I’m walking down memory lane in Austin this weekend. (specifically Mountain Quail Street) I went to Austin to attend a memorial service for a friend of mine. Ann was 86 years old. She was my mother’s age and was a great source of help and information to me as I raised my little children. She lived next door to me and we visited every day I lived there and a lot when I moved initially. As the years went by, and I relocated to El Paso, we spoke when important events occurred, such as grand children, law school graduation and installation. I attended Ann and LE’s 50th wedding anniversary celebration. I visited her when I went to Austin to visit Krista, but I didn’t see her every time I was there. I wish I had seen her the last time I was in town. Krista and I are always so busy shopping or checking out nearby gardens and other sites.
Over 30 years ago she taught me how to make and gave me her recipe for the Cheese Ball that is a family (and everyone’s) favorite at the holidays. I bought a nut grinder to make it and still use it today to make the cheese ball. My son called me on New Year’s Day as I was driving because he was making Chile Cheese Grits and needed an explanation of my recipe. That became an instant favorite of my family over 30 years ago, and I got that recipe from Ann. Each summer when the Fredericksburg peaches were in, she made peach ice cream hand churned in an old wooden ice cream freezer, and invited my family and the Millers over for an ice cream social in the backyard. It was a wonderful tradition.
We were all an extended family way back then. Ann and Penny were so creative and so much fun to be with. Penny taught us how to needlepoint, and she knew the best nurseries in Austin. Sunday afternoons in the summer we spent visiting gardens and greenhouses and of course, bought a new plant or two to bring home. Often times the gardeners would share a cutting from a plant I admired. I treasured those plants the most. I could grow any house plant when I lived in Austin. It made for fun times and new experiences that taught me a lot. The growth of house plants in El Paso is always a delightful surprise to me.
This soup came from another neighbor in Austin, although I never got the recipe from her. I just remembered the ingredients and it was good. Rita and Mickey had 2 small children my children’s age and we shared meals, times together and experiences to make our little neighborhood in Quail Creek a wonderful memory.