Saturday, December 20, 2008


Monday, December 8th, I experienced a "first". I cooked and served a meal to my Aunt LaRue and Uncle Graham in my home. Since I finished high school I have not lived in the same state as the rest of my family and for anyone to come for dinner meant a cross-country trip! Mom and Dad have made the trip many times to see their grandkids, but this is the first time my Aunt and Uncle have come our way! They were coming up for a Christmas-themed tour of the Lancaster area, and we live right next-door, so a visit was perfect!

The decision of what to make took all of two seconds. It would have to be Chicken Scarpariello, of course. Our favorite meal- and with a story behind it too! (You'll have to hear it while sitting at our table, so I'm not telling it here!) I pre-cooked the chicken early in the day so that once they were here only the easy part was left.

Once they were on the bus from the Philly airport to Lancaster Aunt LaRue started calling. The timing looked great until some of the other folks, *ahem*, on the bus got hungry. Stopping in Gap, PA, a mere 20 minutes short of their destination added an hour to their expected arrival at the hotel, and therefore my picking them up. No problem- I can run a quick mop and vacuum while I wait!

Once I heard from Aunt LaRue that they were on their way I hit the road. The hotel was easy to find and as soon as I walked into the lobby there was my sweet Aunt waiting with a hug! Once the luggage was safely stowed in the room we headed for home. Almost as soon as we were driving North my cell phone rang- it was Dad! I handed the phone to Aunt LaRue, "It's your brother"... I have never had the opportunity to say that to her and it just seemed so funny...

Okay, I'm over it.

Once home it was so natural to have LaRue and Graham in our house. We have shared many memories over through the years, albeit long-distance. So giving them a brief tour involved more, "remember when", than new stories. We had a brief "skype" session with Dad, which was fun and just may have sold them on getting a camera for their own computer!

Aunt LaRue skyping with her brother.

Dinner was a neat time of sharing and laughter. The Scarpariello turned out well, accompanied by a luscious and smooth 2006 La Crema Pinot Noir. Rebekah dazzled us with her dessert, which she had chosen and made entirely on her own, the cover recipe from the current issue of Cooking Light magazine, Hot Chocolate Fudge Cakes, oh baby- yum!

Time for the photos! At table and posed in front of the tree...

Why did I pose everyone right where the tree would be hidden?
Rebekah, LaRue, Isaac, Graham, Erin

Me, Jim, LaRue and Graham
Me and my little Aunt... tehehehe

Whatever it was, it was funny!

The time flew by and before we knew it it was time to drive them back to the hotel. I'm so very glad to have had even one evening with Aunt LaRue and Uncle Graham here. I certainly hope this paves the way for future visits- the Amish country is much friendlier in the Spring, Summer and Fall, *hint, hint*.

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