Saturday, September 26, 2020

Happy Birthday Dad + Me: Pandemic Edition

Last year, Dad and I threw an epic birthday party for ourselves at Purple Chopstix. I turned 40, he turned 70. It was so fun!! So many of our friends gathered to celebrate with us! Look at all of those people in one room with no masks on!!!!!!!

Since this year is the global COVID-19 pandemic, we couldn't throw a big birthday  party with all of our friends. Instead, we gathered on Mom and Dad's porch! Purple Chopstix has been closed most of the year. They just happened to open the week of Dad's birthday, offering contactless pickup on the weekends!

How lucky for us! Here we are gathering to celebrate Dad's birthday.

Dad and I were lucky to have warm, beautiful weather on our birthdays.

Sushi appetizer.

Ben got seafood crepes.

Mom and Dad each got crab cakes.

I got the sweet potato peanut pasta.

Everything was SO delicious and it was wonderful to be enjoying Purple Chopstix food again!

Little Kate made our family favorite, Texas sheet cake!

Dad blew his candle out away from the table, so as not to spread germs.

Can he blow it out through the mask? Of course he can!

Two weeks later, we gathered again for another round of Purple Chopstix family birthday fun! This time, to celebrate my birthday!

Vana and Joe gave me some home brew for my birthday. Cheers!

Vana also gave me these Junk Party Jewelry Cool Ranch Dorito earrings. Isn't that the best name ever for an earring!??

Sweet potato bisque!

Relaxing on the front porch!

Kate got pesto pasta!

I got red curry with shrimp, and Ben got sweet potato peanut pasta with chicken! We love Purple Chopstix!!!

Lucy tried unsuccessfully to get a bite.

Instead of blowing out the candles, I waved them out using the force of my freshly-washed hands!


Mmm, Texas sheet cake. You wish, Lucy!

Monday, September 07, 2020

Cooking club paddle board pandemic expedition

Cooking club paddle board pandemic expedition! We've been talking about doing this all summer, and we finally made it happen.

The quarantine has put a damper on hosting cooking clubs at our houses.

So we packed some dishes and hit the lake! The theme was basically "make something picnicky with barely any advanced notice." Because this was such a quickly planned cooking club, Summer already had plans that day and was unable to join us. We missed her!!

Nancy borrowed Riley's board, which is the same board that Yumi and I have. TRIPLETS!!!

We paddled to the far corner of the lake, where there are some picnic tables, and set up a socially-distant picnic.

In the front are delicious cups of chilled corn soup made by Nancy. Behind that, herby, creamy pasta salad featuring asparagus and smoked trout, made by Valerie!

The little burrito-looking things are my contribution: baguette sandwiches with brie, dijon and honeycrisp apple slices. Simple but delicious! On the right are Emily's deconstructed salad skewers, featuring marinated veggies and cheese tortellini! In the back, Yumi made vanilla bean panna cottas with white peaches. YUM!!

Valerie demonstrates the proper drinking technique!

My sandwich, unwrapped. Mmmmmmmm.

Heading back to our cars. We were so full, I'm surprised we didn't sink! What a delicious day.

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Happy Anniversary to me and Ben!

Happy 8th wedding anniversary to me and Ben! Often we'll celebrate by going to Zoe for dinner, but since it's a pandemic right now, that wasn't an option. Instead, we recreated one of our favorite Zoe cocktails! The pondwater martini! Cheers!! Those are blue cheese stuffed olives. Mmm.

Another of our favorite traditions is to have a bunch of cheese and fruit and bread. Can't go wrong! Plus egg salad and meats!


Happy anniversary!

Monday, August 03, 2020

Moonlit Paddle Attempt

Tonight our paddle board crew attempted to do a moonlit paddle. Tonight is a full moon! We hit the lake and waited for the sun to go down.



Suzie and Valerie!

Unfortunately, it was way too cloudy to see the moon, and it ended up just being a dark paddle. It was still fun, though!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day! Ben and I celebrated by having Dad and Mom over for a socially-distanced meal on our deck.

Masks, of course!

We ordered delivery from Jackie O's. Mmm, reubens!

And pizza! Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Mother's Day Treasure Hunt

Happy Mother's Day! My family is lucky enough to all live within a block of each other, so we've been able to see each other during the COVID-19 quarantine. We regularly do walks in my neighborhood, where we can stay six feet apart.

For Mother's Day, Mer and I planned a treasure hunt throughout the neighborhood! We told Mom to meet at my house at 2 p.m., and handed her the first clue.

There is only one marine animal that we know of on Briarwood
Find a clue there to get started on a hunt through the ‘hood

Now that you’ve found your first clue,
let Lucy lead you to clue #2

Lucy loves to sniff the mulch on this particular section of the street, and she did lead Mom right to the clue! Dad helped find it.

Only a fairy could fit through this door
Find a clue there and then you’ll find more

The fairy house at Abby's house!

You can hook up a fire hose to this tap,
But you gotta find it yourself, we’re not giving you a map

A grand driveway entrance made of brick
Is where you’ll find our next clue trick

Onward! Now you must push
To find orange flagging tied to a bush

What’s this? Irises ready to bloom
Find a clue there then zoom zoom zoom

Underneath here you’ll have to look,
The only place on the street to borrow a book

When you find the next clue you won’t be failing
To look underneath a public railing

Down on the “low side” you’ll see
A place to live if you were a chickadee

This thing that looks like a lollipop
Actually tells your car just where to stop

When we moved to Athens I didn't understand
Why there seemed to be so many Tigers fans
Then I found out that this special D
Was for Dispatch, not baseball, you see

This is it!
Your final clue
Head to Mer’s house,
we’ll show you what to do

Little Kate made a lovely finish line sign!

Mer and I decorated the yard, and had disposable gloves and hand sanitizer available! And gift for mom!

Felix was excited to watch Mom open her gift. A weather station!

Though we've seen each other throughout the quarantine, this Mother's Day gathering was the first time we actually got to relax and enjoy each other's company. We had beers! Mer grilled sausages and served them very safely with gloves on.

Felix supervised my sausage eating.

We also had individual bags of chips! No sharing.

Family time!