We had a nice Friday evening in Truro celebrating Dad’s birthday for another day. A review of the fish fry is coming, but first, check out the birthday cake we made:

Even Lars can’t seem to quite believe it…a cheeseburger cake with French fries!
Bun – yellow cake
Meat – brownie cake
Lettuce – green fruit roll-ups
Tomato – cherry fruit slices
Cheese – orange Starbursts (actually, the hardest part of the cake)
French fries – pound cake
Ketchup – raspberry jam


That annual bike ride across Iowa…

Sweet! Matt and I are signed up for a single day ride in RAGBRAI – Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (I believe it is copyrighted, trademarked, etc.)! We’ll be biking on the third day, Tuesday, on the route that begins in Greenfield and ends in Indianola. The total ride is 77 miles (longest of the week) and has 4,470 feet of climbing (second highest). Even cooler, we’re passing through Truro, so we’re hoping (expecting, actually) all of the Des Moines folks to come down to the farm there to wave to us as we pass by. Oh, and to also pick us up later in Indianola! 🙂 Neither one of us have ever done a bike ride like this, so we will definitely be asking Matt’s Grandpa Jim for advice.

Grandpa Jim, who just celebrated his 93rd birthday in February (yet if you ask, he is still “plenty-nine”) is an avid bicycler, one of the top milers in his bike club, and a pro at doing century (100 mile) day rides! Who knows, maybe we can even get him to join us this year! 😉

FISHBRAI ’09: Off Course

Bummer. Well, sometimes things don’t work out as planned. We had something come up and couldn’t attend St. John’s fish fry on Friday. We did, however, end up at the Waveland Tap in Booneville for a later dinner. They had fried catfish as a special, but I ended up splitting the Greek pizza instead. Which was a nice meatless alternative – olives, feta cheese, red onions and tomatoes. Tasty onion rings and cold beer topped off dinner.

Due to the lack of a spiritual environment, I’m using beer bottles to rate Waveland’s Friday night dinner. So, they get three beers!

Next week: we venture down to Immaculate Conception of St. Mary’s!

Here Comes the Alex…

We love St. Patrick’s Day here, it’s long been a favorite holiday in our family.

This St. Pat’s Day, is a little sadder though because of the December passing of Father Finnell, who was the pastor at Blessed Sacrament parish in Morton, IL (Pumpkin Capital of the World!). Fr. Finnell was about 100% Irish, and he was born on March 16 — the day BEFORE St. Pat’s Day. At Blessed Sacrament, the school would always celebrate his birthday ON St. Pat’s Day for him. All the kids would sing “Happy Birthday” to him and also the song “It’s a Great Day for the Irish”. But, we sang an altered version of it, customizing it to dear Fr. Finnell. To this day, this song is ingrained in my head around St. Pat’s Day. It’s kind of sad to think that it won’t be sung this year for him:

It’s a great day for Father Finnell, It’s a great day for him.
The sidewalks of Mor-ton are filled with blarney
For sure you’d think Mor-ton was Old Killarney!
It’s a great day for Father Finnell, for the flags in full array
We’re feeling so inspirish, sure because for all the Irish
It’s a great, great day!

FISHBRAI ’09 Second Stop: Christ the King

Our tour continued on Friday as we headed over to the South Side for the Christ the King fish fry. Again, we really enjoyed ourselves and had a great time. CTK does a really nice job. It was $7 for adults, $4 for kids 12 and under. You had your choice of fried fish, baked cod or grilled salmon. We both went for the fried fish (I love salmon, but just wasn’t in the mood for it).

Alex got the cheese pizza. Included was corn, rolls, and your choice of baked potato or fried potatoes (not french fries), coleslaw or salad. The fish was good and had a definite beer-batter taste to it. Dessert was also part of the deal, and in my opinion, was the highlight of the meal – homemade strawberry shortcake! The shortcake was homemade – not one of those Hostess shortcake-cup-kind-of-like-a-Twinkie-tasting things. Awesome!

Some other big pluses about CTK’s fish fry:
– Everything was served on dishes and silverware.
– It was held in their parish hall, which had a cozier feel than the school cafeteria.
Big thumbs up to the gentleman who played the accordion throughout dinner. It created a nice, Italian restaurant kind of ambiance. As we snagged a table near him, Alex loved to watch him when he wasn’t playing with other kids.
– Beer was available in the can, for an extra $2

We apologize for not having any pictures, we were so busy talking with our table mates and keeping an eye on Buddy, that we didn’t get a chance to snap some photos.
Overall, we give Christ the King 4.5 BCs for the good food and extras!

Rating: Simply Saintly!

Next week, it’s the family sentimental favorite, Basilica of St. John. In my humble opinion, the most beautiful church in town!

FISHBRAI ’09 First Stop: Sacred Heart

We hit the Sacred Heart fish fry last night as the first stop on the FISHBRAI 2009 tour. SC holds their fish fry in the school cafeteria. Cost is $7 for adults, kids 3 and under are free. We did have to wait in line, but it was worth it. You had the choice of fried or baked cod, cheese pizza, baked potato or french fries and coleslaw. Drinks were water, lemonade and coffee. A bake sale provided desserts for an additional cost – proceeds go to the church youth group.

I was kind of surprised that there were not as many families there, but lots of seniors. Everyone was very nice and the volunteers kept asking if we wanted more water and lemonade. The fried cod was great and was well seasoned, the baked version was good as well. The cheese pizza — eh, not that fab, but it was more for the kids. Sides were solid and the desserts offered were fantastic. We got a bag of puppy chow for Alex to munch on while we waited in line for our food.

Our rating? It’s hard because it’s the first fish fry we’ve been to this year, so we are giving Sacred Heart a 3-4 BCs for “Delightfully Divine” (or 3.5 if you want to average it).

Next week: We travel to the South Side and try out Christ the King’s fish fry!