My Famous Brother

Did I ever tell you how my brother is super famous?

I’ll start from the beginning. My brother turned 18 one year and next thing we knew he was headed off to college. ‘Goodbye Tom’ we said as he left. Months went by, the season changed, and Tom returned home for a break. But, Tom was different than we had remembered him. Like, really different.

Along with the new academic prowess and a few college credits sprinkled into his resume, he had seemingly grown a beard…. on his face… and we all were confused about it.

One of the advantages (or disadvantages) of having siblings is the level of honesty that one can only have with their siblings. Only children don’t know about the painstakingly honest comments your siblings can throw at you. I’m not an only child. Neither is Tom.

We all told Tom our exact feelings about the beard. In fact, it was a hot topic in our household for weeks. I was surprised by it, confused by it, bewildered by it… mostly not really into it. I was still struggling with the fact that my baby brother had grown taller than me. I wasn’t ready for a beard too.  My ‘I’m such a hipster that I don’t even consider myself a hipster’ brother emphatically stated that Tom was allowed to groom (or not groom) his face however he desired. My youngest (and most vocal) brother had a major problem with it. He wanted it gone. Yesterday.

However, Tom is a little bit Irish and therefore a lot of bit stubborn. The facial hair wasn’t going anywhere. Years later, he still sports his beard. And we’ve all learned to accept (and like) it.

And guess what?

The very thing that we all had made such a fuss about 3+ years ago… just made him famous.

Evidence #1:

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 10.41.19 AM

Do you see it? Perhaps I need to do a little editing to make this more clear.

Updated Evidence #1:


It’s a screen shot (did I mention I’m tech savvy?) of his school’s website prominently featuring my brother’s once highly debated facial hair.  Oh my oh my oh my oh my oh my!!

And to think, we had tried to get him to shave it off. I guess everything does really happen for a reason.

In other news, this salad rocked my world. I love everything about it and I ate it for 38 square meals a day until it was gone. Then I made it again. It’s one of those recipes. Parnsips, carrots, squash, cranberries, and farro all drizzled with a tangy vinaigrette and topped with crunchy pumpkin seeds — fall in a bowl!


Roasted Fall Veggie and Farro Salad
Source: Native Foods Blog
Printable Recipe

2C farro (or spelt)
veggie broth or water
olive oil
salt, pepper
1 large butternut squash (~2lbs), peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes
1/2lb carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick
1/2lb parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick
1 shallot, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4C apple cider vinegar
1T maple syrup
1tsp dijon mustard
1/4C olive oil
1/2C dried cranberries
1/2C toasted pumpkin seeds
1tsp fresh thyme, chopped finely

Cook farro (or spelt) according to package directions. For extra flavor, use broth instead of water.
While farro is cooking, roast veggies. Preheat oven to 400. On one baking sheet, toss 2T of olive oil with prepped butternut squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally until squash is tender and cooked through. On another baking sheet, toss 2T of live oil with carrots and parsnips. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are roasted, brown, and tender. Remove veggies from oven once roasted.
In a small bowl, combine shallot, garlic, vinegar, and syrup. While whisking, add in mustard. Continue to whisk while you slowly stream in safflower oil. Add in a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
In a large bowl, combine cooked farro, roasted veggies, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and thyme. Drizzle with dressing. Stir to incorporate all ingredients. Enjoy warm, cold, or room-temperature.


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