Measure of A Man


Today is my father’s birthday.

Even though my father lives 2000 miles away from me, he has an enormous influence on my life. How could he not? When he suddenly found himself raising three girls on his own many years ago, two of whom were under the age of 12, he didn’t buckle. He not only acted as our chauffeur and cooked us a meal every single night as we were growing up, he taught us to be thoughtful and brave when we encountered life’s challenges.

This year, I decided to time my summer visit with his birthday. Just because. For his birthday dinner, my wonderful Aunt Joyce shared with me two recipes my father loved when he was growing up: peas ‘n’ noodles and peach cobbler. I’m not going to share the recipes with you because I prefer they remain a family secret (selfish, I know 🙂 ). However, I CAN show you pictures!

Peas and noodles:

Served with crispy seared garlic shrimp, courtesy of Peter:

Peach cobbler, made with fresh Colorado peaches:

Aunt Joyce, you probably shouldn’t look at the next picture – the cobbler overflowed! Blasphemy!

Served with ice cream AND whipped cream. We live large in our household.

Happy Birthday to my father 🙂


  1. Happy Birthday to your Dad Jessie!!!!!! I really admire your Dad for raising three kids and cooking for them everynight! I only have two and am pretty sure there won’t be a third, haha. So huge kudos to your Dad!

    Those pictures are making me drool, girl! I actually think that’s a dang sexy overflowing cobbler :-P. And good call to Peter on the shrimpies. You know my love for seafood. Hope you’re having a great time with your family! And boy oh boy, you’ve been quite the traveller this summer, I likies 😀

  2. Sherri Harper says:

    I always love reading your site but, especially today! It brought tears to my eyes! Peas and noodles are one of the things I remember the most about grandma’s cooking! Thanks so much for bringing back the memories of childhood! Yes, your dad is an extraordinary man and he has done such a wonderful job of raising you girls!

  3. Your dad sounds like an amazing person…I can’t believe he stepped up and raised 3 kids single-handedly. I am so in awe of him. Seriously.

    Happy Birthday to your amazing dad!

  4. Happy Birthday to your father!

    Um, can you send me some of that peach cobbler…please 🙂

  5. Aww happy birthday to your dad! He sounds like an amazing guy. Most men find it formidable to raise daughters with a spouse, but as a single dad…he’s a hero!

  6. This is beautiful! I bet your Dad really appreciated all the LOVE you put into this meal. I’m seeing peaches everywhere today and am so sad all the ones we have bought are not as ripe and delicious as we’d wished. I’m thinking we may have to bake them into something 🙂

  7. Happy Birthday to your dad!!!!! 🙂 What an awesome meal!! OMG, I love peach cobbler. Who cares that it overflowed, I’d still eat the heck of that thing!! 🙂 YUMMMMM!! 🙂

  8. What a sweet post and Happy Birthday to your Dad! Looks like it was an incredible celebration dinner!

  9. Happy birthday to my brother and your Dad! He’s a wonderful guy and a fantastic Dad. I remember how protective and loving he was with all you girls when you were growing up. I know he loves you very much. Your posting also brought tears to my eyes. I hope he enjoyed the family recipes! The cobbler looks delicious, overflowed or not, wouldn’t affect the taste. Hope you liked the food, sounds like a great time! Tell your Dad I love him! And you too!

  10. Happy Birthday to your father Jessie! I can’t imagine raising three children on my own, let alone being male and raising three girls! Wow! Enjoy your family time!

  11. Happy birthday to your father, and happy belated birthday to your sisters! I barely have time to read your posts (but I do) but I have next to no time for comments unfortunately. Your dad sounds like an amazing person, and judging by how wonderful you are I am inclined to believe it! 🙂

    With so many birthdays August must have been a month of celebration in the Erwin household!

    Peas and shrimps and garlic and a peach dessert my oh my I’m seriously jealous I love all this stuff!

    So you’re in Colorado now? Have a great time Jess!! 🙂

  12. Happy Belated Birthday Jessie’s Dad!!!

    Your dad sounds like an amazing and very loving person Jessie 🙂 And he must be because you turned out like a jewel.

    I like the noodles and peas best, especially with those shrimps piled on top! A messy, overflowing cobbler is the best kind 😉

  13. aww, your dad sounds like a great man! I bet he never imagined himself raising three girls on his own, and I can safely say he did a great job (even though I’ve never met you OR your sisters). You are such a smart, hard working, and kind-hearted person, and I can imagine your sisters being the same.

    Great recipes! Thanks for sharing. Anything with ice cream and whipped cream is perfect in my opinion!

  14. This is such a sweet post! Happy belated birthday to your dad! He sounds like an amazing man, and it’s so nice you were able to be there to help celebrate his birthday.

    The birthday dinner you cooked up looks amazing! I think it’s definitely good to keep some family recipes a secret. That’s sort of the case with my dad’s marinara sauce and his homemade pasta. It adds a little mystery to the dish. And secret recipes always taste a little better too. 🙂

  15. wow the peach cobbler looks so yummy!!! A happy belated birthday to your father. 🙂 He sounds like a great man.

  16. Happy Birthday to your Dad!! It looks like you prepared two wonderful dishes! The noodles look to die for, and what can you say about peaches, they just make me drool! Great cobbler!

  17. haha overflowing cobbler sounds pretty appetizing!! between the noodles and cobbler i dont know whats better!! ur dad must have been in foodie heaven thanks to his gorgeous daughter <3

    btw ur new picture on ur blog is STUNNING <3

  18. I am sure your Dad is so proud of you!!! I always feel great when I cook my parents meal 🙂
    and surprisingly, you made noodles by hand!!!!! That’ is really something I still hesitate to try out. But home-made is always the best!

  19. Wow, your dad is…awesome. He’s just such a wonderful, strong, courageous person. It was no small feat, but he performed it with grace, and I think it’s so beautiful that you recognize that too and is sharing it with us.

    Your overflowing cobbler looks like a cheesy casserole, so I like! 😀

  20. Everything looks wonderful! Even the overflowing cobbler. 😉

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