Mom time spent between wedding festivities – victoria advocate – victoria, tx

1 butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed

• 2 Tbsp. olive oil

• 1 cup quinoa

• 5 ounces arugula

• 1/2 cup toasted almond slices

Prepare vinaigrette and set aside. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash into 1-inch cubes. Toss with olive oil. Place in preheated oven and roast for 30 minutes or until squash is tender and caramelized. Turn on broiler and broil until lightly browned,

30 seconds to one minute. Set aside to cool. Prepare quinoa according to package directions and set aside. Toast almonds in oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Watch carefully so they do not burn. Toss arugula, dressing (in small amounts), quinoa and butternut squash cubes and then garnish with toasted almonds.

Use dressing sparingly. All ingredients can be prepared ahead and then added together as needed.


• 4 heaping Tbsp. orange juice concentrate (frozen)

• 1/4 cup water

• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

• Zest of 1 orange

• 2 tsp. Dijon mustard

• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

• 2 tsp. sugar

• 1 shallot , finely chopped

• Salt and pepper to taste

Add frozen orange juice to bowl.

Add apple cider vinegar and other dressing ingredients and then puree in blender or with an emulsion blender until smooth.

Adjust seasonings to taste.

Last weekend, our son, Spencer, and his girlfriend, Rachel, came for a visit from Houston. Actually, they came home because Spencer was to be a groomsman in the wedding of his friend, Marshall.

It doesn’t hurt for me to think he wanted to see me as well. Taylor was deer hunting in the brush country of South Texas, so I had the kids all to myself.

I knew there would be the usual succession of wedding festivities from the rehearsal to the rehearsal dinner to the official ceremony followed by the reception, but the times in between his previous commitments would be Mom time.

He and Rachel arrived in the late afternoon Friday and were soon off to the rehearsal and dinner. I stayed up to talk with them after the party. That is when I learned some of the groomsmen would be coming over the next morning for a big pancake breakfast, and I was to be the chef.

It was no problem since I have flour, sugar, homegrown eggs and syrup. I was a little short on bacon, so Spencer promised to take care of that part.

I was thrilled to have hungry boys in my house since I love to feed hungry people. The good news is they would not arrive until around 10 a. m., which would allow ample time to do whatever would be needed.

Rachel and I awoke early and sent Spencer off to the grocery store for more bacon and strawberries. I imagined the guys would just want to be together as much as they could before Marshall got married. Things would change after that. Most of his friends are still single, some with girlfriends and some without.

Married couples look at life differently. I have seen this change in other friends’ adult children. They marry, and all of a sudden that dinner out gets postponed since they want to paint the house, buy a dog, remodel a kitchen or go on a vacation for two.

Married adults think twice before they splurge on $10 cocktails and $35 meals. Checking accounts and balances mean more to them. Mortgages need to be paid before entertainment.

Spencer has seen this happen to his sister, Hannah, and her husband, Ben. They enjoy an occasional night out when their schedules allow, but a lot of the time they are just content to stay home and cook.

Marshall’s best old friends were at the impromptu pancake feast. These boys have known each other since elementary school and before. Spencer and Marshall spent a lot of time together in high school. Although they both now live independently in the big city and have grown-up jobs, when I see the boys, they still look young to me.

Marshall is quiet and levelheaded and probably kept Spencer out of trouble during the high school years. Since we know his family, we always felt confident nothing bad would happen when the boys were together. They camped out, fished, did homework and generally hung out.

They attended dances with dates and went out with big groups for homecoming, Sadie Hawkins and junior-senior prom. They most likely know each other’s secrets, fears and hopes.

Marshall is a wonderful young man and is so fortunate to have found his life mate in Amanda. They seem so dreamily in love. This was evident as she walked down the aisle to her future with him, and he smiled a smile that said everything at this moment was right in the world. The wedding was beautiful, and the bride seemed so at ease with everything and everyone. The rains did not dampen the joy of the afternoon.

Rachel and I sat together on the center end of a pew so we could get a good look at Amanda coming down the aisle with her dad. I heard an audible gasp as she passed by the young boy sitting in front of us. His 3-year-old brain probably envisioned her as a princess.

Since Spencer rode with the wedding party on the bus, I was able to spend some alone time with Rachel. She is so precious and a perfect match for Spencer. I am hopeful there will be a wedding soon in my future. I have hinted more strongly than is appreciated.

It is a wonderful thing for a parent to see their child happy and choosing a mate for their future. It is not a decision to be made hastily because it should last a lifetime. That is my hope for my remaining unmarried children, Miles and Spencer: that they will choose someone to spend their entire lives with. And then, of course, that they will give me grandchildren I can spoil.

Myra Starkey lives in Victoria. Write her in care of the Advocate, P. O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901 or email myra@vicad. com.