Howdy y'all! Today I have the pleasure of welcoming my friend Katherine to the blog! Katherine writes about her life as a Texas transplant, Marine wife, and budding educator over at her blog the Newsom's Nest. I've really enjoyed getting to know her these past few weeks and I hope you will too! So without further ado.....
First of all, I want to thank Elizabeth for the opportunity to sponsor her blog as well as guest post! Thank you! I have to admit, I didn’t have the right size button, so the one you see is a spur of the moment thing that isn’t too polished, but it works :) Blogger problems...
As I was able to choose the topic for this post, I thought I’d play to the ear of fellow military spouses out there in the blogging community, especially because Elizabeth and I are both military bloggers!
The topic at hand? Bringing home to your duty station.
My husband and I are stationed in California, but our home and hearts are forever in Texas. Although the weather is comparable, the local food is not. Don’t get me wrong, there is an amazing taco stand down the street from our home, and some of the best international food around is located a short drive away in San Diego (Japanese, Greek, Indian, Irish, and even Afghan cuisine, among so much more), but there’s nothing like food from the homeland. As in what we grew up with and took for granted and now cannot find at the grocery store anywhere!
So how do we bring home to our duty station?
(I have to say I’m not surprised nor am I ashamed that bringing home to our military home centers around FOOD!)
- By getting a charcoal grill with a smoker and using any excuse we can to smoke our steak, brisket, pork, and veggies.
- By using the grill as an excuse to buy pounds of premium steak at the commissary – our freezer is so happy right now (the best place to buy meat for military families! Best deals and best quality than any civilian supermarket)
About that meat – I was blessed enough to find the LAST brisket available at the commissary. I was so excited that they actually carried brisket – perfect for barbecue, sandwiches, anything. Literally the only place that’s carried brisket around here!
- By getting SO overjoyed each time we find Stubb’s barbecue sauce at the store. Seriously, the best, and so hard to find in stock! Don’t even settle for any other – try it, you’ll thank me later.
- By ordering from the little creamery in Brenham, Texas – Blue Bell Ice Cream. Absolutely, hands down, the BEST ice cream out there. And worth the shipping costs (as surprising as they may have been).
Okay, the last one – I absolutely have to talk about Blue Bell. I called and ordered four half gallons – 2 homemade vanilla, 1 red velvet, and 1 butter pecan. Probably some of the most southern flavors you can think of (other than blackberry cobbler – yum!) made at literally the world’s greatest creamery. Blue Bell started out as a milk delivery service and creamery in 1907, and gradually incorporated their ice cream, which is now what they are known for. It is absolutely incredible, and you can only find it at grocers in the south, which is beyond disappointing for us being military.
Since moving with the military, we have lived in Virginia, North Carolina, and now California, and have not once found Blue Bell at the store. It’s like a crime, depriving us from our one true love. As I mentioned, it’s also hard to find brisket or just good quality meat here. And when you can, you have to snag it quick at the commissary because it goes fast. Californians just don’t understand a good steak. Or what ice cream should really taste like – please just start stocking Blue Bell already!
So in all, bring home to our duty station has to do with food. Smoking the brisket like it should be, and grilling all that steak, was a great reminder of home and where we come from. Ordering Blue Bell and tasting homemade vanilla after a year of depravity made me literally scream with joy – I nearly ate the entire half gallon at once! It was a great excuse to buy Hershey’s syrup to have with it, which I’ve done since before I can remember, and oh my goodness did it bring back memories. It just makes me happy happy happy! (Anyone else watch Duck Dynasty? Yeah, that reminds us of home too: Faith, family, and food!)
This, of course, is how my husband and I bring home to our duty station. Being from the south – food is key. But, every military family comes from different backgrounds, and has different priorities than us. So for others, bringing home to your military home may incorporate pictures or family treasures, outdoor adventures (If you grew up near the beach, hiking, boating, skiing, what have you – that is your go-to weekend activity), or finding a home that remind you of home (you know, a house on enough land, or the same layout as what you’re used to). Oh, I know there are so many more ways, and what a scarce list this is, but you get the idea, right?
Something to remember is that each duty station is what you make of it. One important thing is attitude – get in the mindset that you are going to LOVE your duty station, and that will happen. Get in your head that you can’t stand to move there, and you will surely hate it. Find something that strikes you from home and family, then take that and make it glow. In other words, find a way to incorporate where you are from to where you are now. If you move across the country with an open mind, ready for adventure, excited to meet other military couples and make new friends, and stocked with a little something to keep you grounded – faith – then you will be just fine.