Back again from a very short but lovely visit with Ari’s family in Maryland. Of course I wish Ari could have been there himself, but his parents are warm, welcoming, and put me completely at ease.
As soon as I was picked up from the bus stop we drove to one of their favorite Italian restaurants for dinner. We split an order of fresh bruschetta (crusty bread topped withtomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and what Ilana claims to be the best tomato sauce on earth).
I ordered freshly-caught Rock Fish from the Chesapeake Bay (with lemon and olive oil sauce on the side)…
… and a side order of linguine marinara.
This was the same restaurant we came to two years ago, when I was meeting Ari’s family for the first time. Time flies! After dinner, the girls went to see New Moon (the movie wasn’t quite Ari’s dad’s style). I’ve only read the first two Twilight books, saw the first movie, and did not have high hopes for this one. But… I really liked it! My friends who have read all four books say that Book 2 is the weakest, but I really think Stephanie Meyer nailed Bella’s heartbreak in both the book and the movie.
This morning we all got up early, had breakfast, and got ready for a bridal shower. The food spread was pretty grand. We had Beth’s Famous Zucchini-Wrapped Salmon (I helped with the zucchini and dill garnish):
Three different kinds of quiche (spinach, mushroom & cheese), croissants, salad, pasta salad, cheese, crackers, hummus…
I ate my fill and then some more.
We had a chocolate fountain with fruit, marshmallows, and pretzels for dipping…
And did I metnion there were Jello shots?
To keep things classy, we also had hot apple cider (warmed in a crock pot) spiked with Goldschlager.
This was my first bridal shower, and it was a lot of fun! I’m sure there will be many more to come.
I ate leftovers on the bus ride back to New York, and feel like I haven’t stopped eating since before the holidays! It’s kind of nice, since these were all meals I spent with people I love and are thankful for even when it’s not a holiday. The trip home was very productive… thanks to my good friend Mr. Dramamine, I read Elements of Style in its entirety and moved on to The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society. Nothing really signals that the holidays have arrived like having the time to curl up with a good book. What’s the best thing you’ve read recently?
As some of you know, I’m headed off to Russia on Monday to spend 10 days with my dad and Sarah. While I’m gone, are there any burning questions you have about Russian culture, history or food that you’d like me to try to investigate? I’m at your service! Sarah’s informed me that while there will probably be fish available at every restaurant, strictly vegetarian options will be harder to come by. I’ll let you know how I fare.
Hope your week is off to a great start!