Monday, July 5, 2010

Family X 2

Well, it's post-4th of July, and I'm relaxed. Matt & I went to Kansas last week for 6 glorious days with 9 adults, 5 kids, 5 dogs, and a cat. It was great to see Pat (mom-in-law) and learn to cook things--several things--because I truly believe her kitchen is magical. Call me crazy, but everything she makes is super tasty, so the countertops must be sprinkled in pixie dust each morning...or something.

This time to Kansas was really nice because we spent a TON OF TIME with the entire Cluthe Clan (all 14 of us, which is a miracle for an only child like me!). Last time we were there (Christmas), we experiences the Blizzard of '09. It was crazy...carrying casserole dishes down Pat's street so we could meet our ride on one of the plowed main streets (our cars were snowed over). This time, we ate outside, swam and soaked up some rays. It was beautiful! And Lawrence, KS (where the Cluthes, minus one couple, live) is one of the greenest, most luscious places I've ever seen. It's not wonder that a certain phrase kept popping up in conversation...Master Gardner...apparently there are quite a few of them that have made Lawrence their home. Anyhow, it was lovely.

We mostly ate at family members' homes...everyone can cook, it's just nuts...but Pete (Matt's bro) and Amy (his wife, Pete's not Matt's) and their little boy (Peter...hearing a theme there?) took us to lunch at La Esquina. It's in the downtown area of Lawrence, a walking local shops and eatery area catering both to KU students and locals alike. Esquina was South/Central American, mostly with Peruvian influences. The food was tacos were the best I've had. Trust me, I don't care for much fish and certainly am not big on fish in tacos, but these were AMAZING!! I also had a huge ear of corn, husks and all on it, with cilantro lime mayo spread on top. Tasty.

Maura and Jake, our funky fresh brother and sister-in law, had a cookout and invited everyone over to their amazing Kansas City abode. I don't have pics of their house, but I'm sure it'll make it to a design magazine someday. She's an artist and seasoned pro at Hallmark and he's a big Apple-head (okay, Mac Freak might be better...j/k!), so needless to say, their creativity follows them home from work and scatters itself into every square inch of their home. It's always fun to visit. So we had Sweet Apple Chicken Sausages and burgers and a whole lot of other tasty! Oreo birthday cake ended a sweet evening. Here's a pic of all of us:
Matt, Me, Chris, Tracey, baby Libby, Abby, Maura (middle), Amy, Keely, Pet, Pete & Connor, Ben the dog, Pat at top, Jake, and Lucy the Dog. Yay!

Good times. Mom and Dad are here this weekend for the much food, so much food.

We did Gingerbread pancakes, Banana & Pecan pancakes, Italian Cantaloupe w/Strawberries and Mint, and Fresh squeezed orange juice. Tastiness. Mom made pineapple salsa that was devoured last night. It's been a great week!

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