Friday, November 20, 2015

11-20-15 Pizza Night

I stopped by the store this evening and picked up ingredients so that the kids and I could make pizzas this evening. I've never done this with them before, but I figured they would enjoy the hands on activity! 

I was right. It was a huge hit! And the best part was that they actually ate most of it. In fact C nearly finished hers! This is huge, as she has become pretty picky as of late.

Step one was spreading the oil on the crust. I told them to paint their crusts until they were completely shiny.

Step two was adding the sauce. 

C asked to lick the spoon afterwards. I let her, but she didn't enjoy that at all. I assured her it would taste better on her pizza than off a spoon! 

Step three was adding the toppings. I bought dairy free mozzarella style cheese for the first time. I gotta say, I think it must be an acquired taste. 

Big E was pretty liberal with his mini pepperonis! 

She wanted to start eating it immediately, but I reminded her that we should cook it first! 

Fresh out of the oven!

Like I said, they loved it. I'm glad I bought two packs of crust because we will probably be doing that for lunch tomorrow! 

Even Baby E wanted in on the action, he decided earlier this week that he isn't a huge fan of baby food anymore. He will begrudgingly eat it, but he makes it quite clear he would rather sample from your plate. He gobbled down nearly an entire slice of Big E's pizza (minus the pepperoni.) 

I think this activity cut into their squabbling time, so it was actually a pretty quiet evening. :) 

I snuck in on Baby E sleeping this morning. Sleeping babies are adorable! 

11-20-15 The Wonder Bread Truck

When we were kids, my parents owned an older, retired Wonder Bread/Hostess delivery truck that they used for the shop. All that remained of its former calling was a sticker that adorned the inside wall.

The truck was all white on the outside. Inside there was a driver's seat... and nothing else. My parents would use this truck for business deliveries, and at times... it was the vehicle of choice for family trips. Remember it was the early-mid eighties and seatbelt laws were in their infancy. We would grab our sleeping bags and pillows, and load in the truck for the six hour drive to visit family in Pennsylvania. We spent the drive either perched on the wheel wells, or sprawled on the floor, listening to the echoing road noise and wind from outside.

My memories of these adventures are few, so I'm not sure that we did it often, but I have distinct images of my father in the driver's seat and my mom standing next to him as we drove along the turnpike.

We must have been quite the sight at rest stops and gas stations, as we piled down the stairs and out the side door of our 'family' vehicle!

This looks similar to the truck, though I think ours might have been flat in the front. There was no driver's side door, only a sliding door on the 'passenger' side. All the markings had been removed from the outside of the truck. It was painted white. 
There's the sliding door. There were metal steps that led inside. 
This is very similar looking to the back of our truck.

When we were a little older, we tried 'camping' out in the truck in the driveway. Dad brought out a small grill and cooked us dinner. We had our sleeping bags on the floor and we laid there in the quiet. It was going well until the neighborhood dogs started barking, and our imaginations went wild in the  belly of that truck. My guess is we lasted about 15 minutes before high tailing it back into the safety of our home!

As I've mentioned before, we spent a lot of time at the shop growing up. The one treat was when we would go out for lunch. My parents' had several 'go-to' spots, and one of our favorites was the Hot Shoppe's Cafeteria in Landover Mall. It was a cafeteria style restaurant. You stood in line and got a lunch tray and placed it on the metal counter. You slid your tray along the display of foods and helped yourself to desserts, salads, and breads. We would pick out jell-o first. (The bigger dollop of whip cream on the top, the better!) Hot Shoppes had the best large, buttery, warm rolls and the most incredible fried chicken. (I remember when I was eleven, sitting in one of the booths trying to convince my parents to let me take a trip by myself out to California. They werent going for it and I thought they were being incredibly unfair! Ha!) If there was extra time after eating, my parents would walk us around the mall, probably to expend any extra energy we might have been harboring!  

Landover mall closed years ago, and was subsequently torn down. A Sears remained for awhile, the last vestige of that neighborhood's prosperity, but eventually it was deserted as well. The sign still exists, and can be seen from the Beltway. It's broken and over grown and hidden amongst some trees. I never pass it without thinking about Hot Shoppes and the wonderful memories our family made there. 

Is its day, it was happening place to go, but towards the end, the patrons became more sparse, and the storefronts began to empty. The lights weren't always replaced and the fountain wasn't always turned on. I remember that brown and white tiled floor. 

The mall was closed in 2002. The malls doors were sealed shut with cinder blocks. Ultimately it was demolished in 2006. 
The lonely Sears. In 2014, the company decided not to renew its lease. The last I read, the mall's location was one of the possible options for the new FBI Headquarters.