Our New Deacons

It was all about the Barry’s and berries, today.

It began with a stop at 7-Eleven to grab coffee and a light breakfast. I spiked my coffee with my sugar free blueberry Torani, before heading to Barry’s. Look, His and Hers blueberry breakfast! Barry loved blueberry poptarts so I liked that I was able to enjoy my version of poptarts with him with the blueberry Special K Crisps.

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Today was a day of celebration for our diocese! I am so happy to say that our friend, Barry, was ordained, along with 8 others, as a Deacon. It has been a 5 year journey for him and his family. Its such as admirable dedication he has made to our community. I know that he has gone away for for retreats every month for the past 5 years, working for this.

Barry is not only a family friend, but also the owner of the company my dad works for. While dad manded the fort at the business, Barry, my Barry, and I represented the family at the ordination. We arrived at St. Margaret of Scotland Church, and after giving hugs and kisses to familiar faces, we took our seats.

The ceremony lasted about an hour and a half. He began with his family, garbed normally. Throughout the mass, we witnessed Barry promise to the Church and be sworn in as a Deacon.

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We watched the Bishop lay his hands on each candidate, swear them in, and provide them with their own Book of Gospels.

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We watched the priest of each candidates home parish, along with the candidates wives, help to dawn them with their stoles and dalmatics. It was a lovely ceremony!

WP_003654I ran into my parish’s priest, who is also the Chancellor of the Diocese, and was one of the selected few to provide Communion to the congregation. I also saw my old grade school principal, my parish’s deacon and wife. My favorite person that I ran into, today, was Dora. When I saw her, I immediately began to tear up. I hadn’t seen Dora in about 5 years. Dora was one of my grandmother’s best friends, one of the “Club Girls” as they were called. Every Thursday, the girls would get together with their bags of pennies and play Pokeno and Uno, and eat jello and pie, and various fruits and sweets. I loved catching up with her!

WP_003655After the mass, their was a gathering at the Church’s school, but Deacon Barry’s family invited us to attend the luncheon they were having at a local Italian restaurant. The reservations were not until 2pm, and Barry and I decided to kill an hour at the farmer’s market. This place is a dangerous place for foodies! The Amish section is full of sweets, pastries, meats, sausage, and all around deliciousness! Before leaving, I needed to introduce Barry to one of the oddest, savory, and sweet desserts I have ever had. There is a Mexican ice cream shop in the market that sells Cheese ice cream. You read that right. CHEESE ice cream! It smooth and creamy, a little chunky from the cheese, like cottage cheese curds, and so buttery in your mouth! We both just wanted a bite since we were heading out to lunch, but its a when-in-Rome kind of thing.

We arrived at Cucina di Napoli and were greeted by Deacon Barry and his family. We sat down to a table full of apps: Bruschetta, mussels in white wine, sauteed broccoli and spinach, mozzarella sticks and fried calamari, and chopped antipasto salad. Dad met us there after he locked up the shop, and we enjoyed socializing with everyone. I was pretty pleased with my eating! I stayed clear of the bread and butter, ate lots of lettuce and tomatoes, enjoyed some mussels, and broccoli, and avoided the fried foods. Thats a lie. I ate 1 fried calamari to apease my dad. Barry and I were both dragging, despite our coffee earlier in the day.

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Barry and I parted ways until he picked me up to attend a BBQ. Barry has kept in contact with one of his old teachers from high school who throws a pretty bitchin pool party every year. It was such a nice time! Barry and I both had a few drinks and I was so pleased with my eating! I chose wisely. I knew there was going to hot dogs, and not my 94% fat free ones. Rather than eating it plain or on a roll, I grabbed a leaf of romaine, spread it with a little black bean hummus, and topped it with corn salad. It was delicious!

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??????????????I stayed clear of the ridiculously gooey, chocolate chunk brownies, but I did take a bite if the PBJ mini cupcakes. I was so proud of myself that I filled up romaine and didn’t let the temptations get to me. I met some of Barry’s friends from high school and when I met Kevin, I saw a side of Barry I had never seen before! A complete and total BROMANCE!

Towards the end of the night, as we were heading out, the homemade moonshine and karaoke came out. One of the moonshines was peach and the other was apple. I’ve had homemade shine before, and it was rough, but the apple smelled like an apple pie! Both were delicious.

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The night ended with Barry and I falling asleep to a little Twilight Zone!

Immediato’s Bistro

Last night, we celebrated my Uncle’s birthday at his favorite restaurant, Immediato’s Bistro.

                        

Jen and Tony used to be my neighbors and I babysat their two boys! It amazes me every time I see the boys how much they have grown! They moved down to Middletown a few years back and opened the bistro and hoagie shop! (great turkey sandwiches, by the way)

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Jen and Uncle Eddie

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Jen and Me

To celebrate, about 12 close family members joined us for dinner. Each table is welcomed with a basket of fresh ciabatta-like rolls and olive oil. Vinnie, Tony’s brother prepared bruschetta, broccoli rabe topped with freshly grated Locatelli, and chopped antipasto salad! One of my favorite thing about Immediato’s is that they are not cheap with the fresh garlic! I’m not typically impressed with bruschetta, but wow! I literally could have eaten a whole bowl by itself. In fact, the bruschetta went so fast, this half eaten plate was the only picture I could snag!

Bruschetta

Bruschetta

Antipasto

Antipasto

Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli Rabe

During dinner, the loud Italians were silent! Everyone was completely focused on theirs meals.

 

 

Among the entrees chosen were:
Farfelle Immediato

Chicken ala Tony (top) and Farfelle Immediato (bottom)

Chicken alla Tony (top) and Farfelle Immediato (bottom)

Chicken Marsala

Penne with Pesto and Meatballs

Linguini with Meat Sauce

Ravioli in Meat Sauce
Marsala Braised Short Ribs
and the birthday boy and one of my cousins got the

Chicken alla Tony.

Marsala Braised Short Rib

Marsala Braised Short Rib

My dad got the Farfelle, which I’ve gotten before, and loved it. Its not quite an alfredo, but the cream sauce is perfectly complimented by the peas and prosciutto. The braised short rib was something I would have never thought of getting, but our family-friend said that she had it earlier in the week and has been craving it ever since! Naturally, I had to try it. I had never seen gnocchi in anything other than your typical Italian gravies, but this was a like a Marsala-BBQ-y goodness! The beef was pull-apart, fall-apart amazing, and smothered with mushrooms and gnocchi. I believe we will be going back for my cousins birthday in a few weeks. This may be a contender for dinner that night.

The birthday boy isn’t a huge fan of asparagus, but who isn’t a fan of pasta, chicken, and crab meat… He graciously shared the asparagus , of the Chicken alla Tony,with my aunt and me. Perfectly steamed, perfectly crisp.
My meal of choice was actually an appetizer: Mussels White. You can make it a meal by adding a side of pasta. Like I said, they do not skimp on the garlic! My dad, whos not the biggest fan of mussels, couldn’t stop raving about how perfectly cooked this bowl full of  yummy was! And my godfather sweetly asked, “Hey Sammy, could… could I try one?” He was sold! The white wine sauce was fantastic! Once I finished the mussels, I kept scooping my fork in the broth and pulling up chunks of chopped garlic! Yum! To compliment the shellfish, I saved some of the broccoli rabe and ate them together.

Mangia

Mangia

My cousin, Kyle, apparently enjoyed his meal as well…
Yeah, its just THAT good!

Yeah, its just THAT good!

To add to the celebration, Immediato’s had a performer playing guitar and harmonica and singing beautiful Italian songs. My Uncle and dad really enjoyed themselves as they began some vino-induced singing of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York!”
The Birthday Serenade

The Birthday Serenade

And now for the desserts! I think I may have gone up a pant size last night. I could not get enough of the desserts! Vinnie prepared a special birthday dessert for my Uncle, and I have to say, I was shocked, impressed, and in it for the long hull: Fried Gnocchi drizzled with cinnamon, sugar, and chocolate, with a center piece of cannoli filling and homemade pizzelles!They also brought out a cake with a candle, while the guitar player sang and played “Happy Birthday.” Kyle and I had no trouble tapping into that baby while Uncle Eddie enjoyed the Chocolate Truffle Cake!
Blowing out the candles!

Blowing out the candles!

There is a whole case of cookies, cannolis, eclairs, giant cream puffs and truffle cakes, and multi-layer cakes! My cousin, Kyle, and I went to town on the cookies!

MMMMMMM!

MMMMMMM! Birthday Surprise!

They have the best macaroons I’ve ever tasted; and being the chocolate lover that I am, I opted for the chocolate covered ones. Have you ever known me to turn down PB? I got an array of cookies from the case… Raspberry filled shortbread, PB, macaroons, and cheesecake filled.

Some cookies I HAD to bite into!

Some cookies I HAD to bite into!

To top off the night, we cheersed with a shot of my Uncle’s homemade lemon cello.

Salud!

Salud!

I also got my mom a slice of the tallest strawberry shortcake I’ve ever seen! Sorry mom, but I had to tap into that on the ride home.

Decorated with a wafer roll cookie...

Decorated with a wafer roll cookie and stuffed with strawberries and smooth creme!

Once I got home, it hit me light a lightening bolt! PB cookie+Raspberry shortbread= PBnJ! Genius! With my first bite of the PB cookie, I was hooked! It was not just a PB cookie, but a PB STUFFED cookie!

Now thats how a cookie should be!

Now thats how a cookie should be!

As always, it was a wonderful night at Immediato’s Bistro! If you’re in the area, I highly recommend swinging by Main Street for lunch or dinner, just don’t forget the dessert!
Thanks for a great night Jen, Tony, Vinnie, and the crew and Happy Birthday, Uncle Eddie, and many more!!