Monday, April 4, 2011

Savoring Sister

What do a living room dance party, playing with puppies, and visiting a local farm have in common?

They're the kinds of things that happen when my sister is in town.

For most of the year, my sister and I are separated by both time and space.  She's a traveling actress based out of bustling L.A. and I'm a writer who's situated in beautiful P.A.

So, for the most part, our lives keep us apart.

However, this past week, I had the absolute pleasure of not only traveling to see my sister perform but also whisking her back to my humble abode for what was to become a week of pure, sister-girly fun (and... there's really not much that compares with that).

Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm married to my best friend.  I love him.  I like him.  He's good to me.    He's fun.  He's one, if not the best man I've ever known.

Buuuuut (and all my sister girls out there can help me attest to the fact that) there really is just nothing quite like the friendship one shares with a sister.

It's like, on one hand, you're literally made of the same stuff so, there's potential for great compatibility there right from the start.  On the other hand, its like… "I know we had the same parents.  We grew up in the same house.  You were there.  I was there… but look at us!  We're so incredibly different too!"

That's part of the fun though, isn't it.

The older I get the more and more I find myself thinking, "Why didn't we hang out more when we were kids?  I really like you.  You're one of my favorite people."

Suffice it to say, I had a blast.  I savored our extended sister hang out sesh and was sad to see that beautiful, blonde head of hair go.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Pause.  Rewind... 

It's this past Monday, and my sister and I have made our way to the grocery store to stock up on grub for our fun filled week ahead.  As I planned the "menu" for the week, I knew I wanted to treat her to some of my favorite dishes which, as of late, include a few different quinoa dishes,  pan seared salmon over a spinach salad, and a few other tasty tid bits (like my favorite snack of a banana and almond butter or my preferred indulgence du jour of dark chocolate covered espresso beans).  So, we made our way through the grocery store with these meals in mind.

As we cruised up and down the lanes, my sister mentioned that she knew how to make beet chips.  We bagged a few of the purplish, red bulbs (after inspecting the labels to make sure that what we were grabbing were in fact beets, because... seriously, prior to last week, I don't know that I've ever in my life purchased an unpickled beet).

Obviously, my beet I.Q. is pretty low.  Growing up, my mom used to bust them out for dinner from time to time but they were always served piping hot and pickled.  I actually quite like the taste and texture of beets.  They make a nice addition to a spinach salad.  As a kid though, I mostly remember how their bright red juice was always contaminating my surrounding food.

I'm quite a fan of any crispity, crunchity, potato-chip alternative though.  So, when my sister mentioned a potential new addition to my "chip" repertoire it was an exciting, welcomed prospect to me.

The preparation was messy (think red-stained fingers and a cutting board that looks like it just survived battle) and, I think the word "finicky," yes, "finicky" could easily apply to the process of cutting the beat slices thin enough for them to crisp up properly.

But, let me tell you, the results were so - freakin' - worth the effort.

My little sis took on the task of preparation while I got to just sit back and enjoy the spoils of her hard labor.  The beet chips were so incredibly delicious (and yes, a post on beet chips is totally on it's way).  They were super crispy and surprisingly spicy.  

I had no idea beets were spicy.  Did you?

Over the past year, I have come to view food as so much more than just a chore; something I have to do.  I have come to appreciate the entire process of nourishing myself - from shopping the grocery store (without it being just one more stressful chore), to preparation, to actually enjoying the food I eat.

The fact that food often also brings loved ones together is just one more reason why I appreciate the role it plays in contributing to a full, balanced and healthy life.

No doubt, every time I enjoy a beet from here on out, I will recall that time shared with my sister in the kitchen.  Food does that doesn't it?  It has the power to transport us back to a good time, a familiar place, or a cherished memory.

Is there a food that does that for you?



  1. This post makes me wish I had a sister!

    I have never tried beet chips.. although I'm planning on planting some heirloom beets in our garden this year for that purpose alone! Have you ever seen a chioggia beet? They are, in my humble opinion, the prettiest vegetable ever.

  2. Rachel Lillian Cole BailiffApril 28, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    Have I told you lately that I love you!!
    You always make me smile!