Tuesday, June 03, 2008

part three

Day Three. Mon., 5/26, Memorial Day

SIL gets up early. [[in addition to being intense and a gourmet chef, she's a genius like Einstein and doesn't need more than 4-5 hours of sleep per night. i used to be envious of her but now i'm just tired after a few days with her.]]

we are going to SIL's sister T's house for a BBQ/picnic. this would also be a Filipino sister, of course, though it's hardly relevant. SIL gets up at 7 a.m. and starts cooking. BIL takes DH and the boys over at 2. T has sons the same ages - she started late. at 3 the food is all ready to transport and off we go.

T and husband are high-powered folks, live in Villanova in a million-dollar home. with a live-in Filipino maid. these boys have every bit of sports equipment one can imagine and my sons have an amazing time. they go from playing baseball in the city-park-size (and landscaped) back yard, to the GAME ROOM, to trying out zip-boards (?rip-boards? something like that). spare shoes are easily found. T's DH is a tall man and her sons, while my sons' ages, are larger; we are loaded up with outgrown clothes and sports gear. hoot hoot! she so gently starts to ask if we would like some of their stuff and i just blurt "i'm
not proud, i'll take anything you've got!" b/c their castoffs are nicer than anything i can buy at my income level.

so the picnic includes proscuitto-wrapped asparagus, burgers and dogs for the kids, steak for the 'dults, LOBSTER, and let me tell you right now you have not lived until you have watched a Filipino attack a lobster. i have never seen my SIL (whom i have known for 17 years) eat this much. (she polished off two full lobsters herself!) they eat EVERY bit of that beast. suck out the mustard, eat up the egg, and it's fun to watch, just don't ask me to do it. i ate one claw and it tastes mostly like butter, hardly worth the effort. (my first lobster!)

dessert is where she really shines (or just what i appreciate most). strawberry tart on a shortbread crust coated with a thick layer of chocolate. the most amazing chocolate cheesecake you ever had - all others pale in comparison, and as smooth and silky as you could ask for. she modifies the process by combining a couple of different master techniques and it's well worth the effort and time. topped with a smattering of crumbs for texture.

kids have a blast. i cannot imagine a better vacation - visit a mansion, play with completely normal albeit incredibly privileged children, eat like kings. i'm going to hate going home.

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