Tag Archives: Sunday

Indian Nights

By: Clare

Spring is turning to summer, brown is returning to green, and the world is glorious again. This was the case last Sunday night, as a warm breeze softly caressed the seemingly endless fields along our high hilltop home. My parents were away in Dallas attending my older brother’s college graduation, and  Mary and I were left to ourselves for a weekend. This got old quite fast, and so we eagerly agreed to babysitting our nieces and nephew. Someone came up with the idea to play Indians, which seemed like the perfect game for three wild children to play. First, the proper wardrobe and makeup were needed.

Adeline chose her dress carefully. It may not have fit very well with the Indian theme, but it definitely worked with the Adeline theme..which is DRAMATIC.

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Claire fit perfectly into the Indian dress Mary was as a girl, handmade by our “crafty” mother.

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We couldn’t resist putting Thaddeus in Robert’s old Indian boy outfit. And of course, Indian war paint was completely necessary.

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Watch out. He’s feisty.

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While Thaddeus went with the tough guy attitude, Claire stayed in a more melancholic mood.

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I can’t wait for summer and more Indian nights.

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Sunday Sisters

By: Mary

There is no time of the week as pleasant to bake during then Sunday morning, and there is no day of the week better to eat doughnuts, then on a Sunday morning as well.

Wait, that’s a false statement.  Any given day is a great day to eat doughnuts!

Colleen and I have experienced many a Sunday morning baking session together as you may remember from the post Sunday Sugar Doughnuts. Today I brought a substitute baker into the kitchen to help mix the dough and fry the batter in oil.

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My eight-year-old niece may just end up being quite the baker.

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She’s a precious gift in my life and I’m glad to have spent this spring morning in her company.

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In just once week, though, my ” Sunday sister ” (Coleen) will be traveling back home from college in Dallas. I can hardly wait to spend early mornings baking with her and be forced to go on excruciating runs which I protest half-heartedly. Her trademark ugly apron is ready and waiting for her in an old farm house kitchen far away from the the biggest and proudest state in the union. Welcome back Colleen and best of luck to you as you cram for finals. Ace them before coming back home to your sophisticated ridge roots!

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Bread and Circus

by Kate

A few days ago my brother Rob and his lovely bride Nicole set off from the green ridges of Wisconsin to visit the sooty city of Steubenville, Ohio where they went to college, played basketball, and fell in love. Yesterday they came in to spend Sunday in the city. It was a spectacular September afternoon- bright blue sky, warm breeze, leaves just beginning to turn.

After mass at the Pittsburgh Oratory we set off to explore the Oakland neighborhood. Olympia particularly enjoyed her perch on Rob’s shoulders. She kept flinging her arms open to embrace the wind.

We were joined by Nicole’s friends Maura and Paul. I was totally jealous of Maura’s outfit, which I am pretty certain would have looked hideous on me and perhaps also on every other woman that I know. But on Maura the dress worked perfectly.

 

 

Our first stop was the Carnegie Library Main Branch, which is in my opinion one of the best places in Pittsburgh to spend a Sunday afternoon. The architecture is beautiful, baroque and marble and full of intricate detail. Here is a glancing shot of the ceiling of the marble staircase which reminded Rob of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

Every Sunday there is live music or dance in the Silent Reading Room at the Carnegie Library. This Sunday there were a group of Indian Bhangra dancers from Carnegie Mellon. We have been watching a lot of bhangra on youtube in our home lately, so Olympia was thrilled.

 

We tramped up and down staircases and in and out of the stacks and made our way out of the library on the other side, near the entrance to the Carnegie Natural History and Art Museums. I rarely visit this calm and contemplative space, but always vow to do so more often. I find it a particularly restful sort of beautiful.

After tearing Olympia away from her headlong rush towards the fountain, we wound around the library building, skirting the deep ravine where an entire power station rumbles and hisses and emits billowing plumes of steam. Rob pointed to a peeling tower reaching high into the sky on top of the ravine and said “Hey look, there’s guys up there painting it!”

The painters were taking a break- and giving us a peace sign, which I would never have known without the zoom feature on my camera.

Coming back around the library, we wandered into a group of people in front of the Carnegie Main Library setting up tightropes between the trees as vintage circus music played softly in the background. Drawing closer, we discovered that the tightropes were actually slacklines- AND that you are allowed to get up and try them.

Rob immediately pulled off his boots and leapt on.

To the surprise of the slackrope organizers, he made it all the way across after about a minute. They asked if he had any experience, and he said no, he’s just from the country. Then he gracefully dismounted and started to juggle three balls high in the air. Of course this meant that I had to attempt the slackline- disregarding the fact that I was still wearing my Sunday church dress.

It took me three minutes to make it across. I did pull of some interesting unintentional arabesques though. Meanwhile, Olympia grabbed two golden hoops and began dancing with them.

I looked around at my brother and my daughter and realized I didn’t need to run away and join the circus. I already grew up in one. I am pretty sure Olympia will, too.

After our brief stint as circus performers, we headed across the green, past a live jazz concert, to find “Pittsburgh food” to eat, at Rob’s request. This meant that we soon ended up at Primanti Brothers.

The restaurants, located only in the Pittsburgh area, also offer an authentic coating of grease and grime and lots of beer on tap. As for food, it’s all about that Primanti Chees Steak “No.2 Best Seller”

The Pittsburgh Cheesesteak is  a massive stacked sandwich consisting of thick Italian bread…

and cheese, steak, tomato, coleslaw, and french fries….

prepared as you watch on the open grill.

It is a pretty spectacular sandwich.

Plus, there is an unlimited amount of hot sauce to pour on it.

 It might be a tiny bit awkward to actually fit the thing in your mouth….

but Nicole looks just like the painting on the wall, which must mean she was doing it right.

After we finished our massive sandwiches, we headed back across the green campus towards our car. Thankfully it was a long walk, because we needed it.

It was a beautiful afternoon in the city. Bread and circuses and water towers- those Romans knew what they were doing with city living, didn’t they?

What did you do with your weekend?

A Sunday Adventure

The Slattery family usually spends Sundays with a big meal with the whole family crowded around the table, followed by a special recreation that it seems each person has to celebrate the special day of the week reserved for rest. But this Sunday, the Slattery family packed up kids and food alike, to spend the day at a family friends’ house for a little get-together. It took at least 45 minutes of complete chaos to figure out who was going with who, and who’s going to take what dish we prepared, but eventually we got on our way. I, Clare, of course, was stuck going with Mom and Dad because there was “no room with the big kids for me”, which I was none too happy about, and poor Raph and James had gone to a separate mass and were left behind because of some miscommunication.

The Kinsmans have been friends with out dad since college, so we’ve certainly seen them before, but I can barely remember the one time I’ve been to their house. Mom would always come home from visiting gushing about their gardens and house, so I was very curious as to what their house would be like. It looks pretty average from the front.

But not so average from the back…

We all went ahead and helped ourselves to some delicious food from the kitchen.

We all ate our dinner on the magnificent shaded porch at the back of the house.

Following the meal, we were free to do whatever. Some took time to relax.

I myself went to explore the grounds. There were quite a few pretty flowers and a beautiful fountain. I just love fountains. Too bad this fountain didn’t have the water running.

They also had a pond, which Adeline had been very excited to swim in. She was quite disappointed when she learned it was too scummy for swimming. She had even come all prepared, wearing her swimsuit instead of clothes. She wears her swimsuit quite a lot.

All good things must come to an end, and after a few hours, it was time to head home, stuffed to the brim and content.

What did you do this Sunday?

Sunday Sugar Doughnuts

by Mary and Colleen

This Sunday morning, two bakers set out to saturate the kitchen at Sweet Ridge Farm in sugar and butter.  Due to a lack of sugar intake on typical weekdays in Lent, and a huge family gathering and meal after mass, Sunday is the day to bake! Later we run several miles to work off the sugar and catch up on the weekly happenings.

Mary decided on doughnuts for her Sunday contribution, and Colleen settled for the unbeatable allure of chocolate chip banana bread (loved by all Slattery boys). What did these stylish bakers wear?

Mary sported a daring apron, created in a dual effort of Mom’s sewing power and Mary’s design and cussword creativity.

And Colleen went with her favorite apron, a donation from her musical aunt. Mary does not like said apron. Colleen has no shame, and will probably be taking it with her to college.

Mary got the doughnuts frying in no time at all.

Main ingredient? We live in Wisconsin, duh! Butter!! Not just any butter- this is a bucket of pure ghee from Organic Valley.

As per Slattery tradition, Colleen shook the newly fried doughnuts in paper bags filled with powdered sugar and a cinnamon sugar mixture. (This part is always the most fun)


The doughnuts were a great success.

Of course, one can’t go to mass looking like an apron clad pajama princess! Let me assure you, we  know how to clean up.

Here is the recipe for our Lenten Sunday sugar doughnut feast.

Sunday Sugar Doughnuts

2/3 cup white sugar
3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg

in a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients:
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup raw milk
1/4 cup organic valley melted butter

Gently fold together wet and dry ingredients. If you are not too impatient, chill for two hours. (We are always too impatient and have never actually done this, but we hear it is helpful.) Drop spoonfuls into a cast iron pan full of heated butter (or cooking oil if you are not from Wisconsin and don’t have a bucket of butter handy) and fry over medium heat. When bottom is nicely browned, flip and fry remaining side. Shake with powdered sugar in a brown bag from the food co-op.

Running on the Ridge

by Colleen

The weekend is coming up, and to normal people that means relaxation. To me, it means freedom from a school that I am growing less attached to with each successively boring day and running out on the Ridge. I am currently in track at my high school and although I love my running friend, Amelia, dearly, there is nothing better than a long run on the roads around home, either all alone or with Mary (I thank God that she is a runner, too!). The hills are steep and the routes may be dangerous, but I love every minute of it. I have a feeling that Ridge running will be one of the (few) things I miss most when I head out to Dallas this fall.

Here’s a little poem I composed about one of my favorite Sunday Runs recently. This was a day when Wisconsin was still mired in Winter, but a hint of Spring had appeared to tease us.

Sunday Runs

The pavement beneath my feet
is cool and dry-and clear of that wretched snow!-
as I run down the road.
The sun is shining, and
the air kisses, rather than bites, my cheeks.
And I beam bright as those sweet rays.

The road is warming
beneath this miraculous winter sun,
and the familiar smell
of musky tar and dry snow plow sand
greets me again for the first time in months.

I could go on like this forever-
just the road, my legs propelling me forward in smooth motion
and an open horizon-
polished and sparkling under a crystal sun.

My own Sunday run under winter sun.