This is my little sister, PJ, and today she is 38 years old.
You may be wondering how it could possibly be that I could have a little sister that is THAT old, but it is true-we just have very good genes in our family and all of us girls just age very gracefully and slowly. (Remember how I just turned 40 a month ago - I know how unbelievable that must have seemed to everyone- and it is easy to forget)
My sister is one of my best friends, which is not something I ever would have imagined when we were younger. We used to fight a lot- pulling hair and calling each other names. She would wear my clothes and ruin them, get into my stuff without asking, and do all those annoying little sister things that used to drive me crazy. I used to tell her she was adopted and the she was such a slob that she would never find a man to marry her. I used to always make her sing back up whenever we dressed up and put on rock concerts in the living room, and during our cooking shows I never let her be "head chef"...she just got to chop vegetables and stand in the background.
She was not a complete pushover though, PJ is a master at getting what she wants. Back in the day (am I old enough to actually use that phrase?) , PJ would get out of doing chores by doing a really poor job- if she did it halfway, I was usually called in to do it right- it seems it was easier to ask me to do it over than to make PJ do it right (do not deny this, Mom!) and PJ knew she could just play that baby card whenever it suited her. (I am not bitter anymore though).
Today PJ is pretty amazing- she has 4 kids and is studying to be a teacher. She coaches sports, builds fences, fixes truck headlights. She is a good cook and she sings pretty well too (in spite of always having to be just the wind beneath my wings...) and I am sure she could do anything else she puts her mind too. She has a knack for dealing with people. I have seen her in action- making people laugh. She has amazing negotiation skills and she is brilliant at getting donations for fundraisers.
I am not sure how we became such good friends. We definately have a history that we draw on- I have known her for her whole life, we shared a bedroom and secrets and jokes and schemes and she was so good at singing "doo-wap".....
In PJ's honor I am going to attempt now to recreate one of our famous cooking show entrees. We had such an abundance of food growing up on the farm- a few acres of fresh vegetables, fruit trees, chicken and duck eggs, and a freezer filled with pork and beef and poultry- for some reason though, all of our recipes ended up being some combination of eggs and potatoes.
PJ and Nancy's famous farm lunch casserole
2 eggs (stolen fresh from the chicken coop)
2 potatoes, washed and diced (dug fresh from the garden)
Any of these: carrots, peas, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, peppers (whatever you can find in your garden)
Ground beef or pork, browned (minimally processed- straight from the freezer)
Add each ingredient to a skillet where butter has been melted. Be sure to state clearly both the ingredient being added and your prep technique as you combine. Look in the camera often and smile. And be sure to let your "assistant" have the spotlight every once in a while.
Love you PJ- Happy Birthday!