When Bill was in high school he played basketball for Anoka High School with his friend Paul Roback. He spent many an hour hanging out at the Roback’s house. Paul’s dad was a football coach at their high school and plus he had three other siblings which made for a really fun place to hang out.
Bill loved it at the Roback house … and especially loved Paul’s mom. She is really kind, very welcoming … and hospitality is her thing. I know that because her house is one of the first places Bill took me in Minnesota.
We went on New Years Day and it was back in the day when all the bowl games fell on New Years Day. In the Roback’s basement they had at least three TV’s set up so as to not miss a minute of the action. Bill thought it was awesome. During breaks he and Paul would go out and shoot baskets in the FREEZING cold. I guess that is what you do when you are from Minnesota.
I stayed inside.
The new generation Robacks have a fabulous basement too. It’s like a mecca for kids. If you live in the South, be jealous. Be very, very jealous.
There are Wii games:
Air hockey (Karen won … I let down the entire Baerg family):
Their daughter Samantha has a video studio, complete with a green screen. She has costumes so they can make movies, a place to write scripts. It’s really, really neat.
Around the house the kids played board games:
And there is a lot of friendly competition:
Fathers coaching sons in basement football:
At times the coaching got intense:
And from all indications in basement ball, Timothy is on track to become the next legendary Roback. He even has receiver gloves. Very impressive.
Mrs. Roback (Paul’s mom) puts out quite the food spread. I still remember some of the things she had the day I met her. For instance, she had two stick pretzels held together with a circle of melted almond bark. In the center of the almond bark she had a yellow m and m. She asked if I’d like some bacon and eggs. How fun is that?!
All that to say, Mrs. Roback is legendary … if only in Bill’s mind. One of the biggest compliments Bill can give is to say … “you remind me of Mrs. Roback.”
So anyway … Paul gots married and there was a new Mrs. Roback in town. (A great thing about marrying Bill is that I now get to hang with his friends and their wives.) So the new Mrs. Roback … she is just as kind and gracious as Paul’s mom. If I lived in Minnesota I’d want to be her next door neighbor. We love the same recipes, the same books (we both love People magazine) … she is as nice as they come.
So, as often as we can, we plan Camp Roback. We drive down to where they live and literally move in for the day. They even invited us to spend the night this year but we couldn’t do it. Paul is a professor at St. Olaf college so I drop Bill off at their gym so he and Paul can relive their glory days on the basketball court and I drive on to their home. This year I drove … first time ever … on the ice and snow. Don’t tell my dad. He would NOT have thought this was a good idea.
When I got to Karen’s house …. on the counter … twisty pretzels with a Hershey “hugs” kiss melted on top with an m and m on top. It was an updated version of the bacon and eggs. We cleared those out pretty quickly.
Camp Roback is so very fun. Paul got us out for another sledding run this year … again, I only watched.
Another thing the Mrs. Roback is known for was feeding the basketball boys “Charlie Brown Pie”. It’s legendary among the Anoka basketball crowd from what I hear.
Karen has stepped right up to the plate in carrying on the Charlie Brown Pie Tradition.
Oh, and please note … the Charlie Brown pie is not actually a pie. It would have to be made in a pie pan to be a pie. It’s more of a dessert. Why they call it a pie, I do not know. In Minnesota also say hotdish instead of casserole which seems so redundant since of course it is hot. But alas, they did not ask me and far be it from me to point out the obvious. :)
Here is the “coveted” recipe:
Charlie Brown Pie Crust: 1/2 cup peanut butter 2 Cups graham cracker crumbs 1/3 cup sugar 1/4 cup butter
Melt butter and peanut butter together. Add sugar and crumbs. Press into a 9 x 13 pan. (this is not a pie pan MN people!!!!)
Filling: 2 small chocolate puddings (not instant) 3 1/2 cups mile Add to pudding and cool until it boils. Stir constantly. When thick, pour into crust and refrigerate.
Serve with bananas and whipped cream.
THE REAL WHIPPED CREAM. Because that is what Karen does and Paul’s mom and probably every one that has ever made it does because it’s better that way. Beat 1/2 pt. Whipping cream and 1/4 cup powdered sugar (or so) to taste.
After you put your “pie” piece on your plate, slice some bananas to go over the top of each piece.
These guys love their “pie”. They have also recruited lots of little fans:
Even the big kids think so!
I will say this … the “new” Mrs. Roback does the older one proud! She and Paul are some of the nicest, most gracious, welcoming people I have ever known. Which is part of the reason why, if they lived in Texas, I’d want to be their next door neighbors! (That and we could split our People magazine subscription!)
Come back tomorrow and I’ll share one more of her yummy recipes!