A Tomato Made Me Cry

I woke up this morning at 7:22 to a loud crash of thunder. In my pre-tea grogginess I could only form one clear thought: my sister is flying home this morning! I flew into a frenzy of getting myself and the kids ready so we could be at the LPM office when Melissa arrived there from the airport. But the rain, thunder and wind grew worse and I had to face the fact that she might not be arriving on time. Or anywhere close. Her flight had taken off on time but the airline web site was showing an hour delay. Then we got word that her plane was diverted to New Orleans. She’s safe and sound in the airport, but we don’t know when she’ll make it here.

I’m so bummed, Siestas! A couple of nights ago I was scooping the goo out of a tomato before I chopped it up. I don’t really like fresh tomatoes, which causes my mom to wonder how she could have given birth to me. She’s been known to salt one up and eat it like an apple. Curt and Jackson like them, so I went ahead and put one in our taco salad (see below). Jackson will eat tomato wedges like they’re candy, which makes me wonder how I could have given birth to him. Anyway, as I was scooping out the seeds, I was instantly taken back to when Melissa showed me how to do that. We were in the kitchen at the beach house we’d rented over the fourth of July. And I started to tear up because, y’all, that was the last time I saw my sister! The fourth of July! What is this world coming to?

Okay, I know I’m being melodramatic, but that’s seriously way too long. When I count it up, three and a half months doesn’t sound all that bad. But it seems like a lifetime ago.

I just got a text from my mom saying that Melissa has just boarded her plane. Praise Him! Please pray with us that she gets home safely and quickly.

You wouldn’t waste a prayer on my mom either. She had the taping at Life Today over the weekend and is now getting ready for this Tuesday night’s Bible study. It takes a lot out of a person.

Also, I’ve taken more pictures than I can possibly count this month. I can’t wait to share some (possibly a lot) of them with you this week.

In the meantime, here is my Uncle Wayne’s taco salad recipe. Most of my favorite recipes came from Uncle Wayne. When Curtis and I got married, he sent me a big envelope full of recipes from his and my grandmother’s kitchens. It was simultaneously sentimental and practical – the perfect gift! Especially since I only knew how to cook one thing at the time and that was frozen pizza. Oh, I’m kidding, y’all! I could also make pigs in a blanket.

Taco Salad

2 pounds of lean ground turkey meat
1 to 2 cans of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Iceberg lettuce, chopped (half a head should do it)
1 or 2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups of grated cheese
1 bottle of creamy French dressing
1 avocado, sliced
1 bag of tortilla chips, scrunched in the bag

Brown the turkey meat in a skillet. Add kidney beans. Cover and cook on low for 10 minutes. Meanwhile put lettuce, tomatoes, and chips in a large serving bowl and top with grated cheese.

Drain the liquid from meat/bean mixture if necessary. Pour meat and beans on top of cheese in the bowl so that the meat gets the cheese melty. (Is “melty” a word?) Then pour French dressing over everything and toss well. Put avocado on top to make it look pretty.

*Most of the time the Jones family uses lean ground beef rather than turkey. What can I say? We’re Texans. I also tend not to use a whole lot of the dressing. It just depends on your taste.

Uncle Wayne’s helpful tip for this salad is that it doesn’t save well for later. It’s tragic when you think you’re going to have a few more bites later, only to find it’s all turned to Play-doh. If you want to enjoy leftovers, save some of the meat and beans and chips. Then start all over with fresh lettuce, etc. You’ll pat yourself on the back for such good planning. I hope you enjoy it!

*Update* Melissa made it to the office safe and sound. Thanks for praying!


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