One nice thing about having both of my sisters and their husbands living in town with me is that we see each other all. the. time. Despite this fact, we make a point to have dinner together once a week with each of us providing main dish, side or dessert. This week, our main course was a surprise. This wasn’t necessarily unusual as Leah likes to maintain an air of mystery around whatever it is she’s preparing for our dinner, whether it’s roasted broccoli or an ice cream sundae bar.

Tonight’s dinner really was worth the surprise, though: she took out from her freezer a pasta dish my mom had made for them back in the spring or summer. Made with tomatoes, spinach, cheese, ground turkey and elbow macaroni (of course) and served from her 1970s Corningware (of course), it was a really, really wonderful dinner. (For the record, our side dishes were coconut rice, Caesar salad and a cream cheese/pepper jelly spread. They are often this disjointed, but we do our best to include a vegetable!)

So tonight, unexpectedly, I got to enjoy my mom’s cooking for the very last time. You know how people live on through their favorite recipes? I think anytime I want to feel like my mom is here with me, I just need to bake up a casserole. It’ll do the trick every time.

(Ice cream in a small Corelle bowl would be a good alternative, as would coffee with a couple of Splenda packets. Or I could just go to Panera.)