Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Roomie Moon

It's like a honeymoon, but before the wedding . . . 

So I've been MIA for a while.  I was on an amazing and exhausting vacation all of last week, ending with Jess's wedding - but I'll save that for a later post.  I'd like to talk about the first part of the vacation today.
The first of a few congratulations to Jess, who will start her residency at nearby Northwestern Hospital in June.  She and her (now) husband Tom moved to Chicago in March and are living just a few blocks from NWestern Hosp., so Jessica enlisted my help to drive her no-longer-needed car down to her parents house in Florida for the duration.  It was a fun and sentimental roadtrip, especially in Jess's car, which she was given for our high school graduation and we took it on its first road trip to Long Island the very next day.
This road trip, significantly longer than that first one, started out on a rainy Sunday morning in Chicago and took us over 1200 miles down to her parents home in Belleaire Beach, FL.  We stopped for the night in Atlanta, which was well over halfway there, and enjoyed some free cookies at the Doubletree Hotel.  mmmmmm.  To pass the time in the car, we played the alphabet game a lot and counted different state license plates (38 states, plus Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and US Govt.) and abandoned cars along the road (39).  We found the number of abandoned cars to be the most startling statistic, since it meant we passed an abandoned car, on average, every 30 miles.  
The first night in Florida was a little chilly, but we requested to sit outside at the restaurant anyway - much deserved after a long winter in Chicago (and St. Louis).  
To be continued . . . 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


On my drive home today I saw a car with the license plate "MM SOUP"

I hope the Friends fans out there can appreciate: the first thing I thought was "mmmm, noodle soup!"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Feaster

In preparation for our 3rd annual Easter Pot Luck Brunch, Jenny came over on Saturday to help me fill easter baskets and set the tables.
We decided it would also be best if we made Jenny's pot luck contribution, a carrot cake, at my house so we could frost it and then she wouldn't have to worry about bringing it with her the next day.  
Little did Jenny know, it was going to turn into another epic "crafternoon"  ( I just made that up - catchy, don't you think?)  While going through my magazines on Friday, I found instructions in Martha Stewart Living on making marzipan carrots to top your Easter carrot cake, and being the crafty lady that I am, I had some marzipan on hand, so we set to work making them.  
I put a little too much red dye in the mix, but once we put the little nicks in them, they looked pretty realistic, I think.  After taking the cake layers out of the oven, we realized that not all of the layers were 100% flat.  But instead of cutting off the rounded/slanted tops, we just filled it in with frosting.  Nothing wrong with that!  
Bright and not-so-early, at 11:30 on Sunday, our Easter guests started arriving.  We had a large group this year -17!- but we still managed to have a place and Easter basket for everyone.  Anna made her usual sausage, egg and cheese casserole and as usual, I ate as much as I could.  Dan makes mini turkey club sandwiches on little toasted rye bread slices and Pete makes his family's traditional pineapple souffle.  A new addition this year was Katie M's green bean "casserole" which involved bacon, butter and brown sugar (the 3 B's!)  We also enjoyed blueberry muffins, citrus salad, scalloped potatoes, a green salad with pears and candied pecans, and scotch eggs, which are terrible for you, but oh, so good.  Oh and I made a honey ham.  For dessert, we feasted on Jenny's carrot cake, german chocolate cupcakes, and a cheesecake with homemade strawberry jam.  

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Seedy Sadness

A quick, sorrowful note.  I had to throw out all of my seeds the other day.  The few that had sprouted weren't growing AT ALL and the other 12 or so pots were just sitting there, mocking me for my lack of green thumb.  I thought I would do better this year than last, but it seems like I'll just be buying all my flowers from the nursery this spring!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Jess's Bridal Shower

I had a nice little trip to the East Coast this weekend.  Thursday afternoon, Jess and I flew to Hartford, where her mom picked us up at the airport and we met her dad at a nice Italian restaurant in Winsted for some quality family time :-)
On Friday, after waking up in our old beds at Jess's house in Sharon, CT, we drove in to Salisbury, hoping to have lunch at our favorite teahouse, Chai's, but alas, it was closed!  Instead, we had lunch at the Woodland a restaurant just down the road, then we roamed the halls of Hotchkiss, our prep school, in search of some new memorabilia from the school store and some old favorite teachers.  
I love the installation art that can be found all over the place at Hotchkiss.  This one pictured here fills the 3 story atrium over the school seal, just barely visible through the gaps of these awnings/kites/flags.  We also took at quick, self guided tour through the new music wing, which puts the piano practice rooms I used while we were there to shame.  
On Saturday, we were down in New Jersey; the reason for our trip was Jess's bridal shower, which her mom threw at a hotel in her hometown of Edison, NJ.  We had a lovely buffet lunch (I had some of everything and loved it all) before helping Jess open all of her presents.  She got quite a lot of kitchen stuff, which is great right now because she's settling in to her new apartment in Chicago (yay!) and needs to cook me dinner sometime.  

After the official party ended, we brought the party upstairs, where we bridesmaids had the rest of the cake to ourselves (after having 2 pieces each at the party).  We had big plans with a couple of bottles of wine, but ended up getting drunk on cake and watching the Sex and the City movie which just happened to be on HBO (truly, a sign).  It was a lovely weekend, and a great warm-up for the wedding, which is now less than 3 weeks away!

p.s. The skirt I'm wearing in these pictures IS the one I made (from a few posts ago) and Jess loved the bag I made for her.  We filled it with a lot of fun beauty products, facial masks, a bottle of wine, homemade cookies, and a few books for helping the bride-to-be.