Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Family Get-Together, Presley is Two



This past weekend was so enjoyable and I can’t help thinking about how my mother would have so enjoyed herself with her children, grandchildren, and great-granddaughters. Friday night Shabbat dinner was very laid-back, compared to the frenetic pace we had been keeping this past month. Larry, Beth, and Faith joined us. We had homemade challah from the freezer; a delicious lentil soup that can never be duplicated because I used the water left over from boiling 100 whole wheat matzoh balls and then threw in all kinds of leftovers from the refrigerator, including carrots, spinach, two kinds of red wine, honey mustard, ketchup, etc.; Israeli salad; homemade guacamole with whole grain tortilla chips; black and white rice; Kugel Yerushalayim; kosher stuffed cabbage from Costco; and leftover pareve Texas sheet cake. Saul forgot to tell me that Larry was bringing kasha and potato knishes, and poppy seed cake to add to our list of carbs, but I think that is because he really wanted me to make the kugel anyway.

Ari joined us on Saturday afternoon. We attended services at MBIEE and Rabbi Addison’s sermon was a tribute to Debbie Friedman, who died of pneumonia this past week. The funeral service was streamed over the Internet, live from Beth Shalom in Santa Ana, CA, which allowed tens of thousands to attend from all over the world. At the end of his sermon, the congregation, led by Rabbi Addison, sang L’chi Lach. Her passing is a great loss to the Jewish community. She was a trailblazer in many ways.

In the evening, we drove to Oaks to check out bedroom furniture and rugs at The Dump, but again left empty-handed. In the next shopping center over was a big Regal 24 movie theater and we decided to see Tron in 3D there. Although the storyline didn’t really make much sense, logically, the movie was, as Ari said, “visually stunning.” We really enjoyed it on those merits. When we left the theater, it was quite late and we had not eaten. We didn’t realize that it was such a long movie. We drove back home to the Metropolitan American Diner, where Ari had not been before, and which is open until 1 a.m. on a Saturday night. We were the only people in the restaurant at 10 p.m. and we sat by a cozy warm fire and big-screen t.v. and watched the Green Bay Packers beat the Atlanta Falcons in a semi-final game, while we munched on yummy sandwiches and sweet potato fries.

Jessica arrived at our house with the girls looking beautiful in their party dresses on Sunday morning and followed us to Ken and Randi’s for Presley’s second birthday party. The family party was great fun with all the kids interacting with each other and all the adults catching up with each others’ lives. After the party, we headed along with Jess, Ari, and the girls for a vegetarian dinner at Thai Orchid. The girls really enjoyed the food, especially Yona, who dipped everything in the peanut sauce that accompanied our orders of crispy fried golden tofu. At one point, the waitress removed the almost-empty dipping bowl when she was clearing the table and Yona protested loudly. Quickly, Jess got our waitress to bring the bowl back for Yona before she got to the kitchen with our dirty dishes. Izzy has a thing for the soy-based dipping sauce that accompanied the Buddha’s dumplings. All through the meal, Sami kept reminding us about the creamy mango ice cream, her favorite, served in a chocolate cup on a pool of mango and raspberry sauces. The restaurant was running out of mango ice cream, and gave us a cup filled with half mango and half coconut, which was perfect because Izzy loves coconut, and so did Yona. The service was really slow, so we were there about two hours. Considering the type of day they had, and the time spent at the table, the girls were little angels. Jess headed back to Baltimore with the girls after dinner.

Saul’s new semester began on Monday, but for Ari, MLK Day is a holiday. We took his car over, first thing in the morning, to the Mercedes dealer in Fort Washington for its big check-up. Then, Ari and I went over to Costco to look at their furniture, and we left completely empty-handed (first time for me). We also went to Thomasville Furniture to look around and stopped in to look around Impact! across the street. Then, we stopped into Blue Bell Kitchens to look around, and I was very impressed with some of the cabinets, countertops, and glass and ceramic tile that I saw there. Ari and I had lunch at Sultan, which has a respectable lunch buffet. Then, we went back to pick up his car, which was ready. Ari took some photos of our kitchen and bath, finished his laundry and packing, and when Saul arrived, we went back with him to Blue Bell Kitchens so that he could see the cabinets and countertops I liked and we could discuss our renovation ideas for a bit. After that, Ari was on his way back to DC, loaded with frozen homemade chicken soup, whole wheat matzoh balls, dumplings, and leftover kugel Yerushalayim.

Yesterday, after a snow and an ice storm, school’s opening was delayed for two hours. In the evening, Saul found a free program on the Net called SiteSucker, which allowed him to download for archiving, within just a few minutes, the complete contents of both my blogs, saving me hours of cutting and pasting. It almost makes up for the mess in my photos that has been caused by the changes in Picasa.

The weather is supposed to continue to be awful for the next few days, and I don’t know whether I will be able to hold my planned Tu B’Shevat seder on Friday evening. Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish Arbor Day, begins tomorrow at sundown and ends on Friday at sundown.

1 comment:

jmedancer said...

We loved seeing everyone together as well. Thanks for coming to Presley's 2nd Birthday Party. The pics came out great. Did you see my FB profile pic yet? It is the one with all of the cousins. I love it! Thanks again. We love you.