Posted by Denise:

My daughter, Erin, was the first of three in three years.  She was my godsend.  She helped me with the other two children, at first watching them and in the later years driving them to their destinations (sports, mall, etc.)  She was looking around for colleges and was interested in Michigan State because her paternal grandparents went there.  Michigan State, I thought to myself, that is so far away and so cold!  She was accepted with a full scholarship, so there was no more looking.  The first one of mine to fly the coop.  My godsend was leaving!

My ex-husband and I drove her out to Michigan State.  I cried the two days out there, the three days there and the one back.  I couldn’t believe my baby was leaving.  I couldn’t believe I hadn’t run out of tears.  No one prepares you for this.  My cowriter, Sandy, talked to me about her children leaving, but until you experience this next step in their lives, you are not prepared.  Who is going to greet me in the morning?  Who am I going to tell about my day, or tell me about their day?  I walked in her room many times, called her often and emailed her daily.  She came home three times the first semester but then we both got into a routine without each other.  I was so proud of her and wanted this for her, but, I am not going to lie, it was hard.  Now six years later, she is back and we both survived for the better.  I needed to find my path and she needed to find hers.

Erin’s Favorite Meal – DIM SUM

  • 4 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp. green onion
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine
  • 1 pkg. wonton wrappers

Place all ingredients in a bowl except wontons and mix well.  Place about 1 tbsp. onto middle of wonton and fold according to package instructions.  To steam, I use a big pot with a colander inside the pot.  Fill water up to the bottom of colander.  Place a pie plate with many small holes (I use a pick) and place on top of collander (this should fit nicely).  Spray pie plate with vegetable spray to keep the wontons from sticking.  Bring water to a boil and keep simmering.  Place folded wontons (about 8 at a time) on pie plate and cover for about 10 minutes.  Continue process until all the wontons are cooked.

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • dash of ground giner
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup rice wine

Whisk all ingredients.  When wontons are cooked dip into sauce.

steamed dumplings

steamed dumplings (Photo credit: stu_spivack)

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  1. love stories of kids gone away and kids come back

  2. As always it looks amazing. Mary Dell took tomatoes from my garden and made one of your recipes. When is the cookbook coming out?

  3. I know how you feel–my daughter and I are so close, but I know she needs to leave and have her own life. I’m so proud of everything she’s doing on her own, but I’m constantly having to talk to the part of me that misses her and wants her to come back.
    And everyone experiences this differently–yet there’s a common thread among us all. Glad you’ve found peace with it.

  4. likeitiz says:

    as someone who has endured moving back into the dorms four times (4 years in a row) after summers in between, I’d say the first time is the hardest. I did not cry. I promised her I was not going to make a scene. And brave old me kept her promise. But, it was a deluge inside.

    There is hope. Each school year gets easier. Now mine lives with a couple of girlfriends from college in the city. They all work, except for one who’s doing her master’s degree. They now have their own lives. I’ve gotten used to just me and my hubby. The dog passed on last year too. We have not wanted a new one. Too many changes. But, I look forward to the visits, the Sunday brunches, etc.

    It gets better.

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