Monday, January 23, 2012

On food and family

I realized quite a few things this weekend, some of them bad, some of them good, and some of them great.

I realized that it only took me a little over a year to become acclamaited and accustomed to city life. I realized that the women in my family don’t have the best sense of direction. I realized I am not the little six-year-old girl visiting her favorite Aunties anymore, but a young woman, an adult, and they treated me like it. I realized that family, not laughter (but there was plenty of that), is really the best medicine.

Chocolate helps too.

See, my aunts were in Chicago this weekend and I was lucky enough to get away from prison school to take a day to visit them. There was a lot of talking, laughing, and eating. Those things are a constant whenever I see my aunts. They always have been.

When I was younger, my sister and I would see our aunts at least once a month, if not more. Our whole family was very close when we were younger. Everyone would meet at my grandmother’s log house in the country for big, warm suppers in the winter and trips to the little creek out back in the summer.

Then we got older, and busier. Some relatives moved away and some moved on. But the connection we have with each other has remained the same. So now, when we do see each other at Christmas or the odd visit in the summer, I am just as comfortable with and comforted by my family’s presence as I was when I was a little squirt playing in my grandma’s makeup.

Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna

This weekend did so much for me. It calmed, steadied, and nourished me. It was so much fun to share new places to eat and new foods to try with my aunts, who were born and raised in the city, but have since built lives for themselves elsewhere.

Red Snapper with Sun-dried Tomato Risotto

We went to Kinzie Chophouse for dinner where none of us actually got steak, instead opting for fish and pasta. The waiter offered us shots, which we declined, and dessert, which we accepted. We ate the best caramel corn I’ve ever had (even better than my own) and gossiped about Matthew McConaughey's love life.

In the morning we took a cab ride around the block (I wish I were kidding) for breakfast at Yolk. My aunt drank her cream with a little bit of coffee (yes, that is right) and I had huevos rancheros. There was more laughing and talking and sharing.

nice and spicy Huevos Rancheros

When they drove me back to school, I was a bundle of mixed emotions. I loved showing them school, but I hated that their visit was so short. But when they were gone, their visit, however short, had still left an impact. I was now more calm and rested than I had been in weeks. And ready to take on the days ahead.

My Aunt Joni, the hipster in the middle.


  1. thank-you amanda had a wonderful visit wish we could have more you

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