roommates explained and I somehow remember that Mark actually told me how to fry the tortillas to make the shells. Stupid Tortillas! Totally stupid tortillas. They didn't fry up like the ones you buy in a box today. Mine came out like large ice cream cones. Huge and overly fried. And I have to say that neither guy was very kind. They laughed. . .a lot!
Tacos....are you kidding me? Back then, no one from Ohio knew what a taco was and I had never heard anyone had eaten any. But it was the last time I attempted to fry my own tortillas....to this day.
Now...on to Holly. Holly is Dawn's age and friend but she's become my friend and is very dear to me, as are her kids, her hubby and naturally her good parents. Tonight Holly came by to have dinner with me...and she brought the dinner. She had asked me yesterday after Maddie's piano lesson if Robert was going to be home tonight.
So it was all planned, and girls night 'in' eating and then playing some games. Holly brought this ubber delicious mac and cheese, broccoli and a fruit crisp. I'm going to add her recipe for the mac and cheese at the end of this.
After a lovely dinner and chatting, the games commenced. We played Scrabble Slam which I had bought for Robert for Christmas. We laughed hysterically at some of the strange 4 letter words that got played. Then we moved on to Blokus. I was introduced to this game by Jocelyn and Steve who painstakingly made everyone a game out of felt. If you know the game, then you can imagine how much work went into the production of all those pieces. I am not a very good strategist and always lost the few times I have played with J and Steve. But it's an intriguing game. Holly actually stuck around for 2 games and the 2nd game was her idea...altho she did comment that I switched from the very hard game to this one...ya right!
But it was so sweet of her to come and spend time with me. And that's what I have honored and respected these past 6 months that I have been in bed or housebound....the people who didn't just bring food but came and ate with me. They made all the difference in my recovery. Just this past Sunday when I was spieling on about Visiting Teaching in Relief Society and making the connections that last, I said: Don't visit your sisters with time to kill....visit them with time to live. And living means giving up of your time to serve and get to know another.
Thanks for the memories, Robert and Mark....and the chuckles.
Thanks for the friendship, Holly...and the dinner....see the following recipe:
Holly's Mac n Cheese with Kielbasa
Cook enough elbow macaroni for your family...and some extra cuz this recipe freezes really well.
Drain and combine in 9x13 or whatever size pan you need with:
cubes of precooked kielbasa
cubes of cheddar cheese, colby jack cheese, brick Swiss cheese, Mozarella and Romano cheese, and American cheese
Add about 1/2 cup milk. Gently stir.
Place in a 350 degree oven and stir every 10 minutes to make sure the cheeses melt and blend with the pasta.
When it begins to brown a bit, combine bread crumbs, a few shakes of Parmesan cheese, and butter. Sprinkle this over the top and continue baking til browned. 45-60 minutes.