Sunday, May 1, 2011

Return to the Land of Pleasant Living

Last weekend, I traveled to my parents' home in Baltimore for some rest, relaxation, and food and drink decadence during the Easter holiday. New York Penn Station is teeming with commuters, tourists, and potently trash and grime fragrant bums who sprawl across the floor and urinate themselves; in other words, in a contemporary interpretation of Dante's Inferno, this should be one of the more inner circles of hell. Unfortunately, traversing into the city to visit friends and family requires more time spent in this travel lair than I would ever prefer, however, there is one redeeming quality: Krispy Kreme donuts.

Pink, green, and yellow spring-inspired sprinkles; fresh and delicious.

After a grueling train ride, spent reading and sucrose-induced napping, I arrived home to this scene: my mother whipping up a batch of luscious butter-cream frosting to lather atop still warm golden cupcakes.

When my siblings and I were younger, my mother frequently made an Easter bunny-shaped coconut cake; she decided to flavor these cupcakes with some fresh coconut on the top, adding a flair of delicious nostalgia.

My post-journey snack of goat cheese, figs, and some butter-flavored crackers.

Roasted turkey, waiting on the kitchen counter patiently to be consumed.

Creamed spinach, a delectable pairing with the turkey.

Cocktail hour with my parents before dinner. The necessary equipment for cocktail making: citrus juicer, some Bombay Sapphire, a shaker, plenty of ice, and a vintage glass.

Bittered gin sling: 1 1/2 ounces gin (Bombay Sapphire being my preference, but I enjoy Tanquerey as well), 3/4 ounce sweet or French vermouth, 1/2 ounce lemon juice, 1/2 ounce simple syrup, and two dashes of Angostura bitters. Mix ingredients in shaker filled with ice, shake well, and pour in tall (Collins) style glass. Top with some club soda and garnish with a lemon peel.

My mother loves vintage bar ware and monkeys; these were a natural addition to her liquor cabinet repertoire.

Beautiful and delicious white from Horton, a vineyard in northern Virginia.

A spring table setting with muted olive and floral greens.

This Asian screen hangs in my parents' dining room; it has always been a favorite of mine.

My plate was filled to the brim with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach; my mother is an amazing cook and it is impossible to not join the infamous Clean Plate Club while sitting at her table.

One Saturday afternoon, I met up with a close high school friend, Julia; she permanently borrowed this beautiful red leather bag from her grandmother, who, despite being rather neurotic in her impressive old age, has and had impeccable style. Julia and her sister are the lucky recipients of quite the collection of accessories from the past number of decades. I love how versatile and yet noticeable and stunning this bag is.

Julia, who has spent significant time in Bologna, Italy, and will soon be returning to the Piedmont for a graduate program, chose a prosecco; I opted for an Australian shiraz.

Julia to my left, and another good high school friend, Lindsey, to my right; Lindsey's blog litterulae ab mundano chronicles her travel adventures and travel lusts from around the world, centered on personal, social, cultural, and political musings of a courageous and daring explorer.

A pleasantly dry rose from Spain, perfect for the warming weather.

Prime filet mignon for Saturday evening dinner with my parents.

Steak and mushrooms are my favorite combination, or at least one of them; they definitely are close rivals to the turkey and creamed spinach.

My mother topped the rare steak with some crumbled bleu cheese; the sharpness and creaminess of the cheese complements the smooth fruit flavor of the red wine.

Easter morning, my mother prepared some buttermilk biscuits, which we paired with this delicious French jam, made from red currants, red raspberries, strawberries, and cherries.

More bittered gin slings for Sunday evening, shared with my friend Lindsey, who regaled my parents and I with tales of teaching in South Korea and a harrowing experience of an iguana attack while trying to give the old girl an enema.

While at the antique show, my mother purchased a pair of these Asian dragon blue china lamps to place in our foyer atop a bureau and between a large mirror. The shapes of both the lamp base and the shade are quite unique.

This screen hangs in my sister Elizabeth's former bedroom, which now serves as a guest room, where I slept for the weekend. Originally my grandmother, Meemaw's, treasure, who was very interested in Orientalist aesthetics and design, the screen now creates a headboard above the cream colored bed. In my currently apartment, the bed is without a proper headboard, and hanging a large piece such as this creates an excellent illusion of one.

During the Easter Sunday afternoon warm showers, these blossoms bloomed, releasing a brilliant and calling perfume to the blackened evening sky.

The drooping blooming cherry blossom tree in my parents' backyard, which I adored climbing when a little girl. As the petals expire and fall to the earth, blow through the wind, it appears as though it is raining or snowing a soft pink cotton candy fluff; like much that is beautiful, once on the ground, the flowers quickly rot, to a soft brown mush.


  1. All of this looks absolutely delicious. Cute blog!


  2. ack! now I am even more miffed that I had to miss chicken dinner for a standardized test. mashed potatoes and creamed spinach sound way more wonderful than dreams of higher, higher education at the moment.

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