Saturday, April 23, 2011

Confounded Cook Trampled At Easter Egg Hunt; No Tears Shed By Happy Children Enjoying Sugar Rush

That's the headline that was swimming in my mind as I stood ready to cut the yellow ribbon on the back lawn of the Elms today. It was time once again for the annual Elms Easter Egg Hunt and Eric, GM of the Elms, asked me to cut the ribbon that releases the egg-hungry hordes. The overcast skies, chilly temps and damp grass did nothing to lessen the crowd size or level of excitement. Sierra and Tanner stood directly in front of me, on the other side of the ribbon, clutching their baskets. I stared at the sea of small children and they stared back at me; nearly exploding with anticipation. Keith, ever concerned for me, mildly suggested that I embed the scissors into my leg so I wouldn't put one of the little darling's eyes out. Yes, don't worry about me, I'll ensure that the children are safe; just ignore the geyser of blood that just burst from my left thigh. The countdown grew closer and the kids were looking as if they might burst into some sort of angry playground mob....especially that little girl in the pretty floral dress....she looked so ready to stomp my head with her shiny patent leather shoes. Who came up with this idea of getting kids this worked up and then sending them hunting for sugar? Whatever. Not all that long ago, I had to stare down a mad crazy crowd of teenage girls waiting for the release of the final Twilight book and that was WAY more terrifying.

In reality, the kids and their folks were very well-behaved as they poured across the property on the search for the eggs, some of which contained gold coins. Sierra found one of the coins but she showed her heart and character as well: seeing a child crying because he didn't find any eggs, Sierra gave him some of her eggs. She is the golden child after all.

The hotel was hopping today with the hunt going on as well as a wedding being set up. The wedding had peacock feathers as a theme for their decor and their cupcake tower featured cupcakes with edible peacock feathers. Today was also Tanner's eighth birthday and while the celebration of this is largely taking place next week in conjunction with his First Communion, we did take him to lunch. We went to Ventana and got to try some new items. I had a cup of soup that I couldn't wrap my brain around...Buffalo Chicken Soup. Spicy with that unmistakable buffalo sauce flavoring, topped off with bleu cheese crumbles and a celery stick; it was something else and that something was mighty tasty. I also had the new menu item called the Sugar Burger that's become their latest craze. I admit that the description didn't sell featured a burger with a smoky brown sugar glaze, sauteed onions, cheddar and bacon. I'd read and heard so many raves about the burger that I had to try it and I'm so glad I did. The flavors just flow, baby....its a durn good burger. The kids were treated to Oooey Gooey Chocolates next door and their locally made ice cream. The fine ladies at Ooey Gooey also showed us their chocolate-covered Peeps and a tool-happy cake they were making for someone's birthday.

That evening, the fam descended on our home for the fish fry we had planned for the previous night until Mother Nature reminded us we're on her time. Keith's dad brought crappie that he caught himself and we deep-fried it in a Cajun-cornmeal breading, hit it with a couple of hits of Sriracha hot sauce and zing went the strings of my heatseekin' heart. Helen brought her vintage slicer and sliced Yukon Golds and sweet potatoes razor-thin and deep-fried them for some delicious chips. Kim concentrated on her studies a bit more with a little help from an ice-cold Boulevard Wheat. I made pasta salad from a Disney cookbook, of all things. Tanner entertained us with his comedic skills while we enjoyed angel food cake with fresh strawberries for dessert.

This was a nice, peaceful end to the day that contrasted nicely with the morning's Easter egg stampede..the recipe follows for the pasta salad from the Disney Mickey's Gourmet Cookbook and that counts as CC#50.

Pasta Salad(from MGM Studios Theme Park and Mickey's Gourmet Cookbook)

1 1/2 cups tricolor rotini pasta
1/4 cup cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup tomato, diced
1/ cup celery, diced
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
2 teaspoons herb seasoning
1 teaspoon dill, fresh, chopped
1 teaspoon basil, fresh, chopped
3/4 cup plain yogurt
4 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing, divided

In a 2-quart saucepan, boil pasta until tender and rinse with cold water. Toss with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing and set aside. In a large bowl, combine shredded cabbage, onion, celery, and cucumber. Mix well and season with dill ,basil and herb seasoning. Add cooked pasta, yogurt and remaining vinaigrette. Blend well and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Serve chilled.


Lydia Donnelly said...

LOL! Your title is TOO much! Love this post, and the foods described... oooo... makes me hungry! Happy Easter :) I'm thinking of you and Ethel lots today.

Love you!

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