We spent a great Thanksgiving with Robert's father and grandmother at Hawthorne by the Sea, an Anthony's restaurant in Swampscott, Mass. It was a really lovely meal and everyone enjoyed themselves. Though you can't quite see it from the picture above, we had a great table near the window, with a nice view of Lynn Beach, Nahant, and Boston in the distance.
On December 8th we drove around in a Zipcar all day with numerous destinations. One of them was Wani Yang's holiday jewelry showcase at her parents' restaurant, the Concord Ave. Cafe in Cambridge. We had a great lunch of boba, homemade bao, and Peking meat-sauce noodles, and we even made a small purchase--she really has gorgeous stuff, many items made with vintage Swarovski crystals from the 1920s. We stopped at Formaggio's Kitchen since that's actually just a few blocks away, and after trying the Pralus Melissa chocolate (we kind of agree that it's the best eating milk chocolate around) and about eight kinds of cheeses, we made our purchases, which the guy checking us out apparently approved of. "Wow, you've got an exciting bag here!" he said while packing it. I looked at him, puzzled. "Doesn't everyone at this store have exciting bags?" "Nope," he said.
Another stop was at the shopping center near our house, where we managed to hit Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Home Depot, the Super 88, and the Stop and Shop all before 11:30 in the morning for some last-minute items. I took this picture of Robert at the Super 88, because we always get a kick out of the phrasing of this ad in their window. Hi, Robert's mom (Judy)--we hope you're happy now!
Although I missed the Latkes and Vodkas celebration at the BU Hillel House on Thursday, we did show up at the Harvard Square "Everyone Loves Latkes" festival in Harvard Square on Saturday. Honestly, it was a bit of a let-down, with half of the events promised in the promotional materials not actually appearing, but we did get to have Nantucket Nectars free samples, talk to a Boston Globe reporter on other Chanukah events in Cambridge (uh huh, two Boston Christians--we're clearly your best bet there), and stand in a slushy, muddy, grassy area for awhile, waiting for a beautiful burnished, crispy latke--not quite as hot as Robert would have liked it, but delicious nonetheless, served with a creamy applesauce.
Since the Harvard Square "festival" took slightly less time than I had allotted, we were early to Sarah's. "You didn't say you were going to be FOUR HOURS early!" she said, but then she immediately put us to work, so I don't think she minded too much. I assembled a noodle kugel and chopped things for the salad while Robert handled trash duty and Sarah, Sean, and Suzi cleaned. Later on, despite Suzi, Sean, and Robert's best efforts, the attempt at fried milk was declared a failure and no fried milk actually appeared at dinner--which was okay, though, because there was plenty of other food. Above you see the Chanukah cookies I made last weekend, after Sarah and Meg and I had made the challah. I think that all night I only ate challah with blue cheese pate, but that's quite all right with me.
Today, two Saturdays before Christmas, after a nice pizza lunch with Robert's grandmother (Angela's Coal-Fired Pizza and Wings on Route 1 in Saugus really makes some of the best pizza we've ever had, anywhere), we bought our Christmas tree and set it up. I insisted on a short, fat tree this year, so Robert said next year he wants a super tall, super skinny tree. Hobbit trees, elf trees. . . we'll alternate.
Above you see Robert with the tree in the trunk of the Zipcar Jetta, at Ricky's in Union Square (which we like for the selection and its proximity to tamales at La Taqueria Mexicana across the street), and then Robert carrying the tree up our steps. The tree fit almost perfectly in the trunk--an advantage of a short, fat one--and then a quick length of twine secured it.
Here's me putting the lights on the tree--we've got our remote-controlled lights, blue LEDs, and of course a wide variety of ornaments. Above you can see a close-up view of part of the tree with three Star Wars ornaments (Luke, Yoda, and the Emperor) which Robert grouped together in a tableau, actually.
And here we are in front of the finished tree--you can't really see the lights too well in the photo, but they're very neon blue when on. I love that our tree looks extra fat in this picture (you know, the camera adding weight, and all that). It's a beautiful tree, and we had a lovely day choosing and decorating it. Merry Christmas!
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Created: 12/15/07. Last Modified: 12/15/07.