Going Home: A Journey of Laundry and La Bouche

Dish 58: Tagliatelle alla Bolognese, Ristorante San Marco, Ambler, http://sanmarcopa.com/

Dish 59: Wedge Salad, Bridget’s Steakhouse, Ambler, http://www.bridgetssteak.com/

Dish 60: Penne Arrabiata, Café Lombardi’s, Horsham, http://cafelombardis.com/

Thursday, March 31, 2010

10:30 am

I look hopelessly across the expanse of wool and cotton piled on my bedroom floor. A month of dirty laundry. A winter of ugly sweaters, wool reindeer, cashmere bunnies, and polyester neon squiggles. A day of gifts for Dad’s birthday. Graphic novels for Kelly. A stuffed cow for Amy. A pirate hat. Three trips worth, down three stories, out to the car, and back up again. I turn to La Bouche for assistance.

10:32 am

Two minutes of “Be My Lover” has reignited my will to live. <http://www.lala.com/#search/be%20my%20lover&gt;

11:42 am

Giant heap has transformed into four plastic bags, one laundry bag, and two duffel bags. They refuse to carry themselves out to Demon Bunny. Ungrateful beasts.

12:15 pm

One trip out to the car has exhausted my boundless stores of energy and I collapse into a kitchen chair, desolate. There’s no way that I can load the car and still make it to Ambler and Horsham in time to pick up dishes from Ristorante San Marco, Bridget’s, and Café Lombardi’s before they close for the afternoon. I text Mom an apology for my failures as a daughter. The New Jersey contingent will have to wait until they visit to partake in my mission.

12:23 pm

A surprise email from Brian ends my pity party. Clearly Michael Buble has it much worse if he is being stalked by a velociraptor. <http://bubleraptor.tumblr.com/&gt; I check MapQuest again, run the numbers. We can do this. We can DO THIS.

The Plan. And my Grocery List.

12:45 pm

Demon Bunny is loaded and filling up with delicious 91 octane. I call the restaurants.

Demon Bunny Packed to the Gills

1:30 pm

Ristorante San Marco.

San Marco-- gorgeous interior, filled with intricate wood carvings and the Venetian red and gold symbol of St. Mark

1:45 pm

Bridget’s Steakhouse.

2:00 pm

Café Lombardi’s.

Cafe Lombardi's-- Yes, equally underwhelming in person. But very tasty.

4:45 pm

Home Sweet Home! Hugs and kisses for Madre and Padre, pat on the head for Indy, bear hug/emphatic chest bump for Brian. We toss the pastas in the oven to heat.

Chow time- Introducing: Dad's torso!

5:15 pm

Family gathers for collective chow down. The Tagliatelle alla Bolognese from San Marco is a hit among the men of the family for it’s “homestyle” “soul-comforting” “MEATINESS”, while Mom raves about Café Lombardi’s Penne Arrabiata because it reminds her of the villa where we stayed in Tuscany a decade ago. “Remember the olives they gave us?” “No, Mom.” “Oh, they gave us these olives when we first arrived, and they were salty and smoky, and I can see them when I taste the penne. I miss it there. We should go back. But the salad—I don’t get it. Is it the dressing that makes it special?” Was it! I think I’ll be driving back to Ambler just to get more of that chunky, blue-cheesey, thick, sticky… oh… that dressing!

5:45 pm

“So… what now?”

5:50 pm

“Mom, Dad, Tracy is coming over!” “Good, Dad’s making brownies!” It’s good to be home.

Tracy with characteristic albeit faux brownie-induced joy; at this moment, she has 54 hours of a vegan Lent left.

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