Please do not feel sad for me with this post - I'm just processing some things, and it's most helpful for me to write them out. I promise - I'm in a better place than I was.
Some of my best, most favorite memories of my sister in law are centered in holiday time, and Easter figures prominently.
And I've been reminded of it a ton this weekend, because, you know, it's Easter and all = and also because I have many Greek Orthodox friends (well, a handful, anyway) on my Facebook, and they talk a LOT about lamb in their posts, a few of them, and my sister in law, well, she was the lamb maker of the family.
I don't like lamb. I never did. Yucky stuff.
But my husband grew up eating leg of lamb roasted with garlic and little potatoes, and he never really asked for it, but it was a "thing" that my sister in law did for him and for the rest of the family. I never touched the stuff. But she'd always call me the day before, wondering when she should start it and when it might finish, how many potatoes should she make, when might we eat so that she could make it on time
And I didn't realize, until my niece brought it up, that, subconsciously, all day Saturday I was waiting for my phone to ring. Waiting for Jo to call me and talk lamb.
Two years ago, I decided I'd grill a pork tenderloin for Easter dinner. I bought a fantastic rub, rubbed it all over the pork, and let it sit in the fridge to get really good and tasty for a couple of days. I was nervous to make it, being that I'd never grilled one before, and I spent the entire day before researching the best method to grill it, how long, and at what temperature. Everything I'd read said to be SURE not to overcook it - that the new guidelines from the USDA said 145 internally was a great temp, not to worry if it was pink. (It's true. You can read it here if you want.)
Back up a second - it's important to know that my husband likes all of his food very, very well done, and he's super concerned about food not being done and becoming ill. No harm, no foul, right?
Except when you are so worried about the pork tenderloin, and you obsess over it, and you hang out by the grill with your sister in law (we really were the odd couple, together all the time) and you take it off the grill at just the right moment and you bring it in the house and let it sit for a few minutes and you slice it so beautifully and the entire family raves and your brother in law snags a piece and pronounces it delicious and everyone is so positive and pleasant about it
Except your husband, who decides, and reports, that you are CERTAINLY trying to give everyone in the family food poisoning by serving uncooked pork and tells everyone in a very LOUD and strident voice that they should most certainly NOT eat the pork tenderloin and he proceeds to grab it and wrap it in foil and
your sister in law, your very favorite, slaps the meat out of her older brother's hand and puts it BACK on the tray and then stands in FRONT of him to keep him away from the meat and they have a very loud and obnoxious discussion that ends with him grilling just HIS pieces until dark brown and your sister in law telling everyone how great you are and how delicious the pork is and your husband is telling everyone NOT to eat the pork, because they will certainly DIE and he gets more and more red in the face and so does she and you realize it's not all about the pork tenderloin, but it's more about an older brother who knows EVERYTHING and a younger sister who also KNOWS EVERYTHING
and thus, you have one of my favorite Easter memories with my sister in law - PorkGate2012. It wasn't funny then, but it surely is now - the memory of my small sister in law, yelling at her older brother in my defense. The way she always was.