Soutnern Metamorphosis

What a wonderful weekend we have had, celebrating our nation’s independence. We definitely need have some people to thank for our continued freedoms and that would be our military! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I have posted about my nephew (the Marine) before. It is a different kind of metamorphosis to be sure. But, it is an important kind of transformation. I wanted to post about him again, just in case you missed reading about him before. I am so proud of my nephew for so many reasons. I wish you could all meet him. He is a fabulous cook and makes his own wine. Quite the Renaissance man. So here I am posting about him again for:

It's Met Monday with Susan. Click on the pic for more
Met Monday with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.
Pic of Bryan with me when he graduated from Marine boot camp.
Pic of Bryan with me when he graduated from Marine boot camp (1996).

Today, I want to introduce you to my nephew, Bryan. Bryan is a Marine. He is not actively serving, but, I learned early on, “once a Marine, always a Marine.” The metamorphosis here is what happened to him at boot camp. They took a bright, energetic, clever boy and made him into a bright, energetic, clever man.

My sister, Tammy (his mother), and I went to his boot camp graduation. It was a life changing experience for me. We met with the drill instructors first. They spoke well of my nephew, which was a good thing. My sister and I were ready to take on the entire Marine force, if, for any reason, they didn’t have good things to say about him (which was unlikely). Luckily for us and for them, the drill instructors had nothing but good to say about him.

It was a goose bump moment when we heard the cadence from the young men as they marched towards us in the dark. You could hear them coming from a distance. Once they arrived, they stood at attention until they were dismissed to find their families. That was an awesome time. We saw him go in as as a young man and he came out a Marine!

The day he graduated from boot camp, I asked him what he had for breakfast. He said duck. I was surprised and said, “duck?” He told me that they had duck a lot. He told me that you duck your head and eat as much as you can before they kick you out. Never heard of that “duck” recipe before!

I am so proud of my nephew, then, and now. After boot camp, he was assigned to the presidential guard. He served in Washington D. C. and then at Camp David. He served in Kuwait during the initial invasion of Iraq.

He is no longer actively serving in the Marines but he still has that Marine attitude. He is a truly wonderful man that I am proud to have as my nephew. He is now married to a wonderful young lady and is still making me proud every day. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful young man as my nephew, and, we as a nation, are blessed to have so many like him who serve our nation so we can sleep in peace at night when we lay down our heads.

Thanks Bryan and to all of the other Marines for all they have done and continue to do for our country!

Today’s Lagniappe: Mussels with Garlic, White Wine and Butter
My nephew has become quite the connoisseur. He makes his own fine wine and is quite an accomplished cook. On one of our trips together, he ordered mussels. He loved them. Here is a recipe that I’m sure he would love.

  • 3 pounds mussels
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Rinse the mussels under cold running water while scrubbing with a vegetable brush. Remove the stringy mussel beards as you wash them. Discard any mussels with broken shells.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables cook down, about 5 minutes. Add the mussels and give everything a good toss. Add the white wine. Cover and steam over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until the mussels open. Stir occasionally so that all the mussels are in contact with the heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and a drizzle of olive oil to the sauce remaining in the pot and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with hot crusty French bread.





5 responses to “Soutnern Metamorphosis”

  1. Donna Douglas Avatar

    Tammy did a great job raising Bryan. All the Dicus women are spectacular!!!

  2. Debbie Avatar

    What a wonderful way to salute your nephew, and all the other service men and women out there. Great post.

  3. Joyce Avatar

    I salute your nephew for his past service and I salute all the young men and women presently serving. Lovely post and fitting for the holiday.

  4. Becky Avatar

    I also blogged about a special Marine who ran 50 miles honoring his fallen “brother”…please visit and send a message to the fallen hero’s Mom…
    I love this recipe!!!

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