Pardon yesterday’s radio silence—I ended up spending another night in NJ due to late and overcrowded buses yesterday evening. Luckily, Mondays are usually my day off and Chris is still on spring break, so we were able to crash at my parents’ house and come back to NYC this morning.

Though my parents aren’t particularly religious, my mom was raised Catholic, and her family still gets together every year. The past few years, whomever has been around has gone to dinner at the country club my grandfather belongs to. From working in a country club during college, I’ve basically been turned off to them for life, but I know it makes him happy to see everyone together.

I was a little sad when I woke up on Sunday morning, as I started thinking about last Easter, when we went to visit my dad’s dad, who passed away this winter. Luckily, my mom, Aunt and I had made plans to hit the gym in the morning, so after some quality time with the elliptical machine and Karen Abbott’s American Rose, I felt a lot better.

Post-workout oatmeal helped too. After trying the Trader Joe’s sunflower butter for the first time, I think I’m going to have to buy my own. 

Dinner itself was pretty mellow. My grandfather alway forgets that Chris is a vegetarian—he thinks it’s my doing instead of the other way around! Practically every time they get together, I hear my grandfather’s amused little growl of, “You don’t eat meat, you don’t drink wine—what do you do?”

Oh dear…I am not looking forward to getting old.

Speaking of the meat and the wine, there was plenty of both to be had.

My father demonstrates one version of a balanced diet: beef, white meat, and dark meat.

I have to admit, though, for those of us not hitting up the carving station, the food was a bit lackluster. It was all buffet-style, which is fine, but since it was 4:30 and there had been seatings since, like, noon, my microbiology education got the better of me a few times.

Still, I enjoyed some salad and cheese, and then a bunch of roasted baby root vegetables and a small piece of stuffed sole and some kind of “Asian Slaw.” I got a little too skeeved by the calamari salad to try more than a bite, but I knew there were better things to come.

Yes, I was that weirdo with the camera

Dessert was decidedly better. Chris and I split this piece of tollhouse cookie pie, and he gave me half of one of the mini chocolate cheesecake things he’d grabbed.

I think I’d just been spoiled by the awesome dinner my mom had made the night before, which included dishes representing basically every freaking nationality in my and my sister’s DNA: cabbage soup, stuffed cabbage (not pictured), babka, falafel, tabouleh, tatziki, babba ganoush, and some roasted butternut squash and zucchini. 

All in all, it was a good weekend. I got to see my family, played a ton of Apples to Apples and The Game of Things, and my getting “stranded” for one more night meant I finally got to watch Fargo, which is a totally Easter-appropriate movie. I also learned what a  “tea stick” is, and I think I want one!

Hope you had a great weekend and are enjoying your Monday so far!

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