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I am a God-loving, husband-adoring, mybabyboys-hugging, mind-reeling, photo-taking, life-documenting, yummyfood-cooking, garden-planting, country-living girl. Writing about life, with boys, in the sticks...
this is life... with boys... in the country...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Balkos and Roses…

I don’t ever need much of a reason to make the 3.5 hour drive up to my parents’ house (although the visits are getting fewer and farther between as our kid-count increases), but the promise of a family picnic with fried chicken as the main course surely drew me north. 

My dad grew up as one of 9 children, so consequently, I grew up as one of 2 dozen cousins.  And throughout the year we’d all gather together for a meal and fellowship to celebrate various holidays (namely, Christmas Eve and Easter) as well as birthdays, graduations, confirmations, etc.  One such celebration usually fell toward the end of July, when we’d celebrate my Grandma Balko’s birthday. As kids we’d play on the swing-set and blue-tarp slip-n-slide, or go as a huge group to our local outdoor pool.  Its hard for me to say, since I live in another state and am not always up on the happenings, but I think even with our growing numbers and Grandma’s passing away, the Balkos have done a good job of keeping up on these types of gatherings. 

So in the spirit of family and getting together, my parents initiated the gathering (mostly inspired by my Aunt Shelby being in-town, who also lives out-of-state) and to muster up even more family memories, they planned the menu around that of the old Roses Highway Inn.  Roses was a restaurant that 8 of the 9 Balko kids worked at … my Uncle Sam for some crazy 28 years.  As Roses was in business for 50 some years, go figure – the menu was delicious. And like I mentioned before, the fried chicken was a favorite.  So, the 2 Balko Brothers easily pulled the classic recipes for the chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans w/bacon and onions, and biscuits from memory, and whipped up a meal that was both nostalgic and oh. so. good.    08-01-10_010108-01-10_0097 

  Being a family affair, everyone contributed something to the meal, all the way down to the Andes after-dinner mints, which ALWAYS followed dinner at Roses. serving upEmily and Sadie eating upA. Beth, A. Shelby, and Emily

Though food is usually at the center of our get-togethers, there is, of course, plenty of fellowship and play, too.  

Carley and LilyBoe and Bart 

Looking at pictures from the Balko sisters recent trip to the Lavender Festival…

Heidi, Cindy, Becky, Carley Uncle Boe and Kaden

Looks like a great story was being told… to be expected coming from my Aunt Becky…

A.Becky and Cindy (her daughters obviously agree)…

BreeAnna and Carley Emma

I can’t help but feel sentimental when I watch my children, along side my cousins’ children, playing as I remember we used to.  Sentimental, and a little old, too.  

Liliana

And by the way, watching my parents host a gathering for 33 people made me feel a bit silly for being overwhelmed by my recent entertaining.  Their hospitality never ceases to amaze me. 

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