Happy World Penguin Day!

Today is World Penguin Day…here’s a look at all of my favorite penguin pals!

And a glimpse at a special World Penguin Day visit to the St. Louis Zoo this morning:

Happy World Penguin Day!

Easter 2022

Time for a look back at another Markel Family Easter, which started, as it does every year, on Maundy Thursday:

On Friday, I made hot cross buns (again), but this year, I tried a new recipe:

The Good Friday service was, as always, lovely and moving:

On Saturday morning, while we watched Rick Steves’ European Easter, we made our Paschal Candle for the year…I think this may be the nicest job we’ve ever done!

While I did have work to do on Saturday to prepare for our Easter dinner, most of the day was really spent waiting until it was finally time for my favorite service of the church year, the Great Vigil of Easter:

After church, we stopped at Wendy’s for Frostys and fries:

We’re still getting used to the fact that we don’t have to get up for a sunrise Easter service, so we felt a little more leisurely about getting ready. We were still at church early enough to take pictures outside:

And some indoors, including our traditional by-the-baptismal-font Easter pictures:

The church looked especially beautiful!

Ladybug even got to acolyte:

And we got a nice family picture after the service:

When we got home, I made Easter breakfast, which included Kaiserschmarrn (the Kaiser’s torn pancakes) with Rhabarberkompott (rhubarb compote), hard-boiled eggs (this is really the first time we’ve ever dyed eggs…you’ll see why in a minute), and pomegranate juice:

While we watched Easter Parade and My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding, I found time to play a little Animal Crossing: New Horizons so I could visit with Zipper T. Bunny. I also caught up with Roald, who was wearing an egg suit…I wonder if that’s what he looked like when he hatched?

I spent most of the rest of the day working on dinner and setting the table:

I chose an Italian theme for this year’s dinner. I served the same lamb in the slow cooker we had last year (technically Greek, but more generically Mediterranean, so close enough), lemon parmesan risotto, insalata caprese, roasted cauliflower, panzanella, breaded artichokes, capers, olives, Italian Easter bread, and lemon Italian soda.

I stuck with the Italian theme for dessert…we had cannoli and Italian sprinkle cookies:

This was an especially nice Easter. Maybe it’s because things felt more “normal” (I actually shook hands for the first time in over two years!), maybe it was because the church services were so meaningful, maybe it was because this may be the nicest Easter dinner I’ve ever made. Whatever the reason, I’m thankful we had such a wonderful celebration of Christ’s resurrection!

St. Patrick’s Day 2022

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the whole year (and one of the most delicious!)…St. Patrick’s Day!

We set our leprechaun trap:

We still didn’t manage to catch Lucky, though he did leave us a treat:

I wore green, glitter, and rainbows on a St. Patrick’s Day trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden. We didn’t find any shamrocks, but we did read a few of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day books while we were there.

I also had fun choosing just the right outfit in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I have a full-on leprechaun suit and a clover dress, but in the end, I decided to go with fusion fashion…a green dirndl!

We had our traditional dinner of corned beef and cabbage, roast carrots and potatoes, and soda bread with Irish butter. This year, I picked Ski soda to go with the meal, mostly because the bottle is green (and it’s nice to support local businesses).

And our favorite Guinness cake for dessert. I don’t know if it was just because I decorated it with chocolate sprinkles, but it looked even more like a donut to me than it usually does!

Up next…a two-day celebration of Turkey’s 19th birthday!

Inspired by Italy

Gulliver finally sent me the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and I decided to do a full tribute to Italy on the rocky north shore of my beach:

Buona giornata!

Out with the Old, In with the New

Already it’s the second day of 2022! Here’s a look back at our New Year celebrations.

I found some hot cocoa rolls with marshmallow frosting for breakfast on New Year’s Eve…I thought it was the perfect way to start a day that features a hot chocolate bar!

We had pizza for dinner…I don’t know that we ever have the same thing two years in a row on New Year’s Eve!

After our annual viewing of Apollo 13, I set up our hot chocolate bar. Things were a little different this year due to various shortages…I couldn’t find speciality hot chocolate or peppermint candy canes (which I hear became very difficult to find this year), but we did have several other flavors (mint chocolate, raspberry, and wintergreen), and three kinds of whipped cream (regular, chocolate, and peppermint).

I did manage to stay up until midnight, but only so I could ring in the New Year on my island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

We had what is a fairly common dinner for us on New Year’s Day, starring pork tenderloin.

Chickadee helped me make dessert, featuring two different recipes from the My Little Pony Baking Book she received for Christmas:

I think we got the New Year off to a good start!