Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend Getaway

This past weekend we had a 'Weekend Getaway.' We 'gotaway' to eastern PA, specifically to visit EPAS and her family. They live between Lancaster & Philadelphia, in PA, but very near MD (which is where our hotel was) and near DE. We had a wonderful time and hope we can visit again soon. Here's what we came home with from our trip:Booze!! Lots of it. Did you know that the Costco stores in DE sell liquor and that there's no tax on liquor in DE? You bet we took advantage of it since PA's liquor prices & practices are ridiculously out-dated and consumer unfriendly. That Frog's Leap Sauvignon Blanc? $30/bottle in PA plus tax. In DE at Costco, $18/bottle and no tax. I have always wanted to buy Frog's Leap wine, I tried some when I was in Napa, but it's just way too pricey here in PA. La Crema Chardonnay? $15 in DE; $20 in PA.

SP came home with this:Costco brand beer. He's very excited. I really don't get it. Something about some small craft brewery in Utica, NY makes the Kirkland brand beer for Costco. He tried a beer today and was very happy.

But let's go back to the beginning of the Weekend Getaway.Friday morning we got up bright and early for my doctor appointment. On our way into town, we passed by and stopped at Big Daddy's Donuts for donuts. SP devoured a sourdough donut while idling in morning rush hour:I took a photo of the remaining donuts in the bag:Then I ate the chocolate glazed chocolate cake donut with the lone green sprinkle. Very tasty. Later that morning, after we had returned home and while SP was spraying stink bug killer everywhere, I ate the other sourdough donut - yum! Later in the day I ate the powdered one, which had a very tasty and delightful chocolate cream interior. And lots of chocolate, not chintzy with the cream, but also not so much that it's overpowering. SP liked the German chocolate donut (boo coconut) and the other chocolate donut. It was a donut filled day.

It took 5 hours to get to EPAS' house but it didn't seem that long - this was the first long trip in the new car and I was more than pleasantly surprised to discover just how darn comfy the seats are!! Here's my recollection of the drive: horse smell, cow smell, horse smell, skunk smell, back to cow smell, WAIT YUM BREAD SMELL! MMMMMMM, oh crap more skunk smell... cow smell... horse smell... You get the idea. Central PA farms.

We arrived around 6 pm and EPAS made dinner for us. I was tired from getting up early and not sleeping well (dreams of attacking stink bugs) and perhaps the Pinot Grigio didn't help my brain much -- I forgot to take photos. Oops. The only photo I have from dinner is the leftover steamed green beans: We had some very tasty bread from their grocery store bakery (I think it was Giant grocery store) dipped in olive oil and some panko breaded salmon with those green beans. The younger nephew (N2) helped his mom pick some fresh herbs, including thyme, and pulled the thyme off the stem and mixed it into the olive oil. Very good herbed olive oil - maybe it was the extra nephew love? I enjoyed my salmon - bread crumbs make anything, even fish, taste yummy!!!

I did remember to take photos of dessert. The nephews had vanilla ice cream with sprinkles - and ate it with very cute & appropriate spoons:The adults had a very, very tasty napoleon dessert: layers of puff pastry, vanilla pudding/whipped cream, and strawberries. EPAS made lovely triple puff pastry stacks for me to photograph, even cleaning off the plates for the blog photos, because you can't have a messy plate!!! These were delicious. Very impressive looking. The next day, Saturday, we managed to wake up, shower, and arrive at EPAS' house just in time for lunch!! The nephews were at karate so once they got home, EPAS put out an amazing lunch spread:Two kinds of bread - the tasty dipping bread from the night before and whole wheat deli flats, 3 kinds of cheese (Provolone, Swiss, American), 3 kinds of meat (turkey, ham, salami), freshly sliced tomato, lovely green, leafy lettuce from the Farmers Market, plus mayo & mustard PLUS fruit. With all that lovely food on the counter, here's what the nephews ate: Two slices of bologna on plain white bread! No mayo. No mustard. No cheese. Just bologna & bread. Here's what I ate:A little bit of everything, with fresh iced tea (EPAS sure knows how to make SP & I happy - lots of freshly brewed iced tea!).

We spent the afternoon playing games and talking. SP played air hockey and catch - I was so proud of him because playing catch out in the heat/humidity is definitely out his comfort zone! He's more the Wii/XBox kind of uncle! But N1 loves playing catch. We played games like Uno, Ticket to Ride, Sorry, and the Left-Center-Right dice game (CLR or LCR). Then it was time for dinner. EPAS' husband, W, wanted to make ribs for us. They have a recipe from W's parents. It's very easy and very tasty but takes a bit of time. The ribs are scored with a knife and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a grill rub. They are placed in foil 'boats' and apple juice is poured over. The 'foil boats' are sealed and the ribs cook in the oven on cookie sheets for a few hours at low heat - low & slow. Then, they are finished on the grill and brushed with BBQ sauce. Oh. My. These were delicious. Literally, fall off the bone tender. No need for a knife - I could pull the meat off with my fork. Excellent ribs. We also ate some potatoes and onions roasted in the oven:And some sauteed zucchini, tomatoes, and onion:I cannot believe the nephews didn't want to eat the ribs! They ate these instead:Grilled hot dogs on buns. No ketchup. No mustard. No mayo. No relish. No cheese. Just plain.

Sunday we made our Costco liquor run and then returned to their house for more games. Uncle SP bonked N2 with his air hockey paddle, so there was a bit of a traumatic hour or so while N2 held an ice pack on the bump and cut on his forehead. Way to go, Uncle SP!!! We also watched some football, but no Steelers since they weren't on in that area, and some Phillies baseball since N1 loves, loves, loves baseball. EPAS made an early dinner for us: Chicken Marsala.Mmmm look at all those mushrooms and that marsala sauce. This was so good! We had some Pinot Grigio and more of the yummy dipping bread (of course you need to mop up that yummy marsala sauce!):We need to get a bread basket... We had some green beans and almonds:The nephews ate butter noodles with parmesan cheese:The adults slathered their penne with chicken, mushrooms, marsala sauce, and cheese plus green beans:Delicious. We were way too stuffed for dessert. I should mention that EPAS bought some tasty Amish soft pretzels, which we ate the night before. Speaking of the Amish, that area of PA has a large Amish population and we counted 16 Amish buggies on our drive home!!!!

We got home a bit after midnight. Happily, there were no visible stink bugs creeping around. We think the spray, for now anyway, is working, but we'll need to spray often. We unpacked everything, put the booze away, and went to bed!

Many, many thanks to EPAS and her family for a wonderful weekend - great company and great food. We hope the nephews enjoyed playing games with us and that N2 will forgive Uncle SP for trying to knock him out!!! And hopefully, we'll be able to visit again soon.


  1. Holy heck am I jealous of that booze stash! And those napoleons look amazing! What a fun weekend!

  2. Booze + donuts + napoleons? Sounds like an absolutely epic weekend!

  3. A Friday full of donuts from Big Daddy's? That sounds like my ideal day. My daughter used to go to dance class on Saturday mornings right around the corner from Big Daddy's. I was always happy to drop her off then spend an hour feasting on fried dough.

    I typically go for glazed sour cream when it's available, but the powdered sour cream at Big Daddy's is too good to pass up.