I’m sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car, erectile trying to read a book. It’s not a very big book, it’s not a complicated book, but I’m not sure what it’s saying. I’m getting frustrated at myself for not knowing the words and the perfectionist in me kicks into overdrive.
My parents pull into the garage and I know my time is up. I have failed to read the book before we reached home (I’m quite the goal setter). “I’ll help you,” says a kind, soft voice next to me. For the next 30 minutes, I sit in the backseat of the car, parked in the garage, while my older sister helps me figure out the words I thought were impossible to learn.
I was five years old and I’m still reminded of that moment when I think of my sister. I’m not even sure if she remembers it. But that’s who she is – giving, thoughtful, inspiring and loving – without even realizing it.
Growing up, I was the typical little sister. I was always snooping through her things, trying on her clothes when she wasn’t looking, copying her every move and eavesdropping on her phone calls. I couldn’t stand her, I couldn’t stand how cool she was, but I loved her more than anything and wanted to be just like her. I still do sometimes.
Now that we’re both “grown,” as my mom says, I have a respect for her that I didn’t know when I was younger. I look back at our childhood (which wasn’t always peachy: hair pulling, door slamming, name calling, death threats – you know, the norm) and think of all of the times she was there for me when she certainly didn’t have to be. My sister is my best friend, but that doesn’t even begin to describe it, nor does that label give justice to the deep-running vein of our relationship.
There are a billion memories I could share with you about my sister, a billion laughs, a billion blowups, a billion tear-jerking moments that have shaped who I am. But those I’ll save for another time… or maybe I’ll just keep them to myself, as a sacred piece of my heart.
One thing I will share though is our great love for all things Sheryl Crow (we’ve been so close to her on stage that we could literally lick her boots if we wanted to… but who would want to do that?) which includes her new cookbook, If It Makes You Healthy. Written and developed with her chef, Chuck White, the book is full of clean, healthy, simple recipes that use mostly seasonal ingredients.
I like my people like I like my food: the ingredients’ true flavors shine through, there’s no fuss and no drama involved in the cooking process and quality ingredients are a recipe for a fantastic meal. Just as I know what to expect from the recipes in Sheryl’s cookbook, I know what to expect from my sister. I know I can count on her. I know that she carries my heart with care. I know that she is one in a million. And I love her for that, more than she will ever know.
Cannellini Bean and Rosemary Spread
*Taken from If It Makes You Healthy, minimally changed
2 cans cannellini beans
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 large garlic clove
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
In a food processor, combine beans, lemon juice, rosemary, paprika and garlic. Mix until well blended and all ingredients have been pureed.
With the motor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until the mixture becomes smooth and reaches an easily spreadable consistency.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with toasted bread or pita chips.