This is where 'everything else' goes.

Improving a Tradition

Filed under: Life — Tags: , — Wigi @ 10:17 pm March 23, 2008

My partner and I have been together since 2002, and today is our fifth Easter together. Her family has some traditions, and I’ve happily integrated them into my annual rituals… but since I’ve been a part of the family, I’ve put my mark on their family traditions, too…

One of the places that I’ve changed the family traditions is the Easter baskets. The kids are not really kids anymore (ages 19 and 21), but they were more kid-like for our first Easter. My partner and I went shopping for Easter basket things, and while we were at the store, I added a few items to the cart to put the kid’s baskets: vienna sausages, smoked oysters and a pepperoni stick, to add in with the obligatory chocolate bunny, Peeps and jelly beans.

The kids loved the added items, though they’re not really fans of smoked oysters… I knew they wouldn’t care for the oysters, but I like them, so I knew at least I would get an Easter snack from their baskets. My additions had become the beginning of a new tradition.

The next year, more of the same, and now, it has become a matter of topping the previous year. This year, I think will be the most spectacular so far. Some of the items are perennial; vienna sausages, smoked oysters and pepperoni. Returning this year are anchovies (a guarantee that I’ll be making homemade pizza soon) and pepperoni. This year’s new additions are two items that the kids like a lot, but are something that they would never expect in an Easter basket. The first is frozen taquitos, which we are re-packaging into saran wrap and then tied up with Easter ribbons.

The last item is the one that is going to make the real impression. We purchased empty plastic eggs, about the size of a grapefruit (but of course, shaped like an egg). Inside each egg, we’re going to put Chili con Carne.

Who says Easter baskets are just for kids?

Round Numbers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Wigi @ 10:19 pm March 22, 2008

I am just a few days from departing on my twice-annual pilgrimage to the place of my birth, Washington, DC. Whenever I go back, I often find myself immersed in nostalgia for things that I remember from my childhood – Some rather impressive and grand, such as school field trips to the Smithsonian, and others rather mundane.

My mother still shops at the same grocery store that she did when I was very small… An independent grocery store with only one location. She likes that store because they have excellent meats.

When I was a kid, my mother would take us shopping with her, and she would walk the aisles, routinely grabbing things off of the shelves and placing them in the basket. At some point, we would find ourselves at the Deli counter. The store was always busy, so it was rare that you would walk up and be served right away. Off to one side, there was a little machine, where you’d pull down a handle, and out would pop a a little ticket with a number on it. As a kid, it was always a special treat to get to “pull the handle”.

As you walked up to the Deli, you’d see the number, and wonder what number you would get. The mechanical sign behind the counter would read, “NOW SERVING: 9″ and when you went to pull the handle and get your ticket, you wondered if you were going to get number 10, or number 17.

I was thrilled when I got number 10… but as a kid, you start to wonder… What if someone else has also has number 10? What if she just skips past you, and on to number 11, or stops taking numbers altogether? Of course, she would always serve number 10, but it always took longer than you thought it should.

However long the wait, it was always worth it. They really did have the best meat anywhere. In fact, it would have been worth the wait even if I was number 11!