Thursday, March 31, 2011

Our Octopus Adventures....

My parents are best when it comes to birthdays.  Since my birthday and Kate's are near to each others, we just had a weekend of celebrations!

My parents bought me a new vacuum cleaner - a canister cleaner called a Mighty Mite.  Now, I'm the kind of person that loves (!) practical gifts.  Our house has wood floors, ceramic tile, flagstone, and marble.  I was desperately in need of a good canister vacuum.  This one is light, it's super-powerful, and I don't have to carry it like I did my last one.  To not have a killer headache after a weekly cleaning is the best birthday present ever!

They also gave me some "mad money" - I intended to buy a bathing suit - and I tried lots on.....but, not so much. 

Then, my mom made me this - the flower arrangement she made in my Dad's pottery vase has been brightening my foyer table for the past week.  Tulips are my favorite!

Then, on Sunday night, we headed to my parent's house for a feast extravaganza.  My dad and I had shopped at the Reading Terminal Market on Wednesday.  Such choices! 

Reading Terminal Market  is a nice conglomeration of vendors, restaurants, and sights.  Even though we suspect some of the Amish are fake, you could find just about anything here!  If you're visiting Philadelphia, you definitely want to come here - especially around mealtime. 

now I know where the kids get their "fake smile" from!

my Dad and sister talking with Wan, the fishmonger
On to the preparation - my dad prepped everything and froze our purchases.

marinated octopus - ready for grilling

Josh thought the results were "okay"

fried calamari and grilled baby octopus

steaks to round out the meal

Emma kind of liked the seafood

Kate - not so much!

waiting to pig out!
We had steaks, bread, octopus, sea bass, baked beans, corn, calamari, and toll house pie with ice cream and Bailey's whipped cream for dessert!

My dad really liked the octopus - I kind of liked it.  It was novel, I'll say that.  Josh liked it, Rob really liked it - and my mom wouldn't even try it!

It was so fun to celebrate together and of course, I felt very special! 


  1. Man- I love your family, it sounds like mine! We adore trying new things and making fun meals together. Love it! My favorite memory is when I was about 7 and my Dad took me to a restaurant to try fried calamari. It. was. amazing. Such great times!

  2. Happy Birthday, Kirsten! What a great way to spend the, family, & food! Your photos are fabulous. Love the one of Kate squirming as she takes a bite. LOL

    PS...I'm a practical presents girl too. They're my most favorite. I was so excited when I got a SteamMop for Mother's Day last year! LOL

  3. Our Central Market looks a lot like that market. I'm taking Marg there next Friday.

    I adore seafood but not octopus. There's something about the tentacles that puts me off. I'll eat everything else you have there though! Looks delicious.

    Kate's face is priceless!

  4. Love the photos, especially of Kate and the octopus. I love octopus/squid/calamari as long as it's cooked properly (not overcooked).
    Thanks for sharing all the great places that you go to. If I ever get to the States I'll know of lots of places to see in your part of the world.
    It looks like you all had a great time and a very nice meal.