I need to preface this post with a quick explanation of my family tree. I have what you may call, a unique family situation. Both of my parents have been married and divorced three times each (that’s five marriages between the two of them) and I have several brothers and sisters of varying ages and colors. Even so, in my family we don’t distinguish between “step”, “half” and “full” siblings. We all love each other and that’s all the matters. But just for a reference, I have attached a nifty family tree I’ve come up with over the years as a quick explanation. See below.
This post is about visiting my oldest sister Jacqui in Cape Cod. Jacqui is technically my father’s former step daughter. But in real life she’s just my big sister and I’m pretty sure my father’s favorite child. She is drop dead gorgeous, Ivy League educated and my only sibling (so far) with a graduate degree (she’s a lawyer). She is also fun, silly and extremely generous. Two years ago she married her husband, JT, and has since semi-retired from lawyering. They share their time between Scottsdale, Arizona (where they met), Naples, Florida and Cape Cod (where JT’s daughter lives). They were kind enough to invite my father, the boyfriend and myself to come visit them at their lovely rented summer home in Cape Cod. I was extremely excited to not only to get a few days away on the beach but to spend some seriously over due quality time with my big sister.
The boyfriend and I really like to sleep, so didn’t hit the road till the afternoon. My father had already been there a few hours when we arrived “late” (around 6pm), and everyone had already eaten. My father is getting up in years (but still looks GOOD) and is usually in bed before the sun goes down. JT had an early Tee Time and went up right after him. Jacqui stayed up the latest out of the three of them, around 8pm. The house was a little quiet to say the least.
The next day I had planned to make a big, extravagant dinner in an effort to spend some family time together but was nervous that no one would actually stay up for it. My sister requested Guacamole, so I decided to make Carnitas (sans the oranges in this particular recipe) to go along, as well as this sun gold/corn salad I had read about on Food52 and was DYING to make (totally amazing). I bought a 2 lbs of cubed pork shoulder and the fixings, put my carnitas on the stove top to simmer then drove over to Coonamesset Farms with the boyfriend to visit our friend Steve who is the CSA manager there for the summer. We had a lovely afternoon picking veggies and playing with a baby goat (who we named Ramona), then brought Steve back with us for dinner. (If you are ever on the Cape you should definitely check this place out! It’s a Pick Your Own Farm, so for $7/per person you can go spend the day on this lovely little farm, play with their animals and pick your dinner!)
By the time we got home it was already 5:30 PM and I was nervous that my father and brother in law would be anxious to eat. I was also nervous because JT exclaimed he was a “Mexican food expert”, and while I think my gringa take on Mexican food is yummy, it certainly isn’t authentic. While the boys played frisbee with Loretta, and my family threw back a couple of drinks, I chopped and fried and quickly and I possibly could to get dinner on the table. It was a little after 7 PM when we finally sat down to eat, and dinner was not only DELICIOUS, it was an all out successl! JT even loved it! My sister and her husband go out to eat A LOT, so it was a nice experience to have a home cooked meal. My father shined, telling hilarious (and mostly dirty) stories all night. We were all having such a wonderful time, I was so surprised when I realized it was already 10:30 PM! My father and brother in law had stayed up HOURS PAST THEIR BEDTIMES and were having fun! Finally, JT challenged my father to see who could stay up later (Papa won, when JT threw in the towel around 11PM, though it was technically a tie, because Papa followed him right up). It’s amazing how food can bring people together like that. Going out isn’t always as intimate and in my opinion as fun as staying in, having a leisurely meal of food that you prepared (and picked!) yourself. It was a beautiful evening, that made us all happy to be together.
Below are photos of our farm trip and meal, plus some bonus beach photos!