I didn’t grow up with much, but I always had enough which I will always be grateful for. My parents had issues making ends meet and fought about money constantly as far back as I can remember. It was a huge factor in what destroyed their marriage and it wasn’t anything my brother and I didn’t see coming, even at 11 and 15. There were many other factors that complicated my childhood but let’s just say life at home wasn’t easy. Luckily enough for me, we spent just about every weekend possible with my grandparents, affectionately called Space Granny and Space Grandpa by my husband (Grandpa worked for NASA as an electrical engineer during the Mercury and Apollo missions). Time with Space Granny and Grandpa were the bright spots in my childhood and the love I have for them is exceptionally strong, not just because I associate a lot of my happiness as a child with them but also because they were always there for me, even into adulthood.
January and the beginning of February saw both of my grandparents in and out of the hospital. At one point we had them in the hospital 3 weeks in a row. As one grandparent was coming out of the hospital the other ended up needing to go in which was incredibly difficult emotionally and physically . I found myself cancelling multiple commitments and I didn’t share the details with many people as I didn’t want to deal with a lengthy explanation and the emotions I had a hard time controlling at the time. In this stressful time, we managed to have a weekend where at the time we thought everything had settled down and my grandparents were in the clear and so we continued with our plans to have a weekend with friends at their family ranch. Y’all, it was so needed.
My husband and I love and adore our our friends Cassie and Chris. They alone made a big difference in our weekend, but to get to spend it at their family’s beautiful ranch made the weekend even better. We are all foodies and had our hearts set on a weekend of great food and antics around the ranch. Cassie and Chris stocked up on ingredients for some of their favorites things to cook and BT and I loaded up for an amazing cheese board and all the wine, beer, and champagne we could handle for the weekend.
The weather started foggy but transitioned into gorgeous before too long which made for great photos. We helped with the few chores our friends needed to do around the ranch and then we set ourselves to cooking. We put together such a great cheese board that we ended up skipping lunch. Ha! Then we proceeded to drive around and see different parts of the ranch before coming back to the main house to cook dinner. Chris has this amazing curry recipe, which I’ll share with you all below, that he cooked for dinner that even my husband loved. Side note: BT used to not be a fan of half the stuff in this curry, but now he is won over! Hahahaa. And to cap off the day we watched the sunset in a field with a bottle of champagne.
A weekend away gave us a chance to unwind and have some great heart to hearts with dear friends. It really made me stop and appreciate how giving and sweet they are and how lucky BT and I are for having Cassie and Chris in our lives. In the last couple of years I’ve seen a huge shift and dynamic change in my friend circle that was a reminder that not everyone you think is your friend is actually a good friend, or wants the best for you. Unfortunately, this lead to painful lessons on letting go. Honestly I’m still working on that last one, but the ranch weekend was a great reminder that friendships, the good ones, go both ways. That both sides will be equally invested and want the best for each other.
p.s. Y’all need to try Chris’ recipe. Seriously. Recipie below!
(So no photo of finished dish because we demolished it so fast! I forgot! Sorry I’m not that sorry…)
•One chicken (quartered is fine)
•2 White Onions
•1 Head of Broccoli
•1 Stem or Pack of Brussel Sprouts
•1 Bulb of Garlic
•1 Thumb of Zested Ginger Root (or powdered ginger 2 Tbsp)
•2 Cans of Water Chestnuts (Whole or Sliced)
•1 Large Can of Diced Tomatoes
•1 Can of Coconut Cream
•One Large Pot with a lid
•Season Chicken lightly with Salt and Curry Powder
•Put Chicken into large covered pot and place into oven for 30 minutes at 350°F (Just long enough to remove some juice and fat from the chicken)
•Dice Onions, Peel Garlic, Clean Brussel Sprouts, Section Broccoli and Zest Ginger
•Remove Large Pot from the oven Remove Chicken from the Pot (set aside)
•Put Large Pot with Drippings on Stove top and turn to low-medium heat
•Add 2 heaping Tbsp of Coconut oil to the Chicken Drippings
•Add 3 Heaping Tbsp of Curry Powder
•Add Zested Ginger
•Add 1 Heaping Tbsp of Paprika
•Add 1 Heaping Tbsp of Cumin
•Add 1 Heaping Tbsp of Cayenne
•Add 3 Heaping Tbsp of Salt
•Let all the Seasons slowly cook for 5-7 minutes (or until they start to smell slightly burnt, I know but seriously)
•Add Diced onions to Large Pot (cook down)
•Add Garlic (also cook down)
•Add Diced Tomatoes (cook for 5 minutes)
•Add Brussel Sprouts
•Add Water Chestnuts
•Add Coconut Cream
•Add Fresh Basil
•Cover and let cook on simmer for 20 minutes (stir occasionally)
•Strip chicken from bones
•Add Chicken let simmer for 20-30 minutes
•add 3 squirts of tarragon vinegar