Monday, April 9, 2012

Buona Pasqua a day late

I love Easter weekend--always have.  For me, it's the unofficial start of spring.  (Spring is a short lived season around here since Memorial Day is less than two months away. Not complaining.)

Of course the weekend feels like a blur at this point, and it's taking a lot of concentration and effort to think of what I did each day.  That's probably a sign that I shouldn't try so hard.

Mom, Leslie, and I had lunch at the Olive Branch in West Chester on Friday.  (Careful with the link! It plays music.) We had never been there before and it's completely adorable.  We saw the St. Agnes Good Friday procession walk by at 1pm.  This reminded me that we should have been fasting, but considering how bad of a delinquent Catholic I am it's just one more thing on the long list of charges that will confront me at the Pearly Gates.

What're you gonna do?

On Saturday, I had to go with Leslie to Media so she could figure out the location of her job interview this week. (FINGERS CROSSED!!! My fingers are so crossed that they're losing circulation.)  I've driven through Media to get to other places, but technically I've never been to Media. Not really.  Which is totally dumb because it's seriously 30 minutes away ... unless it's rush hour in which case it's 300 minutes away.

Media "is sorta the same thing as" West Chester and Phoenixville: a cute little town that, in some respects, has changed little over the past 60 years.  It's like the DelCo version of WC. (Before anybody thinks I'm having THAT conversation--I know you know what I mean--of DelCo vs. ChesCo, just STOP because I'm not going there.  I was raised in ChesCo, but half of my entire family lives in DelCo ... and not the Villanova side of DelCo either.  I'm no snob.  At least not about this.)

At the end of the day, Leslie and I decided that Media is better than West Chester. It's cuter, prettier, totally lacks obnoxious/drunk/clueless college students, has a better mix of stores and businesses, and (the dual crown jewel) it has an Iron Hill AND (dit-da-da-DA!!!) a TRADER JOE'S!! In a really cool renovated building no less!! Seriously West Chester: get a clue.  Maybe we can offer a trade with Media: We'll give them the university and we'll take the Trader Joe's?  Hell, we'll just give them the university and call it a day.

And the Iron Hill is three yards to the left. Doesn't get better than this.  (My life is sad.)
PLEASE tell me you remember this guy?  "Happy little clouds"?
Leslie and I also found another store that first appeared as a gift shop but actually turned out to be a photography studio.  ME Photo & Design just opened their store front in January, and the store owner knew (we were told) that it wouldn't last unless she included an in-store retail component to the photography business.  She sells all kinds of handmade and accessory items from local artists and Etsy crafters in store in addition to offering a full range of photography services.  Leslie and I loved this idea:

See the dry erase board at the bottom?  It's just a framed piece of fabric behind glass ... you can write on the glass with a dry erase marker!  I had no idea that you could do that.  Wouldn't that be the easiest craft EVER???  It's like an alternative to framed chalkboards and chalkboard paint.  I have two unused frames downstairs, and now I'm really thinking about this.  (Molly, you have a whole lotta frames in your family room ... you could turn one or two of them into dry erase boards.)

We walked by this church on the way back to the car. The bells were ringing and the sky could not have been bluer.  Leslie said that there was something time-warpy about the whole scene.  I thought that if we stood there long enough Betty and Don Draper (circa 1964) would appear with their kids for the Easter Vigil.  They didn't, but it sure looked and sounded as if they could have.

Back at home, Saturday night was the do-or-die eleventh hour of all things related to the Easter dinner.  Mom was working on her favors:

Asian rice noodles mixed with melted marshmallow to form "nests"
I needed to get home by 7pm to dye eggs and prep dinner sides with The Ten Commandments on in the background.  I only watch that movie once a year, and yet I have nearly every line memorized. It's a four freakin hour movie.  WHY can't other things (things that I REALLY NEED TO KNOW) sear onto my memory that easily?  Totally stupid.

Stupid cheap egg dyes.  Oh well.
This year, I had to make the potatoes and the pineapple stuffing. We only have the pineapple stuffing at Easter, but the potatoes reappear at Christmas time.

This is a side, but it would make a great dessert especially if you made a vanilla sauce to go with it.  Here is the recipe--it could NOT be easier.

  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 stick of butter, room temp
  • 20 oz. can of undrained crushed pineapple
  • 9 slices of white bread, cubed (I like big cubes)
Mix the sugar and butter, then add the eggs and pineapple. Fold in the bread cubes and pour into 8x10 corning dish.  Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes.  (I also sprinkled nutmeg and cinnamon on top of mine--just a little.)


Dinner was great and most of my family was there to enjoy it. But not Ron--he was unexpectedly called out to The Middle of Nowhere, Illinois late Wednesday night and missed the whole thing.  He's flying home now, but everyone felt really bad for him of course.  Sleeping in a hotel and eating dinner at Noodles every night is no way to celebrate Easter.  (That being said, I love Noodles and really REALLY wish West Chester would get one of those too. Or at least Exton should get one.  There's room for a Noodles at the God-forsaken Main Street shopping center. So let it be written ... so let it be DONE!)

Buona Pasqua to all and (I can't forget) Happy Birthday to my neighbor Maya who turned the big O-N-E yesterday on Easter Sunday.  Twelve months down ... countless more to go!

Up next: Lent Self-Assessment. Right now, I'm thinking my grade is someone in the solid-C range.  According to my students a C is completely awesome, but where I come from it may as well be an F.  More later.


Gomez Family said...

Dave and I talk about the need for a Trader Joe's and a Noodles and Company nearby ALL the time! I miss Noodles & Company- there's not even one in driving distance around here. We also really miss Media, and realized that we too prefer it to WC. Ah- the grass is always greener...

Jo Harper said...

I know! Did PSU have a Noodles? I only know about it because Ron would always take me there when I would visit him at Maryland. Changed my life.

Linda C said...

I agree - wish we had a Trader Joe's in West Chester or even Exton.

The potatoes and pineapple stuffing were delicious. The best part about making the stuffing is that you mix it by hand - no need to even dirty your mixer.

AND, you don't get graded on Lent. Just try to be kind to everyone you pass along the road of life :)