And just like that, eight days slipped by me. I have driven the five hour round trip to Mobile three (possibly four) times in the last week. I am scrambling to scrape up the motivation to study for my two exams and write my final paper for my third class. I am skipping classes left and right, taking care of business. We’ve started packing. We’ve picked cabinets. Our lot is amazing – I love where our house is going to be. More on that later. Meanwhile – Easter! I wrote most of this eight days ago, so it should be somewhat accurate.
On Easter morning I woke too early with a big head. I had to set out some eggs and Easter baskets in a hurry, as the children were stirring. The eggs were slimy and shedding marker and stickers, and so I only put out a couple of them. The kids were more into the baskets anyway.
The kids dumped their baskets on the floor and then chased the rolling candy around the room, trying (once again) to shovel in as much as possible before we intervened. I let them have a bit – I’m down with indulgence on Easter and Halloween. They also got stickers, markers and paper, little animals, little hopping bunnies, and various other items pulled from the Target dollar bin. I’ve nearly broken my leg stepping on pretty much every bit of it over the last few days. Making a mess was as fun as getting new stuff. I also “adopted” a termite from the zoo for the boys, and a picture of it and the adoption certificate in Jack’s basket. Jack was not impressed at first, but later Vern explained to him in detail the importance of being an adoptive father, and all of the duties and privileges it entails. So now Jack wants to go visit his “son” the termite.
After baskets, we all got dressed up purty and headed to church. Vern and Co. came along – Savvy wore a pretty springy Easter dress, and Vern was not struck by lightning when he walked in the door, so it started a success. The church was packed – standing room only. The pews were filled, and the chairs set out alongside the pews, and the additional chairs set in the back foyer, and people even came up to the choir loft in the back and sat with us choir folk. There were hundreds of people there. In the middle of the crowd down below sat the one and only John Goodman, sporting a very bushy mustache and a bright purple tie. The word spread of our famous fellow congregant through a wave of whispers, and on the way out the crowd jockeyed to see him walk away. He was very gracious, chuckling and chatting.
We came home and changed back into normal clothes, and then began preparations for a Meal of Meals. Since my New Years Resolution to pretty much ax meat out of the diet, I’ve stuck with it. I’ve bought some cold cuts for lunches, some bacon for flavor, and I liberally use chicken stock in soups, but otherwise I keep it meatless. We did have barbecued chicken legs a few weeks ago, and I bought a kielbasa to flavor up a veggie lasagna, but otherwise I’ve stuck to preparing meatless, and then buying meat dishes when we go out.
This is a long preface for – I roasted and ate the heck outta some beef tenderloin on Easter. If you’re gonna do it, DO IT.
The menu was a tiny bit complicated, just in terms of getting everything done at the same time. Most of it required a stint in the oven – all at different temps of course. I wrote a meal prep spreadsheet, for which I was much mocked, but how else can one plan and prepare a meal of this deliciousness? We had roasted beef tenderloin, PW style . . . baked brie topped with brandy and apricots . . . crescent rolls . . . roasted asparagus . . . yorkshire pudding . . . bacon potato salad . . . and a strawberry mousse cake, which I made from scratch as a last minute decision and which was delicious and also kind of a disaster.
Everyone pitched in. My friend Jackie joined us, and brought delicious latkes and a homemade dill sauce (Jackie’s my bestie, and she comes to all of our special Gentile holiday meals, even when she can’t eat half of it because it’s Passover). Michelle baby-wrangled (no small feat, especially since the children had water guns – I repeat, WATER GUNS), The Professor spent half the day hiding from me and trying to watch the Masters, and spent the other half setting the table and assisting Michelle. And Vern, bless him, trimmed that tenderloin, and it took him forever, but boy was it worth it. We brought it all out to the table on the back deck, ate until we popped, and then sat around drinking wine and contemplating the strawberry cake.* Eventually we tucked into that, too, and then quietly digested and then parented the children as minimally as possible. It was a delightful day, and I’ve gained seven pounds, but it was worth every tender beef morsel. Happy belated Easter!
*It’s a plain white cake, three layers, with strawberry mousse in between the layers and strawberry icing all around. I’ve never made mousse before, and it actually moussed up nicely, but the cake was kind of heavy and as soon as I put the layers all together, all of the mousse splooged out the side and formed an unappetizing pink puddle around the white cake. The frosting situation was dire. I froze the whole mess for a bit to try to firm it up in order to be able to frost it. When I cut into it the top layer slid off and nearly fell onto the floor. Eventually I managed to cut some semblance of slices – basically chunks of white cake dipped in mousse with some frosting slapped on.