They came. They saw. They cooked.
As I told you on Friday, my Ma and grandmother – better known as Mama Ro and Mama – came to visit for the Easter weekend. And by visit I mean cook, clean, re-organize my pantry with endless jars of homemade pickles and fill my freezer with more food than I ever deemed possible. In short: it was awesome.
In long: We didn’t make all the food on my wish list, since I had to drag them out of the kitchen at some point to show them around town. They weren’t too interested in seeing the traditional DC tourist stuff – they just wanted to see how we live our daily life. Soooo, we went down to King Street, bought fresh produce at the farmer’s market (on Mama Ro’s dime – she is such a sucker when it comes to me and markets), went to the gazebo on the water where Matt proposed, shopped at Trader Joe’s (again on Mama Ro – it was like I was back in college again!), went out to eat (where we subsequently had to tell waiters to turn off any fans that were in a 20-foot radius to Mama) and then came back and spent the nights copying the best recipes from my Ma’s recipe box, watching Matt beat Mama in poker and rolling/frosting hundreds of my favorite Italian cookie. Here are the riveting photo highlights:
In order to make it to church on time for Easter mass, we ate a normal breakfast – against my Ma’s realistic idea to make omelets, pancakes and French toast – and headed down to a beautiful old church off of King Street. We then drove into the city to show them the neighborhood I work in and my office (where my Ma took about 47 pictures, including three of me sitting at my desk pretending to type, and where Mama confiscated an all the Visitor Guides in the lobby to show her senior citizens club my name listed on the first page). Then, we came back to the apartment to prepare for the Easter feast! And find the chocolate treats the bunny left for us. I have to say, even after 26 years of hiding my Easter basket, that bunny gets me every time!
My Aunt Josette and cousin Tommy came over for dinner and brought delicious pastries from Heidelberg Bakery in Arlington. As I finished up putting the extremely low fat frosting (totally kidding) on my carrot cake (Aunt Josette’s famed recipe!) my Ma plated the pasta and Mama set the kitchen table. Our tiny apartment was so full of life – loud, crazy, Italian life – that I was so happy I couldn’t even stand it! While we ate, my Ma and Aunt Josette compared and contrasted the different ways they make sauce/ meatballs and Mama intercepted the conversation at various points to “softly” (again, totally kidding) correct my Ma on the sauce rules of the great Italian women before us. Basically my dream conversation – I wish I would have recorded it for personal knowledge/comedy sessions.
Alas, all great things must come to an end at some point, and my favorite Italian mamas were on the road to Buffalo on Monday morning, leaving behind three Tupperware containers of sauce & meatballs, two platters of Italian cookies and enough love, laugher and insanity to hold my homesickness over for a good month or two.
Oh, AND my Ma forgot to take her ridiculously overstuffed, 5-lb recipe box. Which I may or may not have put in the darkest corner of our kitchen, behind the half-dead plant that Matt refuses to believe is never coming back to life. What? She knows where to find me! Plus, it could quite possibly be the best thing to hold ransom until she comes back to visit again. And until she does, I’ll just share all of her secrets with you. Muahahaha!