Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Mother and Child Reunion

I visited my parents and niece's family on another planet called Tucson during monsoon season.  I sometimes feel like there is a more defined difference then ever in states, even though some would say everything is the same now with mini malls and chains.  That is true but aside from the superficial, Tucson is a very contrary place to Brooklyn.  I experienced big rains and some flash flooding. It's beautiful the way the mountains surround the small feeling town even though it's huge in reality.  There is a beachy feel to the place, a relaxed welcoming atmosphere.

This is the hotel pool where I envisioned us all enjoying nights, relaxing.  No one even dipped a toe.
So much to share about this trip but I must bring in the food.  The winner for most outstanding was my dad's freshly made hot sauce that he knocked out of the park one day!  So much so that we had to sneak a bit back to the hotel for later like it was gold.   
This dish came out of a discussion on how to make it. One of my mom's homemade suppers from growing up.  My dad swore there was tomato sauce and I think the sisters said it was only fresh tomatoes but darned if he didn't make it taste just like my mom's.  Almost as good.  The right comforting flavor blend with warm torts.  These are the moments I live for.  Its a way to communicate with food and feel good memories. 
We ordered my dad a freshly made Banana Cream Pie and also got him a berry pie from another bakery on the way from Mount Lemon and fudge in two varieties.  His response was the ones Alisha gets from Marie Callender;s are really great.  That's a really great dad-ism but you'd have to know me to see how it's funny and not mean or sad, which it is too but I choose to ignore all that.  

I appreciated that pie I'll tell you what and my mom was able to eat the creamy part and I knew she'd love it.
Little Jade put this below on her watermelon and enjoyed the heck out of it. 
We made some turkey burgers one day that shouldn't have been amazing but somehow they just were. When my sister makes anything it always tastes exceptional somehow.

We had a gorgeous drive to Mount Lemon and at the top was this cool restaurant where we had a nice lunch with just the girls.  That was very special. The being there together on top of a mountain was enough for me.  Whoever wrote the menu, really had us at those descriptions though.

My niece and her husband have been like saints for my mom and dad. 

My mom perked up for us quite a bit.  She broke my heart and made me laugh.  I love her so much. Even though she wasn't familiar with me, she did have moments of recognition that I won't forget.  I got a few winks and nods, laughs and stares that I'll keep with me.  She had lost a son the week before whether she could express it or not, I feel she knew.  She has a strong presence regardless and I've always found her fascinating just as a person.
My great niece stole my heart and was sunlight all day long.  I felt like I knew her since she was born but finally I could experience her in the flesh, hear her voice and see that smile.  I could see how much she must help my dad stay upbeat.

Simultaneously I got a kick ass visit with my sister.  I have always loved my sister dearly and consider her a best friend. This was not a routine vacation but they never are.  Circumstances make it heavy to no one's fault.  We were just a week after my brother's passing so energy was drained and I think everyone felt a little weak.  It's the most important thing to see family but it's hard.  

I got turned on to Teeccino and hope to replace coffee altogether soon.  
I wanted to be as non intrusive as possible so we tried to leave before supper so the family could have some peace without visitors in the evening.  Its tough on everyone with these constant stays.  But that left us to fend for dinner each night and that became stressful, fatty but mainly good.
Thank goodness for GrubHub.  This lead to Mexican one night. 
Chinese Take out another. 
Burgers the next.
An old Italian Restaurant, the house made pasta with meat sauce. 
And the hotel had free breakfast that we tried to take advantage of whenever possible. 
The best food and overall good time was at the house though where the feeling of home somehow travels with my mom and dad.  However faint.

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