22-1/2 years ago, you sat in a Hardee’s eating lunch with a fellow named Larry, who was also about to become a father. A few hours later, Will was born and you were so proud! You were not nearly as clueless as I was and I am thankful for that.
20-1/2 years ago you did it again, after working an all night shift, getting kicked in the ribs by an indignant Mennonite midwife who thought you were being pretty much a big dick for taking a nap while I was in labor. I swear if I had known she was going to do that I would have stopped her.
19 years ago you did it again, in the hallway of the hospital with a hyper-excitable nurse hopping around screaming “Oh LORDY she’s gonna have that baby right here!”
11 years ago, after pleading and persuading from me, you gave into my fluttering eyelashes and ignored common sense and did it again…but then put your foot down and said “no more”. You also spent the first 8 weeks of his life being the nighttime nurse, since the doctor took one look at my postpartum self and declared “She Must Sleep.” For that I will always be grateful, more than you’ll ever know.
SO, since I am all grateful and stuff, I am cooking you the meal of your dreams. First, homemade onion rings, sweet vidalia onions and a crispy crust. I’ll make them as soon as we get home from church because it’s going to be a bit before the ribs are done. Then, BBQ ribs, cooked low and slow, with my own homemade bourbon sauce. Baked beans, low and slow, with bits of smoked bacon and a drizzle of molasses. Corn on the cob, fresh from the field, with an indecent amount of butter slathered on. Fresh slaw, the way you like it, with mustardy-mayonnaisey dressing and a generous shaking of black pepper. And for dessert, that comfort food of comfort foods just like Mama used to make it: Cheerio Pie. Even now it’s in the fridge chilling.
Because, you know, you deserve it, and more, for being the best person I could ever have picked (from that long line of suitors, y’know) to be the father (Dad, Daddy) of my kids and the love of my life.
Judy’s Cheerio Pie
1-8oz block of cream cheese (I use the neufchatel “lite” stuff)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
1 can cherry pie filling
1 graham cracker crust
Soften the cream cheese in a mixing bowl (I throw in in the microwave for 30 seconds). Pour the sweetened condensed milk and the lemon juice in with the creamcheese, and mix with a hand mixer (or a spoon but that’s so much work!) until it’s all blended with no little lumps of cream cheese. Pour in to the graham cracker crust and cover. Chill for a while, at least an hour but whatever…however long it is until you have to serve it…
to serve, pout the pie filling on top, cut into pieces. Refrigerate what’s left over. If there is any, that is.