Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day weekend

Last week was pretty humdrum. After a final frantic flourish of grading on Monday, I had a rainy week to myself before gearing up for our annual Mother's Day marathon followed by my final-final today (followed by more grading).  I wasn't about to take a bunch of pictures of cleaned out filing cabinets and the shredded remains of five year old student evaluations and receipts for stuff that no longer matters.  I basically threw away my whole grad school file: all of my exam results and progress reports and other stuff that felt REALLY SUPER IMPORTANT/EARTH SHATTERING back in 2007-2008.  Admittedly, I had a "holy crap how old am I and what did I manage to finish and what am I doing now and how is it that none of this stuff matters anymore and did I seriously finish that degree surely I forgot something and the school never noticed and maybe they'll call me up and take it back how old am I again was I really 22 when all of this started?"  Hard to believe that aaaalllll the stuff in that folder was the be-all-end-all for five years, one month, and one day and now all of it's at the bottom of a shredder.

That'll put your life in perspective pretty quickly.

That's what I did last week.  Aren't you glad I spared you the pictures?

Things finally picked up when the weekend rolled around.  I have to say it was really nice to hang out with Steph and Jess (and their respective beaux) on Friday night and start my weekend out with them.  I had some stupid, stupid, stupid computer training nonsense at school on Friday night (FRIDAY NIGHT--yes, you read that correctly), and when it was halfway over and its pointlessness confirmed ... I bailed. The teacher gave us a 10 minute break, and the weather was soooo gorgeous ... so I walked to my car and drove away as fast as I could.  I never, EVER do anything bad. EVER. I cannot underline or bold EVER enough. Nobody knew who I was ... so I left.  Usually, I'm the sucker who's all like, "Oh well, it's wrong to behave that way, and what if EVERYONE acted like a total jerk?  That's not right.  And what if you get in trouble or don't get credit for being here? You should really think through the consequences some more."  (Who says deontology and consequentialism are incompatible? Who? WHO???) For whatever reason, that same voice said to me instead, "What the hell are you doing here? Aren't you tired of always doing the right thing?  Just get up and walk to your car and tell the world to get over it."

No regrets--I felt like such a badass.

ANYWAY, it was after I ditched the class that I made my way to Steph and Jess + respective beaux and we ate hamburgers and talked about: A) whether Steph is having a girl or a boy (because she's having a baby boo on my bday) B) whether Mad Men is awesome this season or not (I say YES, definitely awesome)  C) whether or not "Girls in Their Summer Clothes" is the best Bruce Springsteen song (it's my personal fave, but Matt says I should just get on the band wagon with the rest of the rational world and pick "Thunder Road")  D) whether or not we could survive without the existence of Wegman's (Steph says NO, what is life without Wegman's?)  and E) whether or not our pets resent us when we leave for work in the morning (Jess says YES, Charlie scowls at her from the steps everyday when she leaves).

It was a very productive night as we discussed and rehashed some of the Big Questions of Life.

Thank GOD, the farmer's market is back in full swing--that's where Ron and I went Saturday morning.  West Chester was INSANE due to Mother's Day mayhem AND WCU's graduation.

Well put, my friend. You should make T shirts.

They had some lambies at the market this week, I think just for fun ... don't think they were for sale. I hope?

We only bought salad greens from our fave vendor, but God knows we had the grocery list to end all grocery lists sitting on the counter at home.  The next day, we were expecting my parents for brunch in the morning and Ron's family at night for dinner.  I got busy cleaning while Ron went shopping, and the Fluffs pitched in and got busy with nonstop napping since that's what they do best.

Yes, I finally have bedding but I'll save that for another post ... I wasn't sure if I would need king-size shams, but Penny likes building a fort out the too-small pillows.

Around dinner time, I ran out to pick up last minute Mother's Day gifts. Look what I found at Terrain:

Three of the lushest, most gorgeous, most loveliest maidenhair ferns that I have EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE.  They were $40 each.  I wanted to buy one SO BAAAAAAD but I didn't because Penny would just eat it til it's gone and there's no place I can put it that won't eventually kill it. The small one I have is barely hanging on after a dim, dry winter.  I literally exclaimed, "WHOA!!!" when I saw them.  Luckily, no one was around.  I didn't realize how loud I was until I heard my voice bounce off the wall in front of me.  (If you look carefully at my bedding in the above picture, you'll see that my beige and white shams have a maidenhair pattern on them: Martha Stewart for Macy's circa 2008. I don't want to buy bigger shams because I want to keep using my Martha shams and the pattern was discontinued long ago.)

Saturday night was as pretty as SaturDAY. I really regretted not bringing my camera with me when I went to Terrain. There were many spots where I would've have pulled over to take pictures on my way there, but no can do when you don't gotcher camera with you.  So, I made note of the time (7:25 pm) and swore to retravel the same path at the same time later in the week. Our next sunny day is Thursday, so I'll make a point to go back that day.

Look aaalll the way in the top right corner and you'll see my pathetic maidenhair fern poking out from high on its perch, far away from Penny's fangs.

Ron and I were totally zonked when we went to bed on Saturday night. Ron spent the whole day food shopping and food prepping, and I still had to bake a cake and prep an egg dish. Luckily, Raiders of the Lost Ark was on Bravo, and Harrison Ford circa 1980-something makes everything better, so cooking at 11pm wasn't that bad.

This is Ina's cranberry apple cake from her latest book.  Here's the recipe.  I skipped the cranberries and used thawed blueberries instead.

This is seriously easy.  My only gripe is that it tasted really Christmasy.  Between the apples, orange zest, and cinnamon it tasted way too wintery. So that's a GOOD thing if it's WINTER out, but we're in the height of spring right now and it just didn't seem right. That being said, I can assure you that the leftovers are REALLY good.  I think it would be more summery if you kept the OJ, skipped the cinnamon, and replaced the orange zest with lemon zest.

The last thing I did before I went to bed was to iron the tablecloth and set the table.

I cannot emphasize enough how NOT bored I am with turquoise and white.  Totally not bored with it.

I handmade all of my Mother's Day cards this year. (Don't be too impressed: I only made four.)

I raided my paper drawer and got to work last Friday.  My mom received the ferns and topiary, the cats and bird went to my grandmother, and both of my aunts received pink crowns and flowers.  Technically, they're all glued together, but I ran them through the sewing machine because I liked the way it looked.

I glued the printed message on the back, and off in the mail they went.  All of the inset pictures are stamps.  I blew up a picture of the topiary stamp on my computer, printed it out, and glued it onto a plain bag for my mom's gift bag (above).

My mom actually took most of the pictures below. She forgot her camera, so she used mine instead.

View out my front door.

Our complete morning menu consisted of:
  1. Giada's sausage and egg bake
  2. Pancakes
  3. Bacon and potatoes
  4. Ina's cake
Looking at that list is sorta depressing because I swear it felt like we made TWENTY things.  FOUR? Maybe I'm forgetting something?

Link for the egg bake is above--click on 1)

Of course, did I get one picture of me with my mom? Nope. Somebody remind me: What's the point of the holiday AGAIN?  I forgot.

It was all over by 1pm, and clean up was pretty easy. Thank God for dishwashers. Mine was packed and running for the second time in twelve hours, and all I kept thinking was, "Had I been born forty years earlier, I'd been doing all this stuff by hand."  Ugh. Can't/Don't want to imagine.

Ron collapsed on the couch and passed out after my parents left and I put on my shoes and went for a run.  Town was gorgeous and busy--I was surprised by how warm the sun felt.

When I came home, I had one more dessert to make and one more table to set.  THIS is something you need to try before you die.  Seriously: do NOT leave this earth without trying this:

This is Ina's brownie pudding.  Yes, it DOES taste exactly the way you would expect brownie pudding to taste.  It's freakin CRAZY insane.  I'm not huge on chocolate, but I LOVE this and could easily demolish the whole thing because the texture is sooooooooooooo amazing.  It's like moussey cake.  The only difficult thing about it is to avoid spilling the hot water bath as you slide it into the oven. (Note: I skipped the vanilla bean and added 1 tsp. vanilla, and I added 1 T. Khalua plus 1 T. framboise.)

We enjoyed spicy grilled shrimp under the awning outside and then moved inside for dinner.  Ron marinated a beef tenderloin overnight (his mom loves red meat) and he made an impromptu Israeli couscous dish and grilled veggies to go with it.  All of it was freakin amazing. That man can COOK, let me tell you.  I know if I put more effort into it, I could learn to do things like him ... but I just don't feel like it.  My repertoire is completely different anyway.

The house was totally empty by 8pm and the kitchen looked like a freakin atom bomb had gone off.  I think the entire kitchen counter was covered in a warm film of vanilla ice cream with tons of dishes piled on top.  The dish fairy stopped by and took care of it all for me (oh wait: I AM the dish fairy--oh well) and then we crashed on the couch and watched Betty Draper continue being mean to anyone who's breathing in Westchester County.  You better watch it, Betty: it's hard un-making enemies.

The spring semester is over, but I have to get ready this week for the summer semester that starts next Monday. Joy.  What's worse--I have to double check--but I think only one person is signed up for my class.  I'm conflicted about this because it gives me hope that the class may get canceled ... but I really want the money, so I don't want the class to get canceled ... but what am I going to do teaching one person for 8 hours a week?

This should be interesting.

To those of you nice enough to read this whole post, thanks because it's LOOONG.  Hope you had a good Monday.

1 comment:

Linda C said...

Printed out the Egg Bake recipe and can't wait to make it! So delicious.