Memorial weekend, my sister and her husband, Vivian and Don Fallis, traveled here from Houston for a weekend visit with us. It had been over two years since I had seen my sister. It was a difficult trip for her because she has many health problems including Congestive Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). She is on oxygen 24/7.
I grew up with two sisters; no brothers. Katherine was 8 years older than me and Vivian 6 years older. "This is my baby" is the way our mother always introduced me. We all three finished nursing school. "One for every shift when I need them," mother use to brag. It did not happen that way because Katherine developed cancer and passed away before her.
Katherine graduated from Memorial School of Nursing, Houston. Vivian and I graduated from the University of Texas Nursing, John Sealy Hospital in Galveston. Vivian, her husband and their family lived in Galveston during the time I was in nursing school (1953 to 1956). She would often help me study and consistently encouraged me.
All three of us lived in Texas but different towns. We, our husbands and our children often gathered at our parents' home in Dickinson on Sundays and holidays for dinner and time together. However, once a year Katherine, Vivian and I would meet at a designated place for lunch and spend sister time together.
After Katherine passed away, Vivian and I still kept the tradition. I cherish those memories. Now we are unable to keep that tradition and Vivian and I seldom see each other. We do speak on the telephone almost daily.
Vivian and I were born sisters but hearts and times made us best friends. We have shared laughs, tears and secrets. She is the one I often turn to for comfort, understanding and advice. She is the rock and matriarch of our family, keeping us informed and in touch with each other. My daughter, Carol, carries her middle name. It was extremely emotional for Vivian and me when she and Don left to return home. I wish everyone had a sister like Vivian.
This week's keeper recipe is one of the vegetables I prepared for dinner during Don and Vivian's visit. Super easy!
Potatoes and Peas in White Sauce
4 – 5 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 (15 oz.) can LeSeur Sweet Peas, drained
Boil potatoes. While potatoes are boiling, prepare white sauce. When potatoes are done, drain and add them to the white sauce. Blend in the LeSeur peas and simmer until warm enough to serve.
2 to 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 to 3 Tbsp. flour
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in flour. When it begins to bubble gradually add milk. Stir until thick.
For a cheese sauce, use same method except reduce heat and gradually add cubed Velveeta or shredded cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Be sure the heat is low so cheese does not scorch or curdle.