Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Little Piece of Italian Heaven

It was a warm, sunny day when I poked my head out the door after waking up. In fact, it was warmer than yesterday and still too warm for this time of year, but also not humid. I woke up late, so I just had a quick shredded wheat breakfast before putting out the bills and heading over to the Haddon Township Library for this week's volunteering session.

Getting to the library proved to be a problem. There was some kind of phone line work going on that was blocking Cuthbert Road near the Super Fresh. I finally just cut across someone's yard (it didn't look like they were home) and went around it.

I enjoyed working on the children's DVDs at the library today. I helped a 2 and 1/2-year-old girl and her mother find Disney DVDs they hadn't seen yet. The little girl picked The Rescuers (smart kid - that's my favorite). I pointed out the library's newly-bought copy of 101 Dalmations to her mama, and she said they didn't have that and added it to their pile. I also got to listen to the mother read a Curious George book about the infamous trouble-causing monkey accidentally wrecking havoc at an animal shelter and another story about a little girl whose cat runs away. Shortly after they left, a little boy was looking for some Thomas the Tank Engine. I helped him find some before his mother fussed to him that they already had several DVDs picked.

I made a brief stop at Super Fresh on the way home but they didn't have anything on sale that I wanted. After I got in, I had a very quick and simple lunch of celery sticks, yogurt, and Fig Newtons before going over to Uncle Ken's to do my laundry. As I had two weeks ago, I had to take the long way around because the stupid train was blocking the path between Manor and Hillcrest.

The pool was worth the walk. It was incredibly, amazingly warm when I went in. The thermometer tethered to the steps on the deep end said the water was 85 degrees! It felt soooo nice. The recent heat wave was good for something. Dad says he's normally just opening the pool in mid-June and that it's not normally this warm until well into August!

I had a nice chat with Dad while my laundry was still in the washer. Dad showed me the pictures from the dinner with Rose a few weeks ago. They all came out really well, especially the ones of all of us. I also got to see some great shots of Jodie's youngest son Jesse and his date before they left for and as they were about to enter their senior prom. (I like the prom outfits teenage girls are wearing nowadays. Jesse's girlfriend wore a Grecian-style gown the same shade of bright blue as Uncle Ken's pool, and several of her girlfriends wore eclectic floral or zig-zag-print dresses. Beats the boring all-black or pastel strappy dresses that were the in thing in the mid-90s when I was in high school.)

Rose finally remembered to leave her birthday present for me at Dad's. She gave me a fancy make-up kit in the soft browns and creams I love and six records. Four of the six were big-band albums, but the remaining two were George Benson Plays Abby Road and the 1967 Colgems mono version of The Monkees' third album Headquarters. The latter was a particularly cool find. I had the 1986 Rhino re-release of Headquarters on LP, but not the original 60s one. Sweet.

I went back to my apartment after my swim to rest before dinner and put my clothes away. The train was finally gone when I headed back over to Uncle Ken's. Dad, Jodie, Jessa, and I headed over to Anthony's, the Italian restaurant where Rose works in Haddon Heights. Uncle Ken and Dolores were already there when we arrived. We'd been wanting to try the place where Rose worked on a night when she was there.

Dinner was wonderful! Everyone but Jodie tried something called a three course meal. You're served an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert for a flat price of $25. I opted for the Escarole Egg-Drop Soup, the Organic Salmon, and the Canolli. The soup was a little salty, but the escarole was delicious and slightly crisp. (I haven't had escarole since it was one of the only vegetables I could find in the Wildwood Acme in the winter.) The salmon was nicely cooked in herbs, and I really loved the wilted greens and sauteed wild mushrooms - I'm a huge fan of mushrooms and of greens. I haven't had a real canolli since college, either, and this one had a nice and crunchy shell with a very, very sweet cream cheese filling. I also tried a bite of Dolores' bread pudding and a little of Jodie's Veal Picatta Medallions, which were quite good, too. We also had bruscetta, good, crusty bread, and a small antipasto dish. (Loved the sharp cheddar that came with the antipasto. I wonder if they get theirs from the Farm Market?) Uncle Ken and Dolores took me home, since Dad and Jodie were taking Jessa to an end-of-the-school-year party (her Catholic high school finished today), and we all went home will full bellies and endless praise for Rose and Anthony's other staff members, including it's namesake owner.

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