Weekending: Life in The Wild

Springtime weather. I am almost afraid to say it for it may not happen again for a very long time. Mother nature was somehow compensating for the snow storms and frigid temperatures we’ve been subjected to recently. Whatever the reason, we were happy to be out and about this weekend — worried mother nature would change its mind. First things first, we went to the National Zoo. Rather, we took our own little wild animal child to see all the exciting creatures that exist in the wild.

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Early bird gets the worm so to speak… The zoo pavilions open at 10 am, but the grounds are open at 8. We arrived at 9:15 and that was clearly this panda’s breakfast time!

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Of course no day at the zoo would be complete without a carousel ride. This was Sophia’s first ever ride and though she was a little timid at first, the music won her over.

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My sister, brother-in-law and nephew visited with us after the zoo. Seeing the kids play together was just out of this world especially because he is ten and she is not even two and a half.

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Sunday fun-day was a continuation of our Saturday with more visitors. This time, Grammie and Pop and Clowdie (the dog) visited us for the day. As usual, my in-laws know how to wow Sophia. They arrived just after 10 am equipped with finger paints and watercolors. Painting is quite a stretch for us around these parts. We like to think that crayons and markers suffice, but were happy to see painting as well.

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Pop and Sophia put a playdoh rolling pin to some imaginative use with playdoh.

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You must be wondering by now what culinary delights we cooked this weekend or if we cooked at all. We did indeed cook because we had visitors to feed and the workweek to fend with. First and foremost, my sister brought a care package from my mom with her famous strudel and apple pirogies. I recently relieved my mother of blintz-making duties, but have now retained her to make apple pirogies.

Additionally, and because russians never ever visit without bringing something delicious as an offering, my sister baked one of my all-time favorites — a cottage cheese cake with a meringue topping. My mom used to make this when we were children and it is the perfect afternoon tea accompaniment. My sister put her special touch on the dish by adding apples between the cottage cheese and meringue topping. Evan and Sophia liked it too. Little Sophia thrust herself off her chair quite fast at the site of this sublime confection demanding a piece.

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If you look at the cake picture carefully, you’ll see a new batch of the Boston creme cupcakes from last week in the background. We just had to share them with our family this weekend. The cupcakes were clearly a dessert item and despite my better judgement, I couldn’t rationalize having one for breakfast on Sunday. So what to do, what to do? Obviously, the answer was churros — Spanish donuts. Besides, I try to make something that I know my in-laws would enjoy. We need to make sure they will be back 🙂

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Here they are taking a dip in the hot oil.

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