Before I turned on the computer tonight I was looking through some old notebooks, searching for something I wrote in high school, intending that to be the subject of this post. I was not successful finding what I was looking for, but realized that each of the notebooks I found was a time capsule. The one that stays with me is from Hillary’s first year or so of life.
It begins with a record of a dream that I had which although was of a somewhat disturbing nature ultimately left me with a peaceful feeling upon awakening. There are several diary type entries about Hillary’s development, diagnosis, and prognosis; as well as my hopes for her life. There are notes from doctor’s visits and phone calls, test results and questions I wanted to ask (and did, and recorded the answers). I found the spelling of my friends’ daughter's name and the birth information for my neighbor's second child. There is the phone number for my sister-in-law’s hospital room from when she had brain surgery, and a few notes about bills that needed paying. There were a couple of rather poignant poems I wrote, and a page that Anna drew on with a red marker. On the covers are some scribbled phone numbers and the license plate number for another sister-in-law’s car, along with some doodles and dates. On the final two pages are a recipe I copied from somewhere for a casserole.
Looking through that notebook was a quick look at a very stressful, eventful time and I’m glad I have it, to help me remember how things started with our special needs journey, and to see how far we’ve come. It was a bittersweet thing to find and reflect upon, but I’m so glad I have it.
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Here is the recipe on the final pages of the notebook:
Hungarian Kielbasa & Noodle Casserole
Prep: 20 min.
Cook: 43 min.
1 lb. potatoes, cut into ½ “ pieces
½ lb. extra wide egg noodles
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (1 ½ cups)
1 ½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup chicken broth
½ lb. kielbasa, cut in half lengthwise & thinly sliced
1.) Grease a 2 qt. casserole. Heat oven to 375 F. Place potatoes in a large saucepot of lightly salted cold water. Cook over high heat until water comes to boil. Reduce heat & simmer about 10 min. until just tender. Remove potatoes with slotted spoon & set aside. Add noodles to simmering water in same saucepot & cook 5 min. or until just tender. Drain well & return to saucepot.
2.) While potatoes are cooking, heat butter & oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion & cook 8-10 min, stirring occasionally, until tender & lightly browned.
3.) Add diced cooked potatoes, paprika & salt to onions in skillet. Cook, tossing, 2 min. or until potatoes are golden red. Add chicken broth & boil 1 min. Pour potato mixture over noodles & toss to mix well.
4.) Pour mixture into casserole. Toss kielbasa over the top, tucking some pieces into noodles. Bake 20 min. or until heated through.