Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Why is My Easter Posting Mostly About What I Ate?

I need you to all look, closely, at these Easter dresses. My Mom made the dress (and crazy ruffled bonnet :)) that Mary Aplin is wearing, as Pace's first Easter dress 2 years ago. Then, I smocked Pace one to match and my sweet Grandma put it together. Pace's dress is the reason that I have not read, or blogged much, or cleaned my house in the past couple of months. This was only my third smocking endeavour, and I am HORRIBLY slow. My friend Lauren and I started our dresses at the same time this year, and she completed 3 others before I got this one finished. Anyway, this was my first time to ever have my own set of matching outfits for my little girls.


Jeremiah, who normally tells me to calm down about preserving whatever little Sunday dresses the girls are wearing, has finally realized why I have acted neurotic in the past. He has been so frustrated with seeing the top of my head bent over these dresses in every spare moment the past couple of months, that he was snapping at poor Pace himself when she tried to plop down in the wet grass just before we took these pictures. When we loaded the girls in the car, he didn't even fight with me when I requested that we only buckle their chest straps, so that the dresses wouldn't wrinkle on the way to church. Beauty at all costs, right :) (We were in Dothan, Sunday traffic is very mild, and we didn't have far to go. Please don't judge too harshly.)

We had a great, long Easter weekend. Jeremiah was off Friday and Monday, so we were able to truly relax during our time in Dothan. Kendall cooked an amazing meal on Friday night (grilled pork chops, black-eyed peas, turnip greens, fried cornbread, and potato salad...she's only a senior in high school!), and Jeremiah got to "camp out" with his friends while I watched a movie with the sisters on Friday night. Saturday, the whole Clark clan walked to IHOP for breakfast, I took a run with Dad, and then we laid out on the Redneck Riviera--our driveway. To complete the white-trash scene for you all, I might add that Pace was running around butt-naked and playing in the water hose, and she copped a squat in the yard like it was the most natural thing in the world! That night we tried to switch back into normal people and got dressed up to go to Whitney's engagement party. We talked to lots of old friends, and I don't think they could tell how trashy we'd been a few short hours before :).
Sunday morning, the Easter bunny came to visit Pace and Mary Aplin and a sweet friend (Amy Buntin) arranged an Easter surprise outside the back door for our family. There were a dozen white roses and a Willow Tree figurine (that represented Mom) wrapped up for each of us. As I opened the card in the pre-dawn twilight and saw the the words "He is Risen!" I felt chills at the thought of how Mary and Martha must have felt as they approached the surprising sight of the empty tomb on that first Easter morning. He is risen indeed!

We had Sunday lunch and a mini-Easter Egg hunt with my extended family at Aunt Marty and Uncle Alan's. That afternoon I left a screaming Mary Aplin with poor Mrs. Linda while Jeremiah, Dr. Maddox, David Etheridge, PACE, and me took a long horseback ride around the farm. That night we had some good fellowship (and pizza!) with the Maddox's and Tommy, and completed the night by listening to Kendall's ever-entertaining love drama.
Of all these fun and relaxing activities, I have been most excited to tell you Dothan readers about what I did on Monday morning. Jeremiah and I both LOVE to go out for fun breakfast. While the chain restaurants will suffice in filling you up, what we most enjoy is the individuality and fresh food of small-business restaurants. One day we will move from Birmingham, and we'll have to say good-bye to V. Richards and Urban Standard...that's a day we've been dreading, until our discovery Monday morning. Tommy told us about a new place in historic downtown (on Foster St. in the old River Nile location) called The Bistro. It was phenomenal!

The walls are hung with over-sized black and white photos that the owners wife made in Europe. There is patio seating outside beside a fountain and surrounded by the individually shaped bricks and lopping mortar that makes old buildings so distinct. The owner himself is British and studied the culinary arts while he was growing up there. His gentle accent serves as a nice contrast to the deep-South rhetoric permeating the rest of the room. Our waitress was lovely, and made us feel like family--holding Mary Aplin and bringing Pace finger puppets and silly straws. While we waited for our food, we sipped coffee as we sampled a warm cinnamon roll, drizzled with icing. It was heavenly!

As Dad and Jeremiah talked politics and religion, I peeked my head around the side of our booth to observe our master chef preparing breakfast. He worked with deft skill, moving swiftly from one pan to the next--rolling pitas, sprinkling spices, spreading cheeses, and skimming cream off the top of a little silver pot. When the food came, I was surprised by how large the servings were at such a small price. Jeremiah had a grilled breakfast roll, filled with eggs, spinach, feta, ham, and a sun-dried tomato cream cheese spread. Dad had crepes (that can also be filled with fruit) stuffed with eggs, bacon, and cheese. I had eggs Florentine: poached eggs on a bed of butter-wilted spinach, topped with Swiss cheese and thin slices of ham (added at my request). All of our dishes were paired with home-diced potatoes, fried to a golden brown.

All of this in Dothan, Alabama and we were the ONLY people in the place!!!! I don't understand why we (Dothanites) cannot seem to support a fine-dining establishment. Its like we all (me included) say we'll just hop right over here to this convenient chain restaurant and pay 4 or 5 dollars less per plate to eat food that has been prepared somewhere like NY, shipped down here, and left in the freezer for the past few days! This restaurant I have described, The Bistro, is fabulous. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner (I am not sure what days they do serve which meal), and I cannot imagine you would not be delighted by what you discover there. I know I was.

Happy Easter!!! I have talked about food throughout this entire post and am now feeling a bit obese :)

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Abby,

Easter is such a great time to spend with the family, and it was great to know that you had a wonderful Easter! The girls are absolutely beautiful! The dress that you made was stunning, and it is so sweet that M'Apples got to wear the dress your Mom made! I LOVE the picture of Pace with her Easter Bunny goodies, and the one of M'Apples where you are kissing her! You have so much to be thankful for :) Much LOve!!

Anonymous said...

Abby,
That was so fun to read!!!!! Okay, I'm so impressed at that meal Kendall cooked (it made me hungry) and (Kendall, I hope you're reading this- great job!)! I have to admit, I had to enlarge the picture of the girls and get a really good look at those dresses. WOW! I am so impressed with that too! You need to be taking that up all the time! I am so glad you all had a great time. It sounded just so fun. Hope you get the e-mail I sent you with Jordan's ultrasound. It's amazing what they can do these days! The name is going to be Evelyn Grace. We are thrilled and when Jordan moves to Birmingham (next month) hopefully you two can get together! Much love sweetie!
Kendall

Tegan said...

I am so impressed with your smocking! The dresses are beautiful! I'm glad you all had a great weekend in Dothan.

Mitzi said...

I love all of your blog. Hate we did not drive by to see the Sat afternoon sight. The Bistro has a fabulous dinner, also. So great to see all of you Sat night.
love,
Mitzi

the moore family said...

I love the dresses! I wanted to tell you that my mom and I both loved your dress also. We commented about it after we saw you on Sunday morning. I will have to check out the Bistro when I am in town again.

Alyssa Fripp said...

I know we've never met, but my CBS friend (Shari Pelland) forwarded this particular blog to me... My husband Paul and I own the bistro (yes, I took the photos, thank you for your encouraging praise!). I was thrilled to hear about your experience there! There has been MUCH prayer over that place, and it seems as though you experienced that peace and warmth that we want to exude from the building itself! Thank you for the encouragement... it has been a real journey of faith (sometimes not very fun!), but we are convinced that it is what God has called our family to during this season. On a side note, I have been involved with CBS for a few years now and have heard WONDERFUL things about your mom and your family. What a legacy she has given you girls. It would be so fun to meet your family one day... next time you're in town, come in on a Fri or Sat night for dinner -- I get to wait tables those nights! Thank you again for encouraging us.

Natalie McGough said...

I love the Easter dresses! I'm so impressed by your smocking. I'd love to learn how one day. I'm glad you were able to spend Easter weekend with Jeremiah and both of your families. A horse ride sounds like so much fun right now and I love that Pace goes too! The next time we're in Dothan, hopefully this summer, I would love to try The Bistro, sounds so good! I hope y'all are doing great.

Tara said...

Andrew and I had dinner at the Bistro a few weeks ago, and it was delicious as well. I can't wait to try out the breakfast!

Taylor said...

hey abby,
well I am glad you all had a great easter! It makes me so sad that could not be there even though Europe is great there is still no place like home! I love you all and miss you even more! Hope to talk to you sooner rather than later!
Love,
the other sister

Darby Stickler said...

Abby, you crack me up. I would have loved to see the white trash suntan session in the driveway. If it makes you feel any better... Paige was naked on the patio yesterday and didn't tee-tee on the patio but pooped. How gross is that!? Can you say "BLEACH to the rescue"... I thought I'd die! So we're a little trashy too! The dresses are beautiful and I've spent many hours... especially before Easter slouched over a dress trying to get it done... so I can totally relate! But it is worth every ounce of time and energy. The girls look gorgeous! I hope we can see y'all soon! Maybe when the guys do Memorial Day you and the girls can come be rednecks on the patio with us!? Love you!

Anonymous said...

Abby..As a"Smocking School drop out" I have to say....You did great work! And, how proud you should feel! It's just not easy to do and what work and effort goes into one row alone! LOL.... I did so try!!!! Loved the story about the reck-neck driveway. I, too, have done just that! And...I did it up NORTH!!! Just think what those Yanks must have thought! LOL...I can't wait to see your next post...It sure makes me laugh and it cheers my day! Thanks for all your fun loving sharing. A True Fan...

Denise said...

Abby, I love the dresses! I was always trying to get your mom to smock me something. Now, Smocking is my new hobby. I love it and sometimes get totally consumed by it so I know what you mean about being huddled over that dress.

Abby Euten said...

Hey Abby,
It's Abby Euten (Bullock). I just wanted to say hey and tell you that your family is precious!! I'm new to the whole blogging world, I got the link to your page off of Denise's. Also, if you're not already writing a book--you should!!

Kellie Patton said...

You and your girls are beautiful! I just love reading your blog. I hope to come to Dothan soon to try out this Bistro!

THE WRIGHT'S said...

Abby,
I saw you at church Sunday night, and I remembered that I would 'blog' you my blog! :)
email: shireenwright@gmail.com
blog: http://russellandshireen.blogspot.com/
Let me know that you got this! :)
And, hey, in regards to your post, don't we all think WAY too much about what we eat!?! Once one meal is over, we're planning for the next...maybe it's a female/maternal thing! ;) Well, we can allow ourselves to think that anyway!
I've never been to Urban Standard. Russell went this morning, and Ashley J. says it's YUM, so I'd like to try that out some time. When would you and Jeremiah like to plan a meal together!?!? :) Seriously! How about in the next few Sunday nights after church? Or another time that works with your schedules.
Looking forward to some time with you,
Shireen

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