We got REALLY lucky when we moved to our little patch of Florida. We stumbled into a house across the street from Lynda and Rusty Kelly. Their family, for reasons explicable only to them, have decided we are family too. We get invited for every birthday, holiday, and family occasion up to and including both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Lynda’s mom, Erika, is a little German lady. One day while outlet shopping, Erika leaned into my ear and whispered some gossip. My old deaf ears can’t compute her accent very well, so I didn’t understand a word of it. Following her shared secret she put her hand on my arm and said, loudly, “I vouldn’t tell you zat, but you are family.” How great is that?
This year there were twelve for dinner. My contribution was Ina Garten’s Potato Fennel Gratin. I put it together in my big Le Crueset four hundred pound casserole dish. The lid alone weighs more than our chocolate-brown lab mix, Bronson. There will come a day when I have to stop using Le Creuset as I’ll be too weak to haul it out of the oven. Daughter, Mo, will happily inherit my growing collection. Le Crueset is expensive, but so worth it and guaranteed for life. I managed to destroy a dutch oven by putting it on the grill. We sent it back and got a brand new beauty in no time!
Ina’s potatoes were so well received I have decided to double the recipe next year. We will need to borrow a dolly to lug them across the street.