Sunday, April 08, 2012

So, what'd I miss?

It's good to be back, now that Lent is over!

This year, instead of giving up sweets like I did last year, I decided to give up something I've never given up before, something that would really be difficult. Yeah, I know giving up sweets is difficult, but I have something that I'm a wee bit more addicted to than sugar.

Yup, I gave up blogging for Lent. Which meant no writing or reading them! I confess I did pop in here once to change over to more Spring-like colors and once or twice to other blogs when I was having a particularly weak-willed day, but for the most part I was very, very good. But I have missed those of you I regularly stalk so much! I felt so mute and isolated! It was really weird.

But now it's time to get caught up. There is LOADS to report, some good, some bad. For now, I'll start with today's festivities.

After church, we took Mom and Dad and went to meet Lobelia, Lenny, and the kids for a picnic.  This is something we used to do as a family every year on Easter.  Usually it was some place with both some kind of historical significance and lovely scenery suitable for picnicking.  Some sites of the past include Washington's Crossing, Frenchtown, Batsto, and Valley Forge.  Often, because lovely and historical sites in this area can be sadly scarce, we would just go to Ocean City.  We decided to revive the custom today.

What's Easter without an Easter bonnet?  And kindly ignore my finger...
But first, we stopped in at Lobelia and Lenny's.  Where Sweet Pea modeled her Easter bonnet for us.  Did I mention Lobelia MADE THIS?  She makes me just a wee bit sick.

She's obviously a whole lot more adorable and agreeable, but something about this reminds me of Lady Catherine de Bourgh.  "Yes, yes but this is all extremely vexing...I'm quite put out!"

We went to the Curtis Arboretum, a place we'd had an Easter picnic ten years ago.  Back then, Calvin was the baby running around, picking things up and trying to put them in his mouth.  This time, it was Sweet Pea.

I was quite proud of myself because this was the first picnic for which I made all of the food!  And it just so happens I have all of these honey jars lying around so I decided to try the picnic-foods-in-jars thing everyone seems to be trying now.

Pasta salad (pictured here and in the photo above) jars up very well and is a perennial favorite with my family!    It's also very easy to take on a picnic this way: much less mess!  I meant to get a nice, artistic shot of all of the jars, but we kind of flung everything into the cooler and left like our pants were on fire so I missed the opportunity...

Not everything could fit into jars.  I made deviled eggs and chicken salad sandwiches on croissants and had to transport them the ordinary way.  But the dessert I made worked perfectly in jarred form and drew a lot of attention for looking both tasty and intriguing.  Of course, most of them got eaten before I could get a photo but I managed to save mine for later and have just taken it out of the fridge to enjoy right now:

Homemade strawberry shortcake in a jar!  Completely from scratch, made with unbleached flour and raw, unbleached sugar.  I think it's just so cute.  Mom says it isn't cute if I haven't wrapped a ribbon around it but I say this is darn cute, especially for me!  And she wonders why she didn't get one!

Well, I've just poured a cup of (decaf) coffee and have a lot of blog reading to catch up on.  I'm looking forward to finding out what I've missed!

Happy Easter!

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