Last weekend I got a call from the Nana. She matter-of-factly stated that in a few days she would be making the drive from Massachusetts to New Jersey for a meeting of the Historical Society in the town where she grew up. Since Pennsylvania was “on the way,” she would be dropping by the office to say hello. “I’ll be there at noon.”
I know better than to question the obvious: a six hour drive for a historical society meeting? An added detour to PA? Once Nana has an idea in her head, there is no persuading or turning back. Better to just embrace the inevitable. Only Nana.
We got lunch at the little diner next door to my office. Nana ordered a birch beer and a pork roll sandwich that she doused in mustard and relish while telling tales of Jersey diner meals of the past.
As always, she came armed with a random assortment of gifts including: a stack of sweaters from the goodwill, mum’s old blender, some christmas boots to try on for size before the big day and the cutest little baby brussels sprouts, plucked fresh from her garden.
Season the sprouts lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 375º for about 15-20 minutes. They were easily put to use the next day.
I’m pretty sure the Pennsylvania detour added at least two hours onto Nana’s drive. As I watched her tear away, in her car with Massachusetts license plates and the flowery Jersey Girl sticker on her back windshield, I smiled.