April 17, 2021

Cooking with my twin

I have written about my twin sister, Trish, on several occasions. We have always been close, something we have continued into adulthood. While we don’t talk on the phone every night like we used to, we stay connected in other ways using text messaging and social media.

Around our February birthday, we also try to plan a “sister weekend” to hang out just the two of us to catch up and spend uninterrupted-time together. It doesn’t happen every year, but we do our best to enjoy this time as much as we can.

We both recently took a Friday off and enjoyed an extended weekend for sister time. My husband is currently required to work Fridays and Saturdays at the factory, so we had the house to ourselves while he was at work. Tim also offered to make himself scarce when he was home, which wasn’t required but the gesture was very much appreciated.

This year was different for multiple reasons, but the biggest was including my 1-year-old son on the weekend. He was so excited to see his Aunt Trish for multiple days in a row. He was built-in entertainment for us as we played with him or watched him play with his toys.

He is still working on walking. He will take a few independent steps and then get down and crawl. It’s much faster, you know. But Trish and I worked with him on that skill, hoping to build his confidence so he can learn to take more and more steps.

In the past, we have gone to movies, gone out to eat, or taken a road trip somewhere for some shopping. None of these activities were an option this year. We have been very cautious about exposure to COVID-19, and we aren’t going to let our guard down now.

We replaced those activities by making our own food, using recipes we haven’t made but always wanted to try. One thing I was for sure going to make was chicken and dumplings.

My sister and I grew up enjoying my Grandma Rodgers homemade chicken and dumplings. The problem was she never wrote down her recipe, and we haven’t had them since she passed away. I got an instant pot for Christmas, and one of the first recipes I found to try was for chicken and dumplings. Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t really like them, so I knew I would have to save it for the right time. Trish was onboard, so we made it the first dish we enjoyed.

I am happy to report it was delicious. It wasn’t 100 percent like what grandma used to make nothing will probably ever be, but it was close. Even better, my son enjoyed them too, so I feel like I’m going to have to make my husband try them sometime soon.

Trish and I also got on a baking kick Saturday afternoon. We made cookies, peanut butter cheesecake and baking powder biscuits. In addition, I made my homemade pizza dough for our reuben pizza that evening.

Beyond the cooking, it was nice to just hang out with each other again. With the events of 2020, those moments were few and far between. I didn’t realize just how much I missed our time together until we had a full weekend, essentially, just the two of us.

Even though we didn’t take a road trip to Des Moines and eat at the Cheesecake Factory or catch a new release as we have in the past, it was great to spend a weekend with my sister. I can only hope that these traditions continue and things can go back to some version of normal. And of course, I hope my son won’t mind tagging along with mom and Auntie Trish in the future either. Here’s to another healthy trip around the sun. Love you, Trish!

Contact Pam Pratt at pampratt@newtondailynews.com

Pam Pratt

I have been at the Newton News since October 2014. I started as the Associate Editor and was promoted to Editor in April 2019.