Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"You will never go hungry..."

...something Emilee & Rick failed to mention when they invited us to spend Christmas with Emilee's family in Wisconsin. Over the course of a week, there was *never* a moment when I was genuinely hungry. Peckish, maybe; greedy, for sure; but a real, honest-to-goodness level of starvation? Nope.

Monday
Lunch: Double mushroom-swiss burger at Culver's off the Oshtemo exit. Best Culver's I've tasted, worst Michigan town in terms of ploughing (or lack thereof).
Dinner: Homemade chicken pot-pie and biscuits (plus lots of holiday snacks strewn everywhere...)

Tuesday
Lunch: Mushroom-pepperoni pizza from Rocky Rococo and one-and-a-half pound of wings from Sentry, a Wisconsin-based grocery store.
Dinner: Sweet sour pork with fried rice. Did I mention the holiday snacks? Cranberry pretzels, white chocolate peppermint bark, red and green M&Ms?

Wednesday (this is when the holiday eating madness begins...)
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with bacon. One-and-a-half pounds of bacon, to be exact. Plus buttered toast. Of course.
Lunch: Fresh cheese curds and more wings from Sentry. If you haven't realized by now, Sentry has some fairly profound chicken wings.
Dinner: Homemade lasagne (yummmm...), garlic Texas Toast, Caesar salad.
Desserts (yes, plural): Homemade chocolate cake with mocha frosting and Grandma Wolfe's ridiculously addictive date bars.

Thursday
Breakfast: Skier's french toast and sausage fried in bacon grease. Because nothing says "Merry Christmas!" like complete abandon in the cholesterol-counting department.
Lunch: Really, lunch? I had room for lunch? I didn't but I had Brie and crackers anyway...
Dinner: Surf & turf Christmas dinner- steak, crab claws, scalloped potatoes (Rick using an Elise recipe is always foolproof and delicious!), and corn. And desserts from last night. Plus lots of Asti Spumante.

Friday
Breakfast: Oatmeal, bacon, eggs, toast, grapefruit. It was like being at an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, a.k.a., foodie heaven.
Lunch/Dinner: Friday fish fry at 4.30pm at the 5'O Clock Club, so it was something in between lunch and dinner. It was our first taste of the Wisconsin tradition and completely transformed my conception of seafood in the Midwest. Lake Perch- gooooood...
Supper: Watching the extended Fellowship of the Rings makes a person hungry, and makes five people even hungrier (don't question my logic!). It was 9.30, we had just finished watching the first disc and pizza was in order. Even if it meant placing the last order for the night and Beth having to drive to Rocky Rococo's to pick it up herself.

Saturday
Breakfast: English muffins. Yes, I know, how modest in comparison. But we had all set our alarms to wake up early to start The Two Towers and slack was not to be cut for breakfast. Although the smell of eggs and bacon sometime in the middle of Disc Two was magnificently distracting...
Lunch: More Culver's. Fried chicken. And ButterBurgers. Plus fries, cheese curds and coleslaw.
Dinner: Rader anniversary dinner. Rick & I made dinner of grilled pork tenderloin and mac & cheese. 3-quarts of mac and cheese to be precise. That's 12-cups, folks. Made with close to six cups of milk and four pounds of cheese. Black Diamond Cheddar rocks. More Asti Spumante.
Dessert: Homemade banana cream pie. Because Emilee's dad hadn't stopped asking for it. It was definitely pie worth waiting for.

Sunday
Breakfast: Homemade pancakes and more bacon than should be allowed on a breakfast table. And really good Trader Joe's maple syrup.
Lunch: Jude and I *had* to make a pit stop at La Pasadita in Chicago on our drive back to Ann Arbor. *Had* to. Yes, it is a physiological need, people. We could barely contain our excitement as we exited I-94E into the city. You'd understand if you've tasted their awesomest tacos...

Top that with a copious amount of Mario Karting (this is one area where mediocrity is okay with me...), the extended LOTR trilogy, lots of dog giddiness (we are now intimately acquainted with the routines and habits of the canine species), and tons of laughter and good cheer, and you have our wonderful Christmas holiday with the Raders. With the exception of going home to Singapore, I really can't think of a better way we could have celebrated Christmas :)

[click for photos]

1. Jude and dogs action shot, 2. Grandma Rader loving her white elephant present, 3. Serene wondering what's inside, 4. Sisters hiding, 5. Opening presents, 6. Table setting, 7. Present corner, 8. The Raders' beautiful home, 9. Christmas Eve dinner

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