April 3: Bag of Tricks

Posted: April 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

Nearly every Saturday, Steve and I go to Trader Joe’s.  The official reason is that’s where I buy fresh flowers for two tables in my home that pout and whine when they don’t have colorful blooms.  High maintenance furniture is the worst!  Unofficially, however, I really like being with Steve and I also love the treasures  at Trader’s.   I mean, really, how can you not love this bag of  Easter fun? (Disclaimer:  Neither Tess Stern’s skill nor her equipment is represented in these photos.  This is me and a point-and-shoot and she would for sure want you to know that so her reputation is not damaged by the blurry mess that is to follow.)  Let us proceed.

Fresh basil!  Until the weather gets a firm grip on it’s good sense and pushes the temperatures over the freezing line, I will depend on this dear basil plant to spice up sauces and make my house smell like happiness.  That’s a lot of goodness for $2.99.

Okay, you know those cheese potatoes that everyone makes at Easter time to go with the ham?  Well, I have been making them for the past 394 Easters and I woke up this morning longing for a way to shake ’em up a little.  I’m hoping that using Swiss, Gruyere and Smoked Gouda – instead of plain ol’ cheddar – will do the trick.

This pretty jar o’ jam will find it’s way into the glaze for the ham (because it’s the ham jam!)  Steve and I are currently at odds on the pronunciation of the word apricot. Him?  Aaaapricott.  Me and normal people everywhere?  Aypricot.

My son-in-law had only one request for Easter dinner:  soda bread (which, as you well know, is a St. Patrick’s Day staple).  Since soda bread is about a million times faster to make than dinner rolls, I immediately agreed, provided we all call it Hot Cross Soda Bread instead.   Lemon curd is remarkable on Hot Cross Soda Bread.

My poor family.  For the past two nights I have not been at all inspired to cook.  After enduring burgers and  (please don’t judge me) Costco pizza, I felt they deserved a decent meal tonight.  Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet is the perfect comfort food for a snowy, freezing spring day.

The moral of this story?  Don’t let your husband try the samples.  I love Trader Joe’s but I hate bran muffins…bran anything, really.  I especially hate these guys.  Mango and blueberry and cranberry ought not be muffin partners.  Bleh.

Finally.  The reason for our little expedition.

Nothing says He is Risen like orange ranunculus!

Unless, perhaps, it’s spicy coral tulips.

He is Risen, indeed.

Happy Easter,


  1. Aïda says:

    I shall never tire of telling you…YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!

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