If There’s Chocolate, It Must Be Easter

Hoppy Easter! Hope your day is filled with chocolate and eggs and family and fun. I’m just happy that my two daughters are grownup and in their 20s now and I didn’t have to spend Easter Eve hemming little smocked dresses and desperately trying to concoct matching  hair bows. Not that I ever was so unorganized and frazzled that I waited until the last minute to finish Easter dresses. No! Not me!!! Oh, OK. Definitely me. The best thing about Easter, of course, is being with family and friends. (The availability of unlimited chocolate goes without saying.) My family gathered this past weekend to celebrate the joint birthdays of our oldest — my dad, turning 77 — and our youngest — my nephew, turning 1. Photo ops! But with young ‘uns, you never know what you’re going to get. Three-year-old grandson Capt. Adorable is good for about two shots of holding still and saying “cheese,” but then he’s done with you and on to more important things. So I just click away, sort through everything later and hope for the best. Such as this shot of the Captain and his cousin, the Birthday Boy. (We think they’re cousins, at least — the Captain’s mom is the Birthday Boy’s daddy’s niece. Is that right?) It took me a couple of times before I realized that both boys are intently studying the backs of their books. Must be a family trait. And I love the shot with most of my favorite girls in it — daughters and sisters-in-law — and my two absolute favorite little guys. Even though it wasn’t Easter, it was wonderful family time. There even was plenty of chocolate. But, thankfully, no hemming of dresses.

Meat and (Fried) Potatoes

In an effort to impress y’all with how healthy and local and slow-food I am, I usually post photos of beautiful fresh vegetables that I’ve lovingly and barely cooked to release the best flavor and most nutrition. And I do eat like that. Mostly. Sometimes. Occasionally. But sometimes you just have to have meat. Such as these beautiful steaks my middle brother grilled this past weekend as the family gathered to celebrate the April 16 birthdays of our oldest and youngest members: It was my dad’s 77th and my nephew’s 1st. So, as always in the meat-atarian Wood clan, we marked the occasion with tender and juicy beef. Capt. Adorable — 3-y ear-old son of my vegetarian older daughter and her husband — could not get enough.  My husband also is a fan of meat, such as these warm and melty Philly-style sandwiches we get at United Steaks restaurant in Corinth, Miss. We’ll always say, “Remember, we can just order one sandwich and split it,” but we’ll forget that plan as soon as we’re at the counter and smell the cheese and hear the onions sizzling. But we do share our sides — I always order the hand-cut potato chips and he always orders the fries. Vegetables, you know.