Friday, March 19, 2010

All in the Family

"Whenever I write about my family, I start by getting their approval. I like to think I write about them with obvious affection. When it comes to the people I’m related to, I consider myself to be very lucky."

--David Sedaris, Q and A with New Yorker readers

Toward the end of last night's family cookout, Chef Baby Brother started passing around homemade fudge. As he offered the plate to my Uncle, I nearly smacked it out of his hand, sharply berating them both: "He can't have that!"

"Why can't he have any?" my brother asks ("yeah, why?" my Uncle innocently echoed.) "Uh. Because you're diabetic."

"Oh," was his nonchalant response as he reached back across the table for the candy, "OK...just half a piece then." (This is the Uncle who's the person I love more than anyone in the world and always have. Now, I doubt that exact word has ever been exchanged between the two of us: but every birthday and every Christmas, the fatted calf [literally] arrives.)  

The cookout was probably the first time we've had our whole family get together in one place that wasn't for a wedding or a funeral in at least a decade. That being said, it is entirely fair to say that my brother makes it home -- from Texas -- to visit more often than I do. It's like Sedaris says, "I always have to be dragged places, and then I have a great time."

Despite the fact that this was a reasonably special and rare occasion -- even though it was just a backyard cookout -- these are the off-brand chips that Max and ("a little Real Lemon/a little Sweet n Low") Lorraine insisted on serving. Though I was extra-nice -- thinking maybe "Clancy's" was some Austin-brand, and these were brought in special. They definitely were not -- though the tomatillas were.

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