Saturday Is For Sister Dinners

My amazing sister made a pit stop on her way through my hometown. We hang out, made dinner, and even took a country side drive that included sighting over fifteen deer along the way! When I decided I'd make dinner for my sister and brother-in-law, I knew I'd make an instant pot option, and somehow I'd fit in salt potatoes. I know I'd just turn them into breakfast potatoes the next morning for fun if we didn't finish it all.

To appease my toddler terrorist who was impatiently waiting to gnosh of some munchies, I baked a take-home pizza from Aldi. Perfect timing, because everybody grabbed a slice while we waited for the potatoes to finish boiling. Meanwhile, I slowly melted a packet of Kerrygold - no regrets! In case I haven't mentioned it, I've recently discovered Syracuse Salt Potatoes. Basic premise: brined and boiled baby potatoes, dipped in melted butter and eaten by hand. They're delicious, so comforting, so indulgent! You can also make these in the instant pot!

But instead of making potatoes in my instant pot, I decided to cook a barbacoa beef mix. Pureeing the spices and tomato paste together, I added several chipotles into the mix. In retrospect, I probably could have done with half that amount. But hey - it's still delicious! Just not an option for the faint of heart. Basic recipe: lime juice, vinegar, spices, beef roast, chipotles, garlic, onion, tomato paste, and beef broth.

Because I wanted to make an option familiar to my toddler, I started browning some ground beef on the stovetop. I added spices, braised them for a little while, and then drained the grease before transferring into a bowl for serving. My entire kitchen counter was filled with green onions, sour cream, melted butter, potatoes, beef of many varieties, tortillas, cheeses, and more! Our mutual effort - really minimal, if I'm being honest - means that nobody had to slave away in order to enjoy a family meal together.

When we were younger, our family meals revolved around watching television. Sometimes we'd get to have a few minutes of chit-chat. But as my father got older, he wanted to watch the television- at full blast - while he ate his evening meal. It left little room for fellowship and sharing, the common social aspect of eating together as humans. Fast-forward twenty-plus years, and my sister is a far better cook than I am. She's helped me understand a few key spice blends that really work well with different proteins or seasonal veggies.

But it's not just about sharing recipes or helping prepare a meal together. When we slow down to cook dinner together, we take the time listen to one another and really connect. It's been thirty years that we've been sisters, and I hope we're both here for each other for way, way beyond thirty more! I'll be honest, I'd love it if my sister would teach me the patience for smoking meats! Maybe we can make that the theme of our next sister dinner - Smoke. Maybe they can even teach me how to smoke eggs! Ooh, now my mind is racing!

I can't wait until we can see each other again! Though we don't live terribly far apart, it's a sufficient distance to cause a bit of difficulty. But when we do get together - magical (meal) things can happen!


What are your favorite family meal memories? Send me a picture of that last time you sat down for dinner with your sister on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3. 

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