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A Family Reunion Like No Other

My dad’s side of the family has a family reunion tradition that can’t be touched. Primarily because it’s called the FamiLEE Reunion (a play on our last name), but the food and incredibly good company doesn’t hurt.

Everyone brings something potluck-style, and sweet tea and lemonade are provided by the host family. Fried chicken is a staple. It can be homemade, from KFC or Popeye’s, it doesn’t matter. As long as there’s more than enough.

Deviled eggs are also a staple. Mom made spinach-and-something-deviled-eggs-with-something this year that were delicious and added a little interest to the normal recipe with paprika sprinkled on top.

Mom also made a key lime pound cake which sat proudly on its pedestal over the myriad other desserts.

Dad got called out by the elders for being first in line (which is probably why he was already done with lunch when I took this picture).

This photo is blurry, but you get the idea of the length and density of the food table.

After lunch, speeches and family updates, I tried to get Grandpa (the youngest of his siblings) to organize the rest of his siblings for a picture. Chaos, as usual, ensued.

Briscoe wandered away before we were done and begrudgingly wheeled back…

We added the spouses…

But Virginia and Marion Lee were cut off…

So we got to eat good food, visit with good family and got my Grandpa, his brothers Tom and Briscoe, his sisters Virginia and Lucy, and all their spouses in one photo. All in all, a very successful FamiLEE Reunion.

Next year it’s our family’s turn to host …




Hot Town, Summer in the City

Even though it was 100 degrees and the air was thick with humidity, the girls from work and I sat outside at Hank’s Oyster Bar Wednesday night to celebrate another month of trivia success.

Who cares how hot it is when you’re about to feast on fresh oysters with fun people?

And the food did not disappoint — goldfish to start with, onion rings, cucumber salad, fried oysters and oysters on the half shell, dark chocolate for dessert and a cool glass of white wine.

If the servers had not been moving the umbrellas on the patio to block the sun from us as it set, we would have definitely fried to death. The things we’ll endure for a good meal…

In other news, this song is constantly stuck in my head these days:

Now it’s in yours too! Enjoy!

The Lunch Discussion

Back in my younger days (read: college), I was busy all the time and I was enthusiastic, energetic and diligent about the responsibilities on my plate and the tasks on my to-do list.

I drank a cup of coffee for breakfast, usually while in class or while working, definitely while doing something else rather than just sitting and sipping.

I ate lunch when I thought about it. If I missed it, no big deal. I was busy, I had stuff to do and places to go, there was just no time to break for lunch some days. If my tummy was in danger of growling during class, I’d get a Diet Coke and a bag of chips and be fine until dinner.

Sometimes Jessie would call or text me, “Don’t forget to eat lunch today!”

Sometimes we’d set a time and place to eat lunch so that I had a really good reason not to skip it.

But mostly, lunch was just an afterthought in an already overbooked, attention-stretched day.

But now lunch is a whole different story.

Now that I spend my Mondays through Fridays sitting at a desk beneath fluorescent lights in an excessively air-conditioned building, lunch is an absolute. It’s the time every day that I can go for a walk, breathe fresh oxygen, eat something delicious often with bread and melted cheese, and feel more human than robotic for a little while.

Since its importance is well-understood in this office, my co-workers and I discuss lunch options for at least an hour (cumulatively, while working of course) every morning. Sometimes we plan Friday’s lunch during Thursday’s lunch. And on occasion, like when the Red Hook Lobster truck was scheduled to visit Dupont, we plan days in advance.

This lobster roll was completely worth the days of anticipation and $15.

Elizabeth, the lunch champion, also enjoyed it.

Thank goodness for the food truck craze in DC — it’s keeping our lunch options in the neighborhood remotely entertaining.

Last month we planned a visit to the grilled cheese truck — which made me anxious since it’s a lifelong dream of mine to own a grilled cheese shop. Thankfully the one I got ended up being just okay, so my dream isn’t totally shattered. There’s room for me in this market still.

And yet we spent an hour or more periodically discussing lunch options today because we’re bored of the usuals — sushi, Cosi, Five Guys, Sweetgreen — and the food trucks are apparently against Dupont today.

So Chipotle it is.

The Last Chi-Town Objective



As we get ready to head home from Chicago, we checked one last to-do off the weekend’s list.

The hot dog.

Recap and hundreds of photos will show up tomorrow, if I’m dilligent.

But for now, the hot dog.

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