Last week I visited my parents in the city I grew up in. I took the train, accompanied by my library books, crossword puzzles, ipod, and Nintendo DS lite. It was a substantial train trip. My backpack was way too heavy!
As is the wont of mothers everywhere, my mom welcomed me with food. She was cooking so my dad came to get me at the train station. The first night we had barbecued ribs with my mother’s special sauce, potato salad, roasted asparagus, and rhubarb pie. Deep dish rhubarb pie, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I am not usually a huge fan of rhubarb, but my mom picked the stalks fresh out of the garden and this pie was fantastic. So was the asparagus, and the ribs! I can’t sing the praises of the potato salad with as much enthusiasm because I had to pick out the olives. Those go on my list of foods I don’t like, along with raw tomatoes, and wasabi.
I am on vacation, and my parents are retired and on a fixed income, so we took it easy. We went to my parents’ T’ai Chi session, took my grandmother to Walmart, went for walks, and I helped my mom with the computer. It’s an 8-year old mac running OS 10.3, and my parents ask me for help with it every so often. They use dialup to get on the internet, and I have to think hard to answer their questions because some of the things I can do are things that they can’t do on their older, slower system. Also, my usual method of figuring out how to do things is to click on stuff until I figure it out. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who this does not work for, including my mom and some of my colleagues at work, so I have some practice in figuring it out and then giving the exact directions of what to do. One of the things we did was back up some information on a flash key, and we upgraded some programs.
We also spent a lovely day doing a jigsaw puzzle and listening to a CD of H.M.S. Pinafore. I love that kind of day. We set up my mom’s big sewing table, surrounded it with lights, brought in a fan, and pulled in an extra two chairs. Then we turned over and sorted pieces, trading them from one to another, putting together our little patches that grew into bigger patches and eventually connected. We didn’t finish the puzzle, but that day inspired me to try to finish re-doing the guest room BEFORE the end of the summer and then start doing a puzzle in it.
(my husband is snickering as he reads that last sentence. sigh.)
One of the other lovely dinners we had last week was this amazing antipasto platter that we put together with all sorts of little tidbits from Wegmans. Wegmans is an overwhelmingly large supermarket with lots of specialty items. You could eat all your meals there at the store, if you wanted, and probably never have the same thing twice in a given week. This platter had peppadews, which I had never heard of, olives, marinated roasted portobello mushrooms, fresh mozzarella balls, marinated green and white asparagus, tiny marinated onions, and stuffed grape leaves. We added canned chick peas, hard-cooked eggs, salami, and put it all on a bed of lettuce (various kinds). Not only did it taste wonderful, it looked wonderful:
In addition, my parents sent me home with two jars of homemade jam, some extra clothing, a tablecloth, two dozen homemade ginger cookies (with instructions to share with my husband, who didn’t come on this trip), and a yummy lunch to eat on the train. Remember that heavy backpack? Even heavier on the way home.
I love you, mom and dad! Thank you for a lovely, relaxing break! XOXO